If the Miami and Florida of today become the America of tomorrow, then it’s no surprise we have a bunch of Republican authoritarian socialists running around the country loudly declaring everyone who opposes them a communist.
Castro was an evil, despicable Marxist tyrant.
No argument there.
What he did to a wonderful country, to a great and proud people, is beyond loathsome.
Perhaps no place in the world felt it more than Miami.
The well-deserved disdain for Castro has driven local policy, been the source of contentious debate, and often led to violence.
Sadly, it also opened up a McCarthy-esque dimension where there was a “Communista, Communistas” under every Castro Convertible, behind every bookcase, brought about by nothing more than a difference of opinion. ‘If you don’t agree with the Cuban Embargo, you’re a Socialist.’ You think Elian should be sent home with his father; ‘you’re a Socialist.’ You braved getting pelted with batteries and frozen water bottles because you went to see Los Van Van in 1999; ‘you’re a Socialist.’
Heck, today’s political advertisements still use that jargon to gin up the Miami base into a fervor.
But that’s ok.
Well, really, it is not, but I am going to go along with it.
I do understand the emotions of having such anger, such disgust for a person, a system that has taken away one’s freedom. And I say that with the utmost sincerity.
But here is where I need to transition, to highlight the hypocrisy of the Republicans, particularly from South Florida, who talk a good game and sadly believe they have a monopoly on being able to speak out as sole victims of oppression.
They do not!
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent,” once said a wise man. His name is Sir Edmund Burke. He is widely considered the father of modern conservatism, something Republicans used to sell to voters before anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and anti-Vaxxing became more popular ways to incite anger and kill thought.
So, while these Republicans stand up against the oppression that Marxism brings, they’ve gone full fascist, which will lead to the same result as Castro’s folly. Just look at one real-life example that is plaguing the GOP today, particularly in Miami.
The Proud Boys are an extremist group.
They are not a fraternal organization as they would lead you to believe.
The Anti-Defamation League defines the Proud Boys as “A right-wing extremist group with a violent agenda. They are primarily misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and anti-immigration. Some members espouse white supremacist and antisemitic ideologies and/or engage with white supremacist groups.”
Amazingly, there are members of the Proud Boys who sit on the Miami GOP’s Executive Committee.
Additionally, some Proud Boys are even poll workers in Miami-Dade County elections.
In fact, it has been brought up to the Miami GOP Chairman Rene Garcia, who told the Miami New Times newspaper, “We have different points of view in our party; that’s how we are. And my job as Republican Chairman is to protect everyone’s First Amendment right, however wrong they may be.”
I guarantee you that if someone dressed up like Fidel Castro or Che Guevera and walked down the street, their First Amendment rights would go the way of a two-week-old stale medianoche sandwich.
Should a full-blown Little Red Book-carrying Mao Marxist be on the Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee, there would be no First Amendment rights.
There would be outrage.
Remember that word.
Obviously, their mindset falls to the wayside when differences of opinion bring about false accusations of socialism. Hence, Garcia’s retort is as cowardly as the politicians of his party, who have absolutely no issues and, sadly, no courage, to speak up against an extremist group in their midst.
In recent months, there has been a sharp uptick in antisemitic incidents throughout the state of Florida that have brought no response from the Republican party, especially those of Cuban background who know (or perhaps claim to know) more about the ills of tyranny than most groups.
One U.S. senator of Cuban descent immediately came to the defense of a white supremacist who was beaten (his assailants rightfully arrested) with claims that the incident was politically motivated.
There was no proof of this whatsoever.
Even the police report debunked Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) lie.
Later, when the video emerged of the hatemonger refusing to walk away and instead turning to fight (and lose miserably) a pair of random people on the street, it also emerged that the Republican Party of Florida paid this fellow $10,000 to canvass neighborhoods.
Still, when it comes to growing antisemitism, nothing is heard from the GOP or Rubio but goosestepping crickets.
Unless you’re listening to the hatemonger’s cash register ring.
So let me conclude with a direct challenge to those politicians, primarily of Cuban descent, who keep mum about extremists who say nothing about antisemitism.
Castro’s rise to power came less than two decades after Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution” was implemented at the Wannsee conference in Germany.
The tyranny that Hitler and his henchmen brought upon their nation and the world out does any tyranny seen in this world, with the possible exception of Stalin. I am not here to argue which son-of-a-bitch was worse. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that all are equally horrid.
So, with that in mind, tyranny and despotism are either condemned across the board or it is not. Their ideologies are either condemned, or they’re supported.
As with pregnancy, there exists no middle of the road. You can’t pick or choose any more than a parent can publicly declare which child they like best.
With such a history of being victimized (or their parents being victimized) by Castro and his Marxist bunch (still to this day), how the hell do they not come out and publicly denounce the rising extremism and antisemitism?
Nah, I think I got it right earlier in this article.
They are hypocritical cowards.
And history will show that’s when the real trouble begins.
David Magnusson is a retired police chief with 36 ½ years of law enforcement experience, having spent 30 of these years with the Miami Police Department, retiring as an assistant chief. He was chief of the Havelock Police Department in the Marine Corps City of Havelock, North Carolina, home to Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. He returned to South Florida as chief of the El Portal Police Department. He chaired the COVID and Domestic Violent Extremism Committees for the Association of Miami Dade County Chiefs of police. He teaches (facilitates) Hate Crimes, Violent Extremism, and Inclusive Policing to law enforcement agencies.
A historian, Magnusson has written on military and presidential history topics. He is a diehard baseball (St. Louis Cardinals) and boxing fan. Magnusson resides in South Florida with his wife. Their children and grandchildren are never too far away.