Charlie Crists Gubernatorial campaign sinks six figures into airing Spanish radio ad featuring a Audio clip The governor’s No. 2 says her boss plans to ship illegal Cuban migrants to Delaware, the president’s home state Joe Biden.
Airing at the market in Miami, it no doubt aims to shock the area’s Cuban community, since many who came to this country when Cubans were fleeing their country were automatically given special consideration before other immigrants. The clip from 1040 AM Actualidad Radio is an interview with Lt. gov. Jeanette Nunez asking about the historic number of Cubans who have come to South Florida in recent months and what the state plans to do.
“He is [Gov. Ron DeSantis is] Honestly, I’m going to send them to Delaware, the President’s state,” says Nuñez’s voice in Spanish.
The ad is surprising Michael J Bustamentea history professor from the University of Miami who tweeted two minutes of the 20-minute interview.
“The Cuban-American Lt. gov. of Florida is calling for a historic number of Cuban migrants to be sent on buses from South Florida to Delaware, Biden’s state, this year,” he wrote. “Wow.”
Crist’s ad breaks it down. The ad’s narrator introduces the clip with tense, up-tempo music, citing the recent turmoil in Cuba and how Nuñez should know better.
“Now, with the images of beatings and imprisonment and the desperate cry ‘Patria y Vida’ still echoing in our hearts, we learn from Lt. gov. Jeanette Nuñez, a daughter of Cuban exiles, that Ron DeSantis wants to turn his back on Cubans who want to do that, came here fleeing communism and sought freedom on a list so he could evict them from our state,” he says Teller.
The August 19 interview might have been forgotten if it hadn’t been bustaments. In a Twitter thread, retweeted by the Democratic Party Agriculture Commissioner and then gubernatorial candidate Nicki Fried, he recalled the close cooperation between the arrivals from Cuba and those who are already here. Though the DeSantis-Nuñez campaign claims listeners confused which question Nuñez was answering, critics say the comments represent a new attitude.
“…SEND Cubans out of MIAMI on buses?” Bustamente wrote on Twitter. “Just lumping the Cubans together as more ‘illegals’? Don’t think I’ve seen such a clear expression of the marriage between a strand of Cuban-American politics and Republican anti-immigrant priorities.”
On the same day that Bustamente highlighted the comments, Crist released a statement condemning Nuñez’s feelings, calling them “a betrayal of our deepest values as Floridians and as Americans.”
“These men and women are escaping a brutal and murderous regime and long to be free,” Crist wrote. “They deserve better than to be treated as pawns in DeSantis’ political games designed to ingratiate themselves with the Republican Party’s extremist base.
Nicki Whitingthe spokeswoman for Nuñez, fired back, trying to distinguish between Cubans and these other immigrants in the cloud of dust.
“Again, entering the country illegally and fleeing a dictatorship while seeking asylum are two very, very different things,” Whiting tweeted. “The only reason the left is fixating on this is because Hispanics are flocking to the Republican Party.”
Nunez also issued a statement two days later which reinforced Whiting’s point, calling the mixing of people fleeing a dictatorship to seek asylum and people entering the country illegally “offensive”.
DeSantis lobbied and the Legislature approved a $12 million “unauthorized fund to remove illegal immigrants”. The Florida Department of Transportation has yet to detail how that removal will work, DeSantis says Federal moves have stopped as other states have implemented similar bus plans.
An immigration attorney told the Tampa Bay Times that Cubans who enter the country undocumented are treated no differently than other migrant attorneys Maureen Porras said.
“Previously, parole was automatic. Cubans who successfully made it to the US were automatically released under the ‘wet feet, dry feet’ policy,” Porras told the newspaper. “This probation is no longer automatic.”
The DeSantis campaign and the Florida Republican Party did not immediately respond to a request from Florida Politics about Crist’s new ad.
According to an English translation of the ad’s script, the ad asks for an apology for Nuñez’s comments.
“Charlie Crist has requested that DeSantis immediately dismiss this idea and apologize to our community. Mr. DeSantis: YOU MUST NOT PLAY with the pain of a people and the future of children!” says the script.