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In much of Miami Spanish-language media, Trump is the Latin-style victim

 Former President Donald Trump prays with pastor Mario Bramnick, third from right, and others at Versailles restaurant on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Miami. Trump appeared in federal court Tuesday on dozens of felony charges accusing him of illegally hoarding classified documents and thwarting the Justice Department’s efforts to get the records back. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon
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AP
Former President Donald Trump prays with supporters at the Cuban restaurant Versailles in Miami's Little Havana on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, after he appeared in federal court and pleaded not guilty to felony charges of illegally withholding classified documents.

Former President Donald Trump’s biggest support in Miami is among Latinos — and in the run-up to Trump’s federal court appearance here on Tuesday, much of Spanish-language media portrayed him as a Latin American-style victim.

That message was sent perhaps most loudly on Americano Media, a conservative Spanish-language news outlet launched last year in Miami. On Monday night, it broadcast a live, English-language interview with Trump and local right-wing radio personality Carinés Moncada.

Early in the interview, Moncada made a questionable but oft-heard claim in the South Florida Latino community about Trump being indicted by a special federal prosecutor for mishandling classified documents. Namely, that he's being singled out for legal harassment, much the way opposition leaders so often are in Latin America.

“What we’re seeing here is the type of thing, Mr. President, that sadly happens in Latin America," Moncada said.

"A lot of people have left their countries [there] because of the lack of democracy, the lack of law and order, rule of law — and the persecution of the political conservative opposition.”

Trump of course agreed and added:

“Your listeners have experienced it.”

READ MORE: Report spotlights "under-the-radar" Spanish-language radio disinformation in Miami

In the minds of much of that South Florida Spanish-language media audience Trump was referring to, Latin America is ruled mostly by left-wing, socialista regimes. They insist the judicial systems of those regimes oppress conservatives — and they argue Democrats and President Biden are now doing the same to their favorite conservative.

In truth, both left-wing governments in the region, like Venezuela's, and right-wing governments like Guatemala's are notorious for subverting their justice systems for political ends. Nevertheless, in recent days several Spanish-language radio programs in Miami have been saturated not only with the Trump-as-Latin-martyr message, but with claims that Biden, too, should be indicted.

On the Actualidad Radio program Cada Tarde (Every Afternoon), guest host Marián de la Fuente on Monday falsely suggested that a so far unfounded allegation made to the FBI that Biden, when he was Vice President, was offered millions of dollars in bribes from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma is “proven information.”

Miami's Spanish-language radio has come under heavy criticism in recent years for spreading disinformation. But it's the sort of rallying cry that likely helped get more Latino Trump supporters out to protest in support of the former president at the downtown Miami federal courthouse on Tuesday.

After his court appearance, as if to thank Miami Latinos for that backing, Trump headed to the iconic Cuban restaurant Versailles in Little Havana, where he prayed with admirers.

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
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