New York politics and Miami politics are not the same. This may seem like an obvious statement. But at a rally today for striking workers at Miami International Airport, New York City mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio broke the most obvious rule of Miami politicking: Don't quote Che Guevara.
"Hasta la victoria siempre!" de Blasio shouted, according to video taken by a CBS Miami reporter. That phrase, which translates to "Until victory, always!" or “Ever on to victory!” may sound nice, but unfortunately it's well known because Guevara was famous for using it during the 1959 Cuban Revolution:
“Hasta la victoria siempre...”— liz roldan (@lizroldancbs4) June 27, 2019
Says Bill De Blasio in *Miami* pic.twitter.com/fAc2Wds5YD
The mayor might have gotten away with this in his home city, which is likely why he felt safe to utter the phrase. But Miami, once again, isn't New York — the Magic City is full of Cuban Republicans and refugees from the Castro regime who do not, in any way, shape, or form, tolerate glowing references to the communist government.
State Sen. Annette Taddeo, who attended the same rally as de Blasio, called what happened "completely unacceptable." State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, another protest attendee, demanded de Blasio apologize, as others took whacks at de Blasio online. Both are fairly progressive Democrats.
I am utterly disgusted! Both @JoseJavierJJR and I left before @BilldeBlasio spoke. This is completely unacceptable! How can anyone wanting to be the leader of the free world quote a murderous guerrilla -in Miami no less! A community filled with his victims! #DeleteYourCampaign https://t.co/deDoNPFZxm— Annette Taddeo (She/Her) (@Annette_Taddeo) June 27, 2019
Neither @Annette_Taddeo nor I were present when @BilldeBlasio spoke, didn't speak w him & only learn of this now. Quoting a murderer responsible for death & oppression in communist Cuba and throughout Latin America is not acceptable. Please apologize. Many on strike are Cuban btw https://t.co/sqxdkHQizV— José Javier Rodríguez (@JoseJavierJJR) June 27, 2019
Whatever you do in Miami, don't do this https://t.co/jzwsmAFLtw— Danny Rivero (@TooMuchMe) June 27, 2019
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Either he’s oblivious to who coined the phrase or he’s oblivious to the suffering - either way @BilldeBlasio needs to apologize ASAP! Don’t expect to win over Dem voters in Miami by quoting a murderous guerilla— Juan Cuba (@juancuba) June 27, 2019
The biggest issue, of course, is that de Blasio's absolutely dumb comment opens a can of worms for Democrats as a whole. Florida Sen. Rick Scott is already using this to attack the party at large:
By the evening, De Blasio had apologized online and claimed that he didn’t know that Che popularized the phrase. But reporters in his hometown also dug up evidence that De Blasio had used the phrase at least once before in 2013.