Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mitt Commie

This, I love. It reminds me of the time my boss at a fundraising gig thanked our major donor "without whom none of this would be possible, Mr. Shelby Kleebins!" Only, the major donor's name was Sheridan Kormans.
{Something like that, anyway; just so I don't out him on a blog}
It was a disaster, but at least he didn't quote Castro!

Mitt’s Commie phrase sparks rage
By Dave Wedge
Boston Herald Chief Enterprise Reporter
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cubans in Miami are steaming mad at former Gov. Mitt Romney for shooting his mouth off in stumbling Spanish, mispronouncing names and erroneously associating a notorious Fidel Castro-spewed Communist catch phrase with freedom fighters.
Politicians in South Florida have lashed out at the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential hopeful for describing the socialist saying “Patria o muerte, venceremos” as “inspiring” and for claiming the phrase was swiped from liberty-seeking Cubans by leftist admirers of Castro.
The phrase, which means “Fatherland or death, we shall overcome,” was bellowed as a political speech sign-off by the dictator for decades.
At another point in the speech to the Miami-Dade Republican Party, Romney bungled the names of prominent Cuban GOP politicians, referring to Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio as “Mario.”
Romney also garnered criticism for his hard-line stance on immigration and ending the talk with the phrase “Libertad, Libertad, Libertad,” a revolutionary saying made famous in the gangster movie “Scarface,” which many Cubans feel plays on cultural stereotypes.
But it was the former Bay State governor’s use of an infamous Fidel Castro line that sparked the most controversy.
“Hugo Chavez has tried to steal an inspiring phrase - Patria o muerte, venceremos,” Romney said. “It does not belong to him. It belongs to a free Cuba.”
But scholars and prominent Cubans contend the saying has always been a Communist rallying cry and that it represents the very essence of Fidel Castro’s oppressive regime.
“It means communism. It means Fidel Castro,” said Florida state Rep. Rene Garcia, a Republican who was at the March 9 speech. “It’s a Communist catch phrase.”
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said of the flap: “The point is, the phrase belongs to liberators, not oppressors. It doesn’t belong to Fidel Castro. It doesn’t belong to Hugo Chavez. It belongs to a free Cuba.”
But Garcia said Romney was “ill-advised” to mention the saying at all, especially speaking in Miami, the epicenter of the Cuban-American struggle.
“When you come into our community, you should be a little better-prepared,” Garcia said, adding that the incident “left a negative taste with local officials.”
Ana Navarro, a Miami-based former United Nations Ambassador who was at the event, called the quote “a mistake” by “an empty suit.”
“It’s a Fidel Castro phrase. I’ve never heard it from anyone other than Fidel Castro or members of his government,” Navarro said.
Sandra Levinson, executive director of the Center for Cuban Studies in New York City, said the Castro quote “was never a cry of the old Cuba” and was coined by Castro and his supporters.
While acknowledging that Romney had only “best intentions” with his remarks, Levinson said he needs “someone knowledgeable” to advise him on Cuban affairs.

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