Fidel Castro

AP

When Bernie Sanders praised communist Cuba recently, most pundits wrote him off with Florida Hispanics. But in the state’s Tuesday presidential primary, it may not be that simple.

American Alan Gross, a prisoner in Cuba for five years during the Obama administration, is accusing Bernie Sanders of commending the communist country when the senator came to visit him behind bars.

Sanders visited Cuba as part of a congressional delegation in 2014, along with Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Jon Tester.

During the one-hour meeting, Sanders told the prisoner that he didn't understand why others criticized Cuba, Gross said in an interview with NPR.

Matt Rourke / AP

For many folks in South Florida and across the country, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' comments about Cuba touched a raw nerve. 
During a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday, Sanders praised the education and health care programs of Fidel Castro, while saying he is "very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba." 

Patrick Semansky / AP

COMMENTARY

As Bernie Sanders doubles down on his controversial praise for Fidel Castro, I’m thinking instead of another deceased Latin American dictator: Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, whose monstrous military regime murdered thousands of people in the 1970s and '80s.

Matt Rourke / AP

Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders has upset Cubans in South Florida with his recent remarks praising Fidel Castro. But it’s not just conservative Cuban Americans who are dismayed by Sanders’ rhetoric.

Priorities USA via Twitter

Last week, the Democratic Super PAC Priorities U.S.A. launched a social media ad campaign that's created a lot of buzz in South Florida.

AP

COMMENTARY

It took forever. But Democrats finally seem to have found an answer to President Trump’s claim – directed for years now at Latino voters in Florida – that the party is a sinister socialist cabal poised to nationalize auto factories, shutter churches and send your abuelita out to cut sugar cane to meet the Politburo’s Five-Year Plan. Like, you know, the way Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez did.

Priorities USA via Twitter

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign often warns Latinos in Florida that Democrats advocate the sort of socialism their families escaped in Latin America.  But a Democrat super PAC has turned the tables.

Alejandra Martinez / WLRN

Three baby dolls hang from a white canvas at the Lowe Art Museum in Coral Gables. The art installation has painted message written in Spanish that reads: "Tu odio no me mata. Soy human igual que tu." or "Your hate doesn’t kill me. I am human the same as you." 

Ramon Espinosa / AP

COMMENTARY

Cuba’s oldest leaders – the ones who actually rule the communist island – would take great offense at ever being called frightened. They’re the revolutionaries who 60 years ago fought alongside Fidel Castro and took down the brutal Batista dictatorship. Militarily, they’re as gutsy as they come.

But politically? They’re frightened.

Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino Dies In Havana

Jul 26, 2019
Javier Galeano / AP

Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, who promoted the presence of the Catholic Church in the communist country and who was a key figure in the reestablishment of relations between the United States and the island, died on Friday at the age of 82 in Havana, following a battle against cancer, according to church officials.

Jaime Lucas Ortega Alamino was born on October 18, 1936, in Jagüey Grande, Matanzas. He entered the seminary in 1956, and in 1964 he was ordained as priest.

In Miami, De Blasio Said Four Words In Spanish. Slight Problem: They Were Che’s Words

Jun 28, 2019
PEDRO PORTAL / MIAMI HERALD

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio became the latest presidential candidate to flash a little español this week when, during a political rally Thursday, he pulled out a Spanish phrase he thought might motivate workers striking at Miami International Airport.

But instead of endearing himself to South Florida’s Hispanic diaspora, an apparently unwitting de Blasio uttered a revolutionary rallying cry deeply associated with Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution and a man viewed by hundreds of thousands of Cuban exiles as a sociopath and mass murderer.

INSTAGRAM

Vacations on the Maya Riviera. A visit to the Basilica of the Sacred Family in Barcelona. A BMW. Expensive meals and a tour aboard a yacht. Those are some of the photos shared by Tony Castro, grandson of the late Fidel Castro, on his private Instagram account.

It may seem like just another young man sharing his good times with more than 1,000 followers, but some who got a peek at the privileged lifestyle questioned who’s paying for the expensive excursions. Tony, who is in his early 20s, is only known to work as a male model.

YouTube

COMMENTARY

As a registered independent, I neither supported nor opposed Maria Elvira Salazar’s Republican primary run for Congress from Florida’s 27th District, where I reside.

But there’s one thing about Salazar’s landslide victory on Tuesday that I’m unabashedly enthusiastic about. It may have finally driven a stake through the heart of one of South Florida’s most poisonous political practices: accusing your opponent of being soft on communist Cuba.

Fidel Castro is dead and brother Raúl is no longer president of Cuba. But communism can still move the needle in Miami campaigns.

Decades after the Cuban revolution spawned an exodus that reshaped South Florida culture and U.S. politics in the Caribbean, political exiles are declining in number in Miami and leftist angst is fading. But it's far from gone. And under the right conditions and in the right neighborhoods, evoking the tyranny of dictators can still be an effective tactic in manipulating votes and undercutting opponents.

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