Politics Ron DeSantis Goes All-in on Cuba Fight Ahead of 2024 Decision
Thousands march in Cuba to protest food shortages, high prices
Thousands of Cubans took to the street Sunday in one of the largest anti-government demonstrations in memory.The Associated Press reported that the march, which took place on Havana's Malecon promenade and other areas on the island, was to protest food shortages and high prices sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.Authorities at first followed protesters as they chanted "Freedom," "Enough" and "Unite," according to the AP. One person on a motorcycle reportedly displayed a U.S. flag, but it was taken from him by others.One middle-aged protester told the wire service "We are fed up with the queues, the shortages. That's why I'm here.
In Texas this past weekend, sitting side-by-side with its governor,, for a press conference about the border, Florida Governor talked about the effects of immigration into his state.
But in aappearance afterwards, DeSantis tied immigration back to the issue he has thrown himself into over the last week: The plight of Cubans revolting against the Cuban dictatorship.
‘This is one of those moments.’ Dems urge Biden to deliver Miami speech on Cuba, Haiti.
Two days after pro-democracy protests broke out throughout Cuba for the first time in decades, a prominent executive came to Miami to express solidarity with the Cuban people and listen to voices in the exile community. Two days after pro-democracy protests broke out throughout Cuba for the first time in decades, a prominent executive came to Miami to express solidarity with the Cuban people and listen to voices in the exile community.
"It's a double standard," DeSantis said. "They have a hundred-times stronger case for political persecution leaving a communist dictatorship than the other migrants who are coming across the border, who are basically coming across the border because they want more economic opportunity."
Since images and video of Cubans taking to the streets to protest the government and lack of food and medicine reached cable news and social media, DeSantis has seemed intent on using his role as governor of the state where the heart of the U.S. Cuban-American community resides to support the protests.
Butquestion the sincerity of his interest in Cuba, arguing that it is politically motivated ahead of a reelection campaign for governor and a possible presidential run.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is selling 'Don't Fauci My Florida' merch as the state reports some of the highest number of COVID cases in the US
The GOP rising star is also selling beer koozies that say "How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?"DeSantis' campaign team rolled out T-shirts and koozies reading "Don't Fauci My Florida" on Monday, in the latest Republican stunt against COVID-19 measures.
"It's absolutely a lie, he's lying to score political points," former Florida congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell told Newsweek of DeSantis' charge that Biden is treating Cubans differently at the border.
"Someone has to remind DeSantis that it was the Trump administration that deported thousands of Cubans seeking asylum at the border," she said. "They were the ones who closed the embassy, and hundreds of Cuban families were asking for the Cuban family reunification program to be reinstated."
The governor has been busy, holding a roundtable at the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora that featured Cuban exiles, Republican elected officials and activists. They called for the Biden administration to support dissidents, and pushing the White House to find a way to increase internet access for Cubans.
Floridaargued that DeSantis is not new to the Cuba issue, and his selection of Cuban-American Jeanette Nuñez as his lieutenant governor not only shows respect for the issue, but also increases his understanding of it.
Can China Stop a Revolution in Cuba? | Opinion
Biden should take his cue from China and realize America, whether he likes it or not, is involved in a ferocious struggle everywhere. After all, the battle between dictatorship and democracy, which is not going well at the moment, is global. Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China. Follow him on Twitter: @GordonGChang. The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.
But Nelson Diaz, the former chair of the Miami-Dade Republican party, told Newsweek it's not just about DeSantis being pro-Cuba.
"For us Cubans, understanding what socialism is, and wanting to stop it in this country, we see him as an anti-socialist fighter," he said.
Ana Carbonell, a well-respected Republican operative in Florida who has helped Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott win past campaigns, told Newsweek that DeSantis has long had a "natural conviction" regarding the Cuban cause for freedom, and sketched the work he'll be doing on the issue moving forward.
