The Newt Gingrich campaign, no doubt recognizing how incredibly important the Florida primary is for their continued viability, has started to become a little bit desperate. In a fairly wild play for the state’s influential Cuban voters, Gingrich has released a Spanish-language ad comparing America to Cuba under the Castro regime. The translated English text, courtesy of the Miami Herald, follows:
My family came to this country looking for liberty and a dream. But now the United States is resembling the government they fled. Socialized medicine, taxes that paralyze businesses. But Newt Gingrich wants to rebuild the United States that we so love. Newt balanced the budget and created 11 million new jobs. He will be able to do it again. My family knows what it is to lose the homeland they love. It won’t happen to us again. Newt knows us. Together, let’s retake the country we so love. I’m Newt Gingrich, and I approve this message.
I’ll set aside the irony of someone who wants to make English the national language releasing Spanish language ads for the moment. Is it possible this ad is real? If I hadn’t been exposed to the hysteria of the Tea Party for the past few years, I’d never have believed it.
“My family knows what it is to lose the homeland they love. It won’t happen to us again. Newt knows us. Together, let’s retake the country we so love.” I mean, there just aren’t any words for how absurd this rhetoric is. For those who need a quick refresher on Cuban history, Fidel Castro took power in Cuba on New Years Day, 1959 after waging a guerrilla civil war against the Batista dictatorship for over three years. He then proceeded to set up a fully Communist dictatorship: seizing and nationalizing vast swaths of privately-owned land and industries, executing dissidents, and committing a wide array of human-rights abuses. The Cuban government exercises complete control of the economy and directly employs 78% of the Cuban labor force while stifling dissent through all means available. This is the government America is supposed to resemble? The United States and the Obama Administration which runs it are not without fault, but comparisons like this should offend everyone with a sliver of critical thinking ability or empathy for those who have actually lived through the too-real horrors of actual totalitarianism. Hopefully Florida’s Cuban voters, many of whom were once subject to the horrors Newt so glibly invokes, will reject this as the drivel that it is and vote for anyone else.