Cuban Support For Trump Is Deeply Disturbing by Robert Covington Jr.
As a man that’s traveled to Cuba on humanitarian missions, married to a Cuban woman and currently providing financial support to some family members living in Cuba, this country plays a big role in my life. And like all nations, Cuba’s history is filled with resilience and pain, suffering and hope, contradiction and complexity. I do not have a romantic notion of Cuba, nor do I seek to demonize it.
Although Cuba is a country that has been around for over 500 hundred years, for many of us in the United States, our focus of inquiry, fascination and interest has been shaped by the Cuban revolution that was led by Fidel Castro. Once Castro was able to fully get control of the country, he took land and businesses from thousands of Cubans and ultimately forced many to leave the country and primarily ended up in Florida.
Given this reality, it is easy to see how there can be intense anger and hatred for Castro from those that had much of their life taken from them and having to start all over in a new country. This dynamic has shaped Cuba and Cuban Miami political life for the past 60 years. Unsurprisingly, the Cuban evolution of politics in Miami is similar to what it was like before Fidel Castro came into power.
Under the Batista corrupt regime, Cuba was largely run by a white Cuban power structure that benefited disproportionately in every facet of life through the rubric of structural racism. Now, the white Cuban power apparatus in Miami are heavily Republican and has successfully cultivated a Cuban identity in Miami around opposition to most things Cuba, which is just 90 miles away.
This is not to say that Cubans in Miami and around the state of Florida do not have ample evidence of things to criticize about what has happened, and what continues to happen in Cuba. There is no shortage of Cubans in Florida or elsewhere for that matter, that despise Fidel and his revolution. There are many Castro enemies that could talk for hours about their hatred for this man. Opponents to Castro have called him an authoritarian, a dictator or a monster that has created widespread poverty and destruction to their homeland of Cuba.
My focus is not to debate the merits of those arguments as it relates to Fidel, Raul Castro or the current president Miguel Diaz-Canel. The larger point is that Cubans in Miami and the state of Florida who claim to hate what they believe Fidel Castro has done to their home country, Cuba, are giving their support to Donald Trump, a despicable human being that is doing the same thing to their adopted country, the United States.
The Florida Cuban support for Trump is staggeringly high, disappointing and sad. A recent ABC/Marist poll put it at 71%. How can a Cuban with a straight face say Fidel Castro put his selfish and authoritarian interests above the nation — then say they support Donald Trump, a ruthless man that has engaged in lawlessness, corruption and violated the constitution as he’s used American taxpayer money to enrich himself and his businesses?
How can a Cuban with a straight face say Fidel Castro was a mass murderer — then say they support Donald Trump, whose criminal negligence with his handling of the coronavirus has resulted in 230,000 dead Americans? How convenient is it for Cubans to condemn Fidel Castro on human rights, then overlook Trump’s cruel and inhumane migration separation policy?
How can a Cuban with a straight face say Fidel Castro used propaganda to brainwash his own people into accepting their own suffering — then say they support Trump even though his propaganda of “Make America Great Again” has resulted in 40 million Americans losing their job in 2020, thousands of businesses closing down and his abandonment of allies around the world happened so he could align himself with autocrats like Putin, Kim Jong-Un and Erdogan?
How can a Cuban with a straight face say Fidel Castro ran sham elections that was rigged for him to remain in power forever, then say they support Trump even though he’s actively trying to cast doubt over our election, cheat with the support of Republicans to throw away ballots and strip Americans from their right to vote? It is Trump that said he may not leave office even if he loses and has “joked” about wanting to remove term limits from the presidency. Sound familiar?
Cubans that support Trump cannot be upset that Trump tried to get licensing deals to do with business with the hated Castro regime, right? Cubans that support Trump cannot be upset that Trump continues to deny Cubans asylum?
Any Cuban that is guided by facts and truth, does not believe that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will turn America into a communist/socialist country. Any Cuban that is honest with themselves know that under a Biden presidency, they will still have the freedom to live and work in the United States. Any Cuban that has not succumbed to dangerous propaganda, knows that Joe Biden will not seize their homes, bank accounts or take away their freedom of speech.
The overwhelming Floridian Cuban support for Donald Trump, a man that is a fascist, dictator, white supremacist, tyrant and wannabee authoritarian speaks to something deeply disturbing. It says that Cuban support for Trump reflects a shared ugliness in beliefs, identity and power they see that benefits them. And guess what, you can’t blame Fidel Castro for that.
Follow me on twitter: @robcovingtonjr