"I think it's two-fold, looking for concrete ways to break through the information blockade by using the pulpit of the governorship to find concrete solutions, as well as pushing the administration on a greater commitment to the cause for freedom," she said.
After the protests in Cuba broke out,chief Alejandro Mayorkas told Cubans not to come to the U.S., as he had done previously with Central Americans early in Biden's presidency at the urging of Republicans.
DeSantis warns he'll take legal fight against CDC's COVID-19 cruise ship rules to Supreme Court if necessary
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said on Monday that his state will fight a recent court order that left in place Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restrictions on cruise ships amid the coronavirus pandemic.While addressing the recent ruling at a press conference, DeSantis said his administration is "absolutely going to pursue" its legal options, either in the same court that issued the new ruling or at the U.S. Supreme Court.AWhile addressing the recent ruling at a press conference, DeSantis said his administration is "absolutely going to pursue" its legal options, either in the same court that issued the new ruling or at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Jose Parra, a senior communications advisor for the Florida, said one of Biden's first acts was to reconstruct the tattered asylum process, which helped Cuban migrants. He said DeSantis' big talk on Cubans and immigration would change if they began coming to Florida.
"Where the rubber meets the road is if there is an exodus from the island, let's see whether he would accept tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of Cubans arriving on his shores," Parra said. "My bet is he would not because he has always rejected immigrants."
Democrats have pointed to the so-called "anti-riot" law DeSantis signed aimed at curtailing future protests like thedemonstrations that swept the country last year, but which has not been invoked as Cuban-Americans have taken to the streets in Florida, even shutting down major highways including Interstate 95, as evidence that his actions are nakedly political.
But Diaz said the comparison is "offensive."
"It's hard to define what occurred in Miami recently as rioting," Diaz said. "Nothing was burned, no property was damaged. They were peaceful protests for freedom."
While handicapping a presidential race even before DeSantis gubernatorial reelection campaign has begun has limited predictive value, current events seem to be exerting influence on the field.
Pressure mounts for DeSantis in Florida
ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing mounting pressure on the homefront as he looks to cement his superstar status among Republicans nationally. © The Hill Pressure mounts for DeSantis in Florida Over the past week, COVID-19 infections have surged in Florida to the point that the state now accounts for about one in five new cases. The vaccination rate, meanwhile, has begun to level off. At the same time, Florida's Gulf Coast is suffering from a particularly harsh bout of red tide, prompting local officials to call on the governor to declare a state of emergency.
Reporting on a new poll last week, Politico saidremains king of the GOP, but "DeSantis is looking like the crown prince."
The poll by Tony Fabrizio found Trump receiving nearly half of Republican support, with DeSantis second. But if Trump doesn't run, DeSantis is the clear frontrunner with 39% support, with former Vice Presidentfar behind at 15%.
While some in Trump's orbit are convinced he will run again and would delight in taking DeSantis apart, others say that by keeping the possibility of his candidacy alive Trump is also keeping donor wallets open.
In their view, Trump and DeSantis are in a delicate dance that will eventually have to end.
"I don't think President Trump sees the governor as a threat right now," said Bryan Lanza, a former Trump campaign and transition official. "It's about how long can he keep up the appearance that he's running without damaging someone like DeSantis, and how does the governor interfere with Trump's messaging that he's going to run, which keeps the money spigot and influence spigot open."
Crist rips DeSantis over Florida COVID-19 spike: 'We don't have leadership .
Rep. Charlie Crist (D), a Florida gubernatorial candidate, blasted Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) on Sunday, accusing him of neglecting his duties amid a spike in COVID-19 infections in the state and playing presidential politics at the Texas border.During a campaign appearance, Crist pointed to the recent rise in Florida's COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, the Orlando Sentinel reports."You know what's happening. We have gone to the top. And it is a dubious distinction," Crist said. "And why is that? Because we don't have leadership.""What's he [DeSantis] doing about it? He's going to Texas. He goes to the border. Texas.