Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago wrote a scathing column on Wednesday, chastising Reps. Donna Shalala (D-FL) and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) for taking a photo with known Fidel Castro sympathizer and left-wing actor Danny Glover.
Reps. Shalala and Mucarsel-Powell serve as two of the new freshman lawmakers in Congress who managed to flip Republican seats into Democratic hands and helped give Nancy Pelosi the Speaker’s gavel.
However, both Democrats have inflamed controversy as they took their picture with Danny Glover, who has publicly supported murderous dictators Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Nicolas Maduro.
Glover tweeted in 2016 upon learning the death of Fidel Castro, “Fidel Castro was a great revolutionary. Learn more about his life & legacy.”
Fidel Castro was a great revolutionary. Learn more about his life & legacy. https://t.co/6nfsCM5krS
— Danny Glover (@mrdannyglover) November 28, 2016
Santiago said that these socialist dictators serve “are oppressors of the worst kind who have destroyed their countries, sent millions into painful exile and violators of basic human rights like freedom of speech.”
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) January 23, 2019
Santiago also said that the “unconditional support of celebrities like Glover fuels these dictators with the political oxygen they need to exist.”
One Spanish language radio commentator on Tuesday said the Shalala-Mucasel-Powell photo serves as an “embrace” and likened it to a Republican having his photo taken with a “white supremacist.”
Santiago said that the radio commentator’s statement might be an exaggeration; however, she said that the photo is a “shocker” from two lawmakers who continue to work on legislation to help Venezuela obtain Temporary Protected Status (TPS) so that they might obtain sanctuary in America.
Mucarsel-Powell apologized soon after the controversy started.
“I had no idea — and that is my fault,” Mucarsel-Powell admitted on a local Florida radio station. “If I had known, I wouldn’t have taken the photo.”
The Democrat lawmaker said that, had she known about Glover’s socialist sympathies, she would have tried to change Glover’s mind about Venezuela.
Rep. Shalala, although, was not as apologetic as Mucarsel-Powell.
Raul Martinez, the district director for Shalala, issued a statement this week, explaining that the congresswoman condemns dictatorial regimes such as Cuba and Venezuela.
“This photograph does not mean that Congresswoman Shalala and Mr. Glover share all political positions,” Martinez contended. “The Congresswoman has been clear, emphatic and categorical in her positions in relation to dictatorial and murderous regimes like those of Cuba and Venezuela.”
Martinez continued, “Unlike the repressive regimes in Cuba and Venezuela, in the democratic traditions of the United States we cherish the freedoms to vociferously and vocally disagree with our fellow Americans respectfully on matters of ideology and policy while practicing civility and finding common ground on issues that unite us for the common good.”