The Phoenix Flyer

Gov. DeSantis links today’s Venezuela political situation to Cuba Bay of Pigs invasion

By: - April 17, 2019 3:47 pm

Propaganda sign, Bay of Pigs, Cuba.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday linked efforts to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.

“They were fighting the good fight – against tyranny, against communism, against oppression,” he said during a luncheon in Miami commemorating the 58th anniversary of the disastrous CIA-backed incursion by 1,000 exiles who’d hoped to overthrow Fidel Castro.

“You want to see what’s going on? Just look at Venezuela. You see the disaster that’s unfolded there with a socialist tyranny in place. And guess who’s the No. 1 person propping that whole thing up? The [Raúl] Castro regime in Cuba.”

The governor’s remarks followed his meeting with National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has been advising DeSantis about Latin American policy – including Venezuela and the Trump administration’s plan to allow U.S. citizens to sue the Cuban government seeking compensation for seizures of their property.

DeSantis permitted himself to muse about what might have been.

“I wish the U.S. government had stepped up more back then. It would have saved us a lot of trouble over these decades of having such a brutal tyranny in Cuba,” he said. “The state of Florida’s policy is very clear. We stand with people fighting for freedom throughout Latin America” – including in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba.

DeSantis reminded the audience that he’d been to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. “As an officer, not a detainee – don’t worry,” he said, referring to his service in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General Corps.

He indulged in some wishful thinking.

“I’m not going to go Cuba when there’s tyranny, but I’d love as governor to make a trip to greet a democratically elected president in Cuba someday.”

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.