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Latin America's 'Troika Of Tyranny' Applauds South Florida's 'Troika Of Treason'

Julio Cortez
MOB INSURRECTION Pro-Trump rioters storm the U.S. Capitol last week hoping to overturn the presidential election.

COMMENTARY The pro-democracy credibility of Rick Scott, Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Gimenez is as shattered now as glass inside the U.S. Capitol.

In South Florida, we know all about Latin America’s aptly named “troika of tyranny.” Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua. But is it getting upstaged right now by what some might call our very own “troika of treason"?

Republican Sen. Rick Scott and Republican Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Gimenez of Miami.

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They’re part of what’s been aptly named the “treason caucus” – the 147 U.S. Representatives and Senators who voted to block legitimate electoral college votes for Joe Biden last week. Their attempt failed; still, it was a counter-constitutional and poisonous act, not to mention a tacit thumbs-up to the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol in the delusional hope of overturning November's election and keeping thug-in-chief President Donald Trump in power. The destructive insurrection left five people dead, the seat of U.S. democracy ransacked and a nation horrified at the rupture of a more than two-century-long run of peaceful presidential transitions.

Al Diaz (left), C.M. Guerrero (center), Roberto Koltun
Miami Herald
TROIKA TIME? Miami Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (left), Florida Senator Rick Scott (center) and Miami Congressman Carlos Gimenez

That’s just the sort of putsch nightmare the troika of tyranny has long dreamed of seeing in the U.S. Which makes it all the more astonishing that politicos from South Florida – the anti-troika of tyranny command post – pitched in to contribute to it.

READ MORE: My College Did Not Teach a Trump Senator to Trash America's Stature in the Americas

What Scott, Diaz-Balart and Gimenez did had nothing to do with the shamelessly specious excuse they've fed us. That is, the bald-faced lie that the election was somehow so checkered with fraud they couldn’t bring themselves to certify a Biden victory – which officials from Maine to Maui had already endorsed as fraud-free. What they really couldn’t bring themselves to do was defy the unhinged right-wing cult pointing Parler pitchforks at any GOP pol who certified a Trump defeat.

Scott, Diaz-Balart and Gimenez helped create just the sort of putsch nightmare that Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua have long dreamed of seeing in the U.S.

Either way, the troika of treason are now the darlings of the troika-of-tyranny regimes they pledge to topple whenever they stand before Florida voters, especially Latinos who fled those regimes. Their cowardly enabling of Trump’s madman insistence that he won re-election – including Diaz-Balart’s participation in a lawsuit the U.S. Supreme Court ruled laughable – are straight out of the troika tutorial for kneecapping democracies and elevating demagogues.


After decades covering the troika of tyranny and a slew of other authoritarian regimes in Latin America, I know the iron fists in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are favorably impressed by South Florida’s troika. I’m certain they’re scribbling expert notes of congratulation right now to Scott, Diaz-Balart and Gimenez, along with bits of advice for future democracy-overthrowing endeavors. Imagine:

From Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro : You were smart to focus your efforts on a congressional kibosh of those battleground-state votes. Legislative machinations are the best camouflage for constitutional coups.

AUTOCRAT OVATION? Cuba's Raul Castro (left), Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega (center) and Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro at a 2018 summit.

Take what I did when I was sick of our opposition-led National Assembly. I declared it a security threat – just as baselessly as you guys declared those lawful votes treacherous. I took the same corkscrew to our constitution you brandished last week, trashed the voters’ will and created a new, lapdog legislature. Don’t worry – with practice, you’ll score the same results someday. And don’t fret when your great leader Trump leaves the scene: he – like our late, great leader Hugo Chávez – will come back as a bird to counsel you.

From Cuban communist party chief Raúl Castro : Ditto what Nicky said, muchachos. Remember how we handled that democratic dork Oswaldo Payá when he had the gall to present enough petition signatures to trigger a constitutional referendum on human rights reform? We ignored it and hauled about 80 of his sidekicks behind bars. The way Trump screamed for your party to throw those Georgia RINOs into the pokey for counting lawful votes.

From Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega : I couldn’t be prouder of the masterful sophistry you employed to perpetuate Trump’s lies about the election outcome. You realized they were whipping up the rabid Trump base you’re so terrified of; so rather than refute the falsehoods, you used that base’s anger as your rationale for endorsing the falsehoods. You ended up spurring Trump’s violent goons the way I’ve been unleashing my violent goons for years. Bien hecho. Well done.

What more can we tell South Florida’s troika of treason but this: don’t ever lecture anyone again about the troika of tyranny. Because your credibility when it comes to separating truth from tyranny is as shattered now as glass inside the U.S. Capitol.

Tim Padgett is the Americas editor for Miami NPR affiliate WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida.