There is always a moment in the U.S. election campaign when Cuba, and how Cuban Americans vote, is of political interest.
Donald Trump is never subtle. The President, who has come to personify arrogance, recently visited the state of Florida. He is on the hunt for votes.
And when Trump hunts, no coronavirus or any other humanitarian disaster gets in the way. The only thing on his agenda on this trip was getting re-elected.
Florida, the apple of every candidate’s eye, once again served as an opportunity to trade hatred for votes. Winning here is key for anyone, since the state, plus California and Texas, constitute the famous triad of "pendulum states," where voting patterns are not clear and, therefore provide both parties possibilities.
Thus, as in 2016, Trump has made regular visits here, aware that, over the last few years, whoever succeeds in Florida, becomes President. He knows this and has a plan to win the Latino vote.
He was not interested in the COVID-19 epidemic in the state, which has already twice broken the record for new cases reported in a single day anywhere in the United States.
He preferred to focus on satisfying the malicious passions and supporting the intrigues of ex-patriot Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans who love their homelands little and do not understand the meaning of sovereignty.
At Southern Command headquarters, he asserted that very good work has been done in the fight against drugs, and then turned his attention to the most controversial wall in the Americas, designed to cut off emigration from the South, a project without support in Florida, the country, or the world.
Covering all his bases, from the Southern Command he moved on to the Doral Jesus Worship Center for a round table chat during which, once again, the President explained his philosophy for the county’s "backyard,” that is Latin America and the Caribbean. He was accompanied by Mario Diaz-Balart, Republican Congressman from Florida, known for his hostile rhetoric against Cuba.
In the exercise of U.S. electoral politics, every word spoken and place visited reveals an intention. Confirming this U.S. administration’s ruthlessly hostile policy toward Cuba, Trump made his most aggressive statements of the day in this “religious center,” denounced by Cuban Foreign Ministry, given its links with the April 30 terrorist attack on the Cuban Embassy in Washington,.
As occurred four years ago, the President knew that he will find plenty of supporters at the Doral Jesus Worship Center, “parishioners” with a visceral hatred for progressive and leftist movements on the continent.
Thus the script was repeated; he said what they wanted to hear, talking about the lack of freedom in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua; of alleged escapes from socialism; of sanctions against the governments of Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega; and of his iron fist over Cuba.
He linked the names of Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama to distorted, pro-communist positions. Dismissive rejections of reality, accusations, lies... everything goes in U.S. electoral contests.
At his side, a Cuban annexationist thanked the President "for his historic actions to support democracy in Cuba,” expressing agreement with the closure of consular services at the U.S. embassy in Havana, regardless of what that has meant in the development of migratory relations between the two countries; the persecution of shipping companies transporting oil to the island, in an attempt to make the daily lives of millions of Cubans unbearable; and the attack on everything that benefits the tourism sector, key to the national economy, which has been hit hard by the reduction of flights and the suspension of cruise ship travel to the island.
Referring to the process of re-establishing diplomatic relations begun in 2014, Trump stated, "The deal we made with Cuba was ridiculous. That's why the Cubans gave me the Bay of Pigs award, just before the last election. It was a great honor. I have it in my office.”
In 2016, the Miami Herald called Trump's catering to Brigade 2506 mercenaries "a desperate, last-minute attempt to reach out to Miami's influential Cuban-American voters," and criticized the magnate's support as a mistake, later describing him as “a boastful, self-centered egomaniac who lacks a record of public service or familiarity with the issues.”
But a newspaper column can do nothing to deter those who invaded Playa Girón in April of 1961, and have accumulated a vicious record of attacks on Cuba since then. For decades, they have supported any politician that followed a hard line against Cuba.
There must be some kind of agreement on the issue among these old mercenaries; they have no qualms about being used, time and time again.
Although the reality has varied, this spiteful group still presumes to exercise leadership over the large community of Cuban residents in Florida, who in their majority reject Trump's aggressive policy, supporting the reestablishment of diplomatic relations and the normalization of relations between Havana and Washington.
Donald Trump approached the Miami-based Cuban counterrevolution back in 1999. He was dreaming of becoming President and, at that time, announced that he was considering seeking the nomination of the Reform Party, a minority organization.
He changed his mind shortly thereafter, and went back to business.
This 2020, needing his puppets, as usual, Trump returned. Mario Díaz-Balart, congratulated the magnate, saying that he will be remembered as "the President who freed this hemisphere from Communism and Socialism.” (Taken from Granma website)