Politics

Bill de Blasio Roasted for Quoting Che Guevara at Miami Campaign Stop

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Kevin Case / Flickr
click to enlarge New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio - KEVIN CASE / FLICKR
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
Kevin Case / Flickr
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:
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.
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.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.