- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 27, 2019

MIAMI — Democratic presidential hopeful Bill de Blasio on Thursday rallied striking airport workers with a phrase in Spanish that he borrowed by communist revolutionary Che Guevera.

The rhetoric hit a nerve in South Florida, where the sting of leftist governments remains fresh on the minds in regions with large Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan communities.

“¡Hasta la victoria, siempre!” shouted Mr. de Blasio, the liberal mayor of New York, when he joined a picket line at Miami International Airport.

The phrase translates to “to victory, always!”

Guevara, who fought alongside Fidel Castro in the communist overthrow of Cuba in 1959, used to the slogan in later years to sign off his letters to Fidel Castro. It became a mantra for leftists around the world after Guevara was killed in Bolivia.

Mr. de Blasio later apologized. He said he didn’t know the phrase was associated with Guevera.

“I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way. I certainly apologize for not understanding that history,” he wrote on Twitter. “I only meant it as a literal message to the striking airport workers that I believed they would be victorious in their strike.”

Mr. de Blasio may have intended the slogan for the union activists and the Democratic Party’s far left but it resonated far beyond the airport. A video of him yelling the Spanish slogan circulated on social media.

Spanish radio shows in Florida were receiving a deluge of calls angry voters and who called Mr. de Blasio’s verbiage “insensitive,” according to CBS4 News in Miami.

President Trump’s re-election campaign pounced on Mr. de Blasio’s use of the Guevera catchphrase, noting that it is not the first time he showed an affinity for the communist icon.

The Trump War Room, a Twitter account for the campaign, posted a video of Mr. de Blasio on “The Daily Show” in 2014 talking about hanging a Che Guevara poster in his City Hall office.

“The Che Guevara posters are very popular,” Mr. de Blasio says in the video clip.

Dave Boyer contributed to this report.

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