Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to transport mostly Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard earlier this week could hurt the Republican governor in November with a key constituency that the GOP has sought to win over.
The move by DeSantis dominated the radio and television airwaves in South Florida — where large swaths of Hispanic voters live. One Spanish radio host loudly denounced the move and even compared DeSantis’ actions to that of deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who relocated Cubans in the early ‘60s.
Democrat Charlie Crist, who is challenging DeSantis, on Saturday rushed out a new digital ad targeting Hispanics and the Venezuelan community as part of a six-figure buy pounding DeSantis over his attention-getting move.
“From a Miami perspective, it’s a huge mistake,” said state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Democrat challenging incumbent Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.). “All these Republicans — including my opponent — historically talk about socialism and communism and that we are standing up to these horrible dictators. The migrants are fleeing exactly what Republicans say they are fighting against.”
Florida Republicans in recent years have made it a priority to court Venezuelan Americans, many of whom fled their home country in the past decade amid the political and economic turmoil under Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chávez. It’s a story that has parallels to Cuban Americans — a crucial bloc of support for the GOP — who left their country to escape communism. [Continue reading…]