Event turns ugly when Dem candidate makes mistake to campaign with Castro-praising politician – in Florida!

A Democratic nominee for Congress in Florida was the target of angry protesters after announcing a campaign event would include a congresswoman who once praised Fidel Castro.

Donna Shalala came under fire for the event Wednesday which her campaign advertised would include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her California colleague, Rep. Barbara Lee.

The addition of Lee at the event sparked outrage in Florida’s 27th district which is filled with Castro-hating Cuban-Americans and former Venezuelans. Lee called Castro a “smart man” and urged people to “mourn his loss” after his death in 2016.

In the final weeks before the elections, Shalala, the former Health and Human Services Secretary in the Clinton administration, has struggled in the tight race despite the district being won by Hillary Clinton by a 20-point margin over President Trump in 2016.

The inclusion of Lee’s name in promoting the event Wednesday was disastrous for the Democratic House candidate who was campaigning alongside congressional candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

Protesters gathered outside the Coral Gables event Wednesday, pounding on the door outside and shouting “go back to Cuba!” “commie!” and “witches!”

“I’m angry,” Frank de Varona told the Miami Herald. “I’m furious.”

The demonstrator took part in the controversial Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and was sentenced to 30 years in prison by the Castro regime, where he was freed when President John F. Kennedy paid for his and others’ release, according to the Herald.

Lee’s visit was ultimately canceled as Shalala’s campaign amended the information on the website. But there was still a question about who asked her to come, as insiders pointed to Pelosi as the one who extended the invitation.

“Pelosi is the future House speaker. She’s the most powerful Democrat in the chamber,” an unnamed campaign staffer for Shalala told Politico. “We couldn’t offend her and tell her she couldn’t bring her friend. We were stuck.”

“I don’t know who invited her. We have members of Congress popping down here all the time,” Shalala insisted.

“You’re asking me a question that I cannot answer,” Pelosi told Politico. “I would not begin to go down that path because I don’t know what the objection to her was and why she is not here.”

Shalala’s opponent, Maria Elvira Salazar, blasted the decision to include Lee.

“It is shameful that a candidate from District 27 would bring a supporter of the Castro regime to campaign with her,” Salazar said in a press release. “This is not only disrespectful for the Cuban exile, but also for the millions of Venezuelans and Nicaraguans, many who live in this district, who are suffering as a result of the Castro regime.”

Shalala did her best at damage control.

“We’re not going to campaign with Barbara Lee. She did not come to stand here by our side,” Shalala said. “I disagree with anyone that praises Castro or praises [Nicaraguan leader Daniel] Ortega…or praises any other dictator… We should be bringing strong sanctions against them. Let me make it clear: Not every member of Congress that comes down here do we agree on every issue, but particularly on the Cuban issue or the Nicaraguan issue or the Venezuelan issue.”

Soon after the event began, police and Secret Service members locked the building due to safety concerns, according to the Herald.


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