‘Cubans Against Karla Marx’ Merch Launched by DeSantis Campaign After Crist Running Mate’s ‘Mourn’ Fidel Castro Tweet

By Eric Daugherty, Florida's Voice

September 20, 2022 Updated 11:46 AM ET

"Cubans Against Karla" merchandise, WinRed.

MIAMI (FLV) – The DeSantis Campaign released new merchandise available for purchase with the tagline “Cubans Against Karla Marx,” referencing Democrat Charlie Crist’s running mate, Karla Hernandez-Mats.

Hernandez-Mats was slammed for a Nov. 26, 2016 Tweet issued after the death of Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro known for brutalizing and abusing inhabitants of the country.

“A political figure dies at 90. Most in Miami rejoice, many in Cuba mourn #FidelCastro,” she originally said.

“Charlie knows full well the pain and devastation that the Castro regime has inflicted on Cubans, and still he willfully chose someone who celebrates the murderous dictator’s regime. This is appalling, but sadly not surprising, because Charlie himself has visited Cuba to pose for a smiling photo with a Communist regime mouthpiece,” the DeSantis campaign told Florida’s Voice.

“Charlie might not care about the victims of communism or the devastation that this evil ideology has wrought on every country where it’s been tried, but Governor DeSantis does.”

After backlash, Hernandez-Mats deleted the tweet and compared Gov. Ron DeSantis to Castro.

“DeSantis is removing elected officials and arresting voters. These abuses of power are familiar to us who have seen what happens in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua,” she said. “Like Castro, Ron is moving our state closer to authoritarian rule. Charlie and I will stop this wannabe dictator.”

Hernandez-Mats soon after doubled down on her original remarks, claiming what she meant to say was Cubans were “forced to mourn the death of a tyrant [Castro].”

“I proudly celebrated Fidel’s death, banging on pots and pans in the streets of Hialeah with my neighbors,” she said.

Her original tweet did not say that Cubans were forced to mourn Castro.

In 2016, the Associated Press reported “Cubans forced to undergo 9 days of mourning for Castro.”

They report that Cubans “will be called to a demonstration at 7 p.m.” NBC Miami reports that some Cubans were “practically forced” to board buses to attend the memorial.

Reuters reports that there was also passionate mourning of Castro’s death, with “Flag-waving Cuban students [breaking] into a mass chant of ‘I am Fidel.’”

“We weren’t just poor. We were wretched,” one Cuban father told Reuters. “Then came Fidel and the revolution. He gave me my humanity. I owe him everything.”

The DeSantis campaign pounced on Hernandez-Mats’ walking back of the original tweet.

Christina Pushaw, Rapid Response Director for the DeSantis campaign, said Hernandez-Mats’ tweet is a “poor attempt at gaslighting.”

“You didn’t say Cubans were ‘FORCED to mourn the death of a tyrant.’ You said that Cubans ‘mourned’ ‘a political figure’. You can try to spin it however you want 6 years later, but nobody is buying it. You’re sorry you got caught,” she said. “She should’ve owned up to it & apologized. She isn’t Cuban; she could’ve claimed she was just ignorant of the situation there. People might forgive her. But now she’s doubling down & spinning to defend her tweet – only makes it worse!”


“If you stand by your tweet about Cubans mourning Castro, and you’re so proud of it now… then why did you delete it yesterday?” the DeSantis War Room said.

Hernandez-Mats has been embattled with controversy since being picked by Crist, including posing with a now-convicted child abuser, saying veterans teaching students is “deprofressionalizing” teaching, being seen on video in a heated altercation with a camera man, and comparing her experience as a “sp-ed” teacher to dealing with a “dysfunctional legislature.”

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Florida’s Voice is a patriotic news network that you can trust to deliver the truth with no hidden agenda. Founder and Editor in Chief Brendon Leslie left his job in mainstream news to practice journalism as it should be, unbiased and unbossed.

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