In the mornings, elderly women gather in an empty lot alongside crumbling 19th century mansions for an exercise class. Restless men sit on stoops and smoke cigarettes. A corner market displays a slaughtered pig, but only a few women line up to purchase pork, an expensive treat for Cubans.
It is the neighborhood where Marco Rubio’s family lived before they fled for better economic opportunities, Calle Maloja. Cubans there said they had never heard of the politician, according to the International Business Times.
The IB Times claims that many Cubans are pretty sure they wouldn’t vote for him if they had the chance. Why?
Nearly 60 years after the Rubio family fled Calle Maloja, residents make the most of their humble surroundings, writes the IB Times. When told about Rubio’s presidential aspirations, many residents of Calle Maloja, who otherwise had never heard of the Miami lawmaker, expressed pride.
However, when told of Rubio’s position on keeping the Cuban embargo in place, many grew sour about the idea that he could become the leader of the United States.
“You like to hear that one of your own is going to be president,” said Yuniel Salazar, 41, who has lived here all his life. “But if he thinks that way, he shouldn’t be president. Haven’t we had enough of that?”
The Rubio family was one of many in the neighborhood. Father Mario Rubio sold coffee to earn money here after his mother died when he was nine years old, according to his son’s many campaign speeches.
Naturalization papers and other official records revealed Mario and Oriales Rubio arrived in the United States in 1956, prior to the Castro revolution in ’59, but returned to Cuba several times after Castro came to power.
Also, Rubio will be in Ames, Iowa, Saturday morning for a “meet and greet,” and later will attend U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s “Roast & Ride” fundraiser in Boone, Iowa, writes the Des Moines Register.