Bill de Blasio apologizes for using Che Guevara quote after condemnation from Florida lawmakers
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is also up for re-election, in a race that some say is a referendum on Donald Trump.

Bill de Blasio,
"This is completely unacceptable!"

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is earning push back from a slew of Florida lawmakers after quoting Che Guevara during an appearance alongside striking airport workers.

Now, de Blasio is apologizing.

“I did not know the phrase I used in Miami today was associated with Che Guevara & I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter.

“I certainly apologize for not understanding that history. I only meant it as a literal message to the striking airport workers that I believed they would be victorious in their strike.”

De Blasio, a Democratic candidate for President in 2020, was one of several politicians to appear at Miami International Airport Thursday as ramp workers there protested unsafe work conditions.

As first noted by the Miami Herald’s Taylor Dolven, de Blasio quoted Guevara while speaking to those workers, saying, “Hasta la victoria siempre.”

Dolven didn’t capture the statement on video. But Liz Roldan of CBS 4 followed up with footage of de Blasio citing the famous Guevara phrase.

That phrase means, “Until victory, always.” It was used by Guevara during his time as a revolutionary allied with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

State Sens. Jose Javier Rodriguez and Annette Taddeo also appeared at Thursday’s worker strike. They say they left the rally before de Blasio spoke and did not hear the comments in person.

Still, both took to Twitter to strongly condemn de Blasio’s remarks.

“Quoting a murderer responsible for death & oppression in communist Cuba and throughout Latin America is not acceptable,” Rodriguez wrote. “Please apologize. Many on strike are Cuban btw.”

“This is completely unacceptable!” Taddeo added.

“How can anyone wanting to be the leader of the free world quote a murderous guerrilla — in Miami no less! A community filled with his victims!”

She ended with a hashtag, “#DeleteYourCampaign.”

The Miami-Dade Democratic Party also joined in, lumping de Blasio’s comments in with previous remarks from President Donald Trump.

“Elected officials need to stop glorifying mass murderers. Whether it’s praising Kim Jong-un and [Vladimir] Putin or quoting Che Guevara today,” read a statement from the group on Twitter.

De Blasio attempted to stake out a claim in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party Wednesday night during the Democrats’ first debate. He’s faced criticism for his previous support of the socialist Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

A round-up of the bipartisan local criticism against de Blasio, including comments from U.S. Sen. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala and Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo can be seen below:

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]

One comment

  • Andrew Nappi

    June 27, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Warren Wilhelm Jr, aka Bill de Blasio knew damn well and good what he was saying. He was a committed supporter of the Sandinista National Front in the 80s and is still a devoted Marxist to this day. His use of the phrase was a dog whistle in solidarity utterance for his fellow travelers. His denial, like every other word out of the mouth of communists, is a lie.

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