The Washington Post

Menendez to Diaz-Balart: Get Cubans ‘off my back’


Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sen. Robert Menendez, who believes he may have been framed by the Cuban government, sought help from a fellow Cuban-American and anti-Castro member of Congress on Wednesday.

In the basement of the Capitol, Menendez (D-N.J.) passed Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) by the underground subway cars, and colleague Paul Kane happened to be standing by to overhear this brief yet hilarious exchange:

“Mario! Get those people off my backs,”Menendez called out, referring, of course, to the Cubans.

“I know!” Diaz-Balart said.

The Washington Post first reported this week that the CIA had found evidence showing that Cuban agents made up stories about Menendez and underage prostitutes in an effort to hurt him politically.

Menendez and Diaz-Balart are both fierce critics of Fidel Castro. Diaz-Balart, who hails from a powerful Cuban family – his aunt was Castro’s first wife – has not commented publicly on the latest turn in the Menendez story and his office did not respond to a request for one.

It’s unclear what exactly Menendez thought Diaz-Balart would be able to do to get the Cubans to leave him alone.

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

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