The Democratic presidential candidate said later he had no idea the famous quote was from Guevara, an ally of Cuba’s Fidel Castro. “I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way,” he said on Twitter. “I certainly apologize for not understanding that history.”
De Blasio quoted Guevara outside Miami International Airport as he spoke in support of union workers there who had walked out to protest poor working conditions and pay. As he was about to hand off the microphone, he shouted: “Hasta la victoria siempre!” (Ever onward to victory.) Though onlookers cheered and applauded, he was lashed by state Democratic leaders and lawmakers.
Guevara, born in Argentina, was a top lieutenant of Fidel Castro and is particularly hated in Miami, where many Cubans fled when Castro took over. Raul Castro used Guevara’s quote when he announced the death of his brother in 2016. Guevara, executed in Bolivia in 1967, became a symbol of revolution, and his face is seen in murals across the world.
Followers on Twitter couldn’t make up their mind if de Blasio was clueless about the quote or simply realized he had erred politically and was attempting as graceful a dodge as possible.
Someone who loved de Blasio’s quote was Donald Trump Jr. He said the mayor’s quote was “no better way to prove” that the Democrats are a “bunch of communists,” adding: “Way to go, comrades!” Twitter critics didn’t quite let him get away with that one.