New York City’s groundhog-killing mayor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill de Blasio was already unlikely to win his party’s nomination, but his trip to Florida this week was an especially epic disaster. Struggling to get attention in an insanely crowded primary, de Blasio made headlines for all the wrong reasons, as he followed an awkward debate performance with the use of a quote infamously associated with Che Guevara, drawing sharp rebukes from Florida politicians on both sides of the aisle.

The incident happened when de Blasio went to a protest of striking workers at the Miami International Airport. De Blasio gave remarks in support of the workers and ended his speech with “Hasta la victoria siempre!” which roughly translates to “Ever on to victory!”

The phrase was strongly associated with Che Guevara, the sociopathic Argentinian revolutionary who personally murdered countless Cuban civilians — including children — in his efforts to help dictator Fidel Castro rise to power, and became a mantra for Guevara and the Castro regime. In 2016, Raul Castro included it in his televised speech to announce that the elder Castro had died.

As the Miami Herald noted, Guevara is “one of the most hated historical figures in Miami,” with many Cuban exiles and their children and grandchildren living in the area.

Republicans and Democrats sharply condemned de Blasio’s Guevara quote as ignorant and offensive.

State Senators Jose Javier Rodriguez and Annette Taddeo, both Miami-area Democrats, slammed de Blasio for quoting a “murderous guerrilla,” calling his comments unacceptable and demanding he apologize, words echoed by the Miami-Dade Democratic Party.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who was born in Miami to Cuban exile parents, denounced de Blasio’s use of the Guevara quote, and posted several tweets pointing out Guevara’s murderous history.

After a few hours of the bipartisan onslaught, De Blasio offered up a bizarre apology — claiming that he did not know it was a Guevara quote and he “did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way.”

As the Herald noted in their coverage, de Blasio is not unfamiliar with Cuba or the history of the communist revolution there, having honeymooned in Cuba (against U.S. law at the time) and actually getting busted for the exact same faux pas during his mayor’s race in 2013, using the same quote and being called out by the local press for quoting the murderous Guevara.

Rubio was among those skeptical of de Blasio’s excuse, noting the mayor’s long history studying Latin American political issues and direct experiences with the communist Sandinista movement in Nicaragua and with Castro-controlled Cuba.

“But he had NO IDEA he was quoting Che Guevara today,” added Rubio sarcastically. “It was all just an incredible coincidence.”

Few oddsmakers expect de Blasio to win the Democratic presidential nomination, or even be picked as the winner’s vice presidential running mate, but his gaffe presents broader problems for Florida Democrats who must secure a majority of the state’s Hispanic vote in order to win in 2020.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo did what she could to distance her party from de Blasio, noting that he “does not speak for Floridians or the Florida Democratic Party,” but the story had already generated a swarm of headlines and social media posts.

Meanwhile, Florida Republicans have been working to associate Democratic candidates with socialism, such as this banner hung up near the debate location. “Miami: No socialismo, no comunismo, somos capitalista” (“Miami: No socialism, no communism, we are capitalists.”)

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