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  • Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez addresses the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC, USA. August 25, 2020.

    Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez addresses the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC, USA. August 25, 2020. | Photo: EFA/EPA/Chip Somodevilla

Published 27 August 2020
Opinion

While U.S. President Donald Trump formally accepts his party's nomination Thursday night, the first nights of the Republic National Convention have been riddled with slanders, lies, and manipulations about Cuba's historic achievements under its socialist revolution. 

Featuring two highly politicized and slanderous speeches by Miami oil business mogul Maximo Alvarez and Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez—both of Cuban descent—the Convention sought to liken Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's moderate platform with the revolutionary political thought and practice of Fidel Castro. 

In doing so, the Republican Party—longtime defenders of the U.S. blockade on Cuba—sought to demonize its Democratic contender, deface the tangible achievements of Cuba's socialist revolution for the poor and working-class worldwide, and mobilize the conservative Cuban-American base in hotly contested South Florida.  

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Alvarez, who came to the United States under the guise of the Peter Pan Operation in 1961, owns Sunshine Gasoline Distributors in Miami, which supplies retail and wholesale fuel to 515 Florida gas stations, controlling 360 of them. On the first night of the Convention, Alvarez stoked the flames of anti-communism in referring to Biden's platform: "Those false promises -- spread the wealth, free education, free healthcare, defund the police, trust a socialist state more than your family and community -- they don't sound radical to my ears. They sound familiar."
 
Declaring that "President Trump is fighting the forces of anarchy and communism," Alvarez, who is "100-percent American," took every opportunity to pronounce vague mistruths and manipulations about the Cuban Revolution and its leaders, claiming his family fled "totalitarianism" and that those around him "swallowed the communist poison pill."
 
Nuñez, daughter of Cuban immigrants and former health care executive and Florida state legislator, gave a similarly anti-Cuban speech to the Convention, claiming that the United States "will never become a socialist country" after spreading various lies, for example, that Cuban Revolution "abolished religious freedom," "stole peoples' farms" and "doesn't offer opportunity" to its people. 
 
Nuñez, a former anti-Trumper now opening campaigning for his re-election, stated that Cuban socialism "consistently yields only misery" and that, along with China, Venezuela and Nicaragua, is run by "tyrants," a libelous fable aimed at galvanizing support among the Venezuelan and Cuban exile elite in South Florida.
 
As thousands gather outside the White House to protest Trump's acceptance speech, and in light of Cuba's globally recognized and celebrated response to COVID-19, both Alvarez and Nuñez's address—and the Republican National Convention more generally—show the lengths the ruling class will go to manipulate and ignore reality to serve their political and economic interests.
 

 
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