At the time his parents came to America, Castro was living in exile in Mexico. He had not even started his takeover yet. In his counter-attack Rubio suggests that he made an honest mistake rather than lied: “My understanding of my parents’ journey has always been based on what they told me about events that took place more than 50 years ago — more than a decade before I was born. What they described was not a timeline, or specific dates.” With all due respect, this tortured explanation is itself a lie. …
[T]he Cuban revolution was the central event for his family and families all around him when he was growing up. That event was constantly talked about, and Rubio himself admits that when he claims having a deep understanding of what it means to lose one’s country (never mind its total irrelevance to American politics). Yet he never asked his parents what it was like to live under Fidel Castro, or how long they lived under him, or what it was like to leave Cuba at that time, or any other question that might possibly give him a clue that his parents never actually lived in Communist Cuba?!
I've also re-thought this a little after reading more about the timeline. Rubio's family moved to the US two and a half years before Castro came to power:
“Every Cuban-American knows when their parents arrived and the circumstances under which they arrived,” said George Gonzalez, a Cuban-American political science professor at the University of Miami. “That’s part of the Cuban exile experience, the political and psychological trauma of it. So the idea that he was murky on those does not cut ice.” And while some Cubans do not draw a distinction between those who fled Cuba after Castro took power and those who left before that date, others do. “To my father and grandparents, if you came before the revolution, it puts you in a different category,” Dr. Gonzalez said.
Pretty obviously. I'm not saying this is a major gaffe, but it's more troubling than I first realized.