Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was onstage in Miami talking about the need to unite the country and to stop all the attacks. On Spanish-language TV, though, Romney's campaign was anything but positive.
Since at least Tuesday, his campaign has begun heavily running this ad that links President Barack Obama with Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez, Fidel Castro's niece and communist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The campaign, despite repeated requests, didn't furnish the ad. So please pardon the cheap iPhone video recording of (**) the spot that aired three times in one prime time Spanish-language news program Tuesday and at least four times on the same show Wednesday -- including twice in the same commercial break. (**) The campaign has now posted the ad online, below.
But at least one Cuban reader, Raquel Pouget, was outraged and said in an email that the ad is evidence of "corrupt politics. True, people like my father and mother helped build what the city of Miami is today, but, it is unfortunate but also true, that the same infectious style of politics that put Castro in power has germinated in Miami making it a banana republic. I was born in Cuba, raised in the United States, I'm a woman, a Republican and I voted yesterday for President Barack Obama. Proud to say so."
Here's our translation:
NARRATOR: Who supports Barack Obama?
CHAVEZ: "If I were American, I'd vote for Obama."
NARRATOR: Raúl Castro's daughter, Mariela Castro, would vote for Obama.
CASTRO: "I would vote for President Obama."
NARRATOR: And to top it off, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency sent emails for Hispanic Heritage month with a photo of Che Guevara.
CHAVEZ: "If Obama were from Barlovento (a Venezuelan town), he'd vote for Chávez."
ROMNEY: I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.
UPDATE: The Obama campaign has issued a written response to the ad.
"Mitt Romney continues to play Hugo Chavez's game, giving Chavez the attention he thrives on and that he doesn't deserve," said Dan Restrepo, a campaign spokesperson and former special assistant to the president and senior director for western hemisphere affairs on the national security staff. "Keeping America safe and advancing U.S. interests requires the kind of leadership President Obama has provided, not Romney's bluster. The President’s leadership has restored U.S. standing in the Americas to 72 percent in 2011 from 58 percent in 2008 and made us more prosperous and more secure. U.S. exports to Latin America –- which create good-paying Florida jobs -– have increased 50 percent since 2009 and will continue to grow with the Colombia and Panama Free Trade Agreements that President Obama improved and signed into law. Thanks to President Obama's focus on confronting the national security threats facing our country in the Americas, U.S. partnerships with Mexico, Colombia, Central America, and the Caribbean are stronger than ever."
--- with Patricia Mazzei