After the Biden Administration announced its plan to remove a Colombian rebel group known as FARC from the list of foreign terrorist organizations, an outcry of opposition in South Florida and state Democrats soon followed.
Among those opposed to the decision were some of the state’s top Democratic elected officials, researchers, and activists. The groups expressed how Biden’s decision failed to take into account the estimated 150,000 Columbian American voters, as well as the other Hispanic or Latino American voters in Florida who experienced the violence in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Columbian American Florida Senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Annette Taddeo, criticized Biden’s policy in a statement provided by Politico.com. She said, “This is terrible. It’s bad policy. It’s bad politics.”
Additionally, in a series of tweets last Tuesday, Taddeo commented on her experience as a young girl who fled from her home country to escape FARC – formerly known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia- and further criticized Biden’s policy.
“When I was 17 years old I was forced to flee Colombia, the only country I ever knew because of the Marxist terrorist organization, FARC, a group of militias who kidnapped my father who was a WWII American fighter pilot,” she wrote in the first tweet.
In the next tweet, she stated, “This news is outrageous and I just hung up with the State department to let them know just how outrageous it is.”
A day later, Taddeo reemphasized her opposition to Biden’s policy and FARC, tweeting, “The FARC, funded by the Castro regime & now by the Maduro regime & the narco trade are terrorists. Just like the Sandinistas & other groups who have terrorized, persecuted, tortured, & kidnapped individuals in other countries. For me & many of us this is painful & very personal.”
U.S. Representative Charlie Crist who is another Democratic gubernatorial candidate also voiced his concerns by stating that FARC has “earned their destination” as terrorists, because they have “caused decades of war and death.”
Another criticism of Biden’s policy comes from the fear that the decision will influence Columbian American voters, who primarily vote Democratic in Florida, to vote Republican.
According to Politico’s report, a former Republican state representative and the first Colombian American state legislator, Juan Zapata, stated, “They’ve seen the poll numbers. It’s a disaster. … The people of South Florida, and now throughout the United States, know this is a terrible deal. … it’s not just Colombian Americans. It started with Fidel Castro in Cuba. There’s Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. And it went to Venezuela with Hugo Chávez.”
Additionally, Democratic activist Carolina Castillo said that she is witnessing first hand the shift in Hispanic and Latino voters from Democratic to Republican, and how Biden is to blame.
She stated, “It’s a betrayal, a clear betrayal. … We wanted a strong president who was going to stand for democracy, but here we are giving power to the extreme leftists in Colombia and the timing couldn’t be worse. This will only help bring more Colombian families to the Republican side.”
Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Annette Taddeo” by Annette Taddeo. Background Photo “Florida State Capitol” by Michael Rivera CC BY-SA 3.0.