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Crist’s stance on Cuba may be his undoing on election day

Posted on Tuesday, 05.13.14

Crist’s stance on Cuba may be his undoing on election day
BY FABIOLA SANTIAGO

Dear Charlie,

Fire your Cuba-obsessed advisors.

They must be working for Rick Scott, the Republican governor whose seat
easily could be yours again if you focused this race on crucial state
issues, not U.S.-Cuba policy.

You didn’t hear me the first time I brought this up after your silly
appearance on Bill Maher, so here’s a second round of unsolicited
advice: Amateur Democrat Charlie Crist, you’re digging yourself deeper
in the hole. Stick to what you know – and what all Floridians need from
their governor, leadership on state matters.

How we, Cuban-Americans, feel about Cuba is more complicated and nuanced
than any poll could ever measure – and you could understand.

When I finished reading the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times story
headlined: “Crist: ‘has not worked,’ ” I felt that, as a voter,
I was done with you.

Not because of any position I hold on the embargo, but because so many
of your comments throughout the story show bad judgment and political
opportunism — and because I’ve heard from your campaign not an ounce of
leadership on endangered springs, rising sea levels threatening our
cities, and gun control laws.

I don’t know what you say in Jacksonville, Tallahassee or Gainesville,
but you’ve more than worn out the political red carpet in Miami with
Cuba as an election talking point.

The “ Cuba Sí, Castro No” political campaigns are a thing of the 1980s
and ’90s. We’ve learned to recognize a panderer to our history and our
pain when we hear one.

The polls then said we overwhelmingly favored sanctions on Cuba and
people buttered us up with tough talk. It worked — and we made bad
decisions we’re still paying for dearly.

The polls now say that because economic sanctions haven’t worked in five
decades, we’re more inclined to be in favor of lifting them, and so here
you come, so darn sure that’s what you need to say to win our vote.

Don’t bet on it. Look at your own last poll. Your numbers are going
down, not up, against Scott.

The U.S.-Cuba policy issue, still highly divisive, won’t help you — and
can hurt you.

No matter what the polls say about where Cuban-American opinion stands,
it’s pretty much a stand-off pro and con embargo. No one with any
credence on either side of the issue (and no beef or gain) has offered
up substantiated proof of what’s best for the cause of Cuba’s
democratization.

But we will punish you for politicking with our real wound of loss and
separation. And there lies my disgust with your Cuba rants — and with
those of any other politician who uses the topic to court votes in local
and state elections.

Maybe you’re still running the Senate Republican primary you lost to
Marco Rubio.

But nothing shows more that you didn’t learn a thing than saying that
your Cuba views are inspired by Florida sugar magnate Alfonso “Alfy”
Fanjul, a Cuban exile who was feverishly anti-Castro, and in his old age
is preaching normalization and investing in the government that
confiscated his family business, in exchange for spending the last few
years of his life partying it up in his homeland.

No one familiar with the Fanjul sugar enterprises could possibly wish
them upon Cuba — or any other place on Earth.

Loathed by Democrats for his family business’ polluting of the
Everglades in the company of U.S. Sugar and for the exploitation of
sugar workers in Florida — and most gruesomely, in the Dominican
Republic — Fanjul is also a turncoat to his Republican former friends.

Thankfully, Fanjul is supporting Scott’s campaign, as any money-greedy,
government-subsidy-loving businessman trying to avoid regulation would.

Ay, Charlie, I’m dying to know who your advisors are. You’re meddling in
someone else’s dysfunctional family argument.

As for comparing your Cyprus to our Cuba, that belongs in the same bobo
playbook as the mai tai reference on Maher that should’ve been a mojito.
Of course, we’re used to the dumb-American-does-Cuba story, but the
reason this one matters is that we — all Floridians — are the losers.

Unless you wise up quickly, your false campaign start leaves us with
another four years of Scott, the worst governor Florida has ever had.

How messed up is that?

Here’s teetering on the brink of leaving you, a registered Democrat. 

Source: “Fabiola Santiago: Crist’s stance on Cuba may be his undoing on
election day – Fabiola Santiago – MiamiHerald.com” –
http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/13/4115268/fabiola-santiago-crists-stance.html#storylink=misearch

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