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Charlie Crist's running mate once claimed Cubans 'mourn' Fidel Castro's death

As a contrast to the exiles rejoicing in Miami.

August 30, 2022 6:59pm

Updated: August 30, 2022 9:27pm

The union leader that Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist tapped as his running mate previously said many in Cuba would mourn the death of late dictator Fidel Castro.

Karla Hernández-Mats, the head of the Miami-Dade teachers union that is running for lieutenant governor alongside Crist, said in 2016 that unlike the celebrating exiles in Miami, those on the island “mourn” the authoritarian leader.  

"A political figure dies at 90. Most in Miami rejoice, many in Cuba mourn #FidelCastro," she wrote in a tweet on Nov. 26 of that year.

A political figure dies at 90. Most in Miami rejoice, many in Cuba mourn #FidelCastro

— Karla Hernández (@KarlaforFlorida) November 26, 2016

Castro had died the day before at the age of 90. The Cuban dictator overthrew the government of Batista and transformed it into a one-party, socialist state under Communist Party rule, which he led from 1958 to 2008.

Cubans who opposed Castro’s regime were executed without due process, others fled the island to Miami, Tampa, and elsewhere, taking with them a vehement distaste for the island’s dictator.

Miami’s Little Havana erupted with celebration after the Cuban regime announced Castro’s death.

Crist’s selection of Hernández-Mats, who also serves as the vice president of the second largest national teachers union, sets up a contrast between himself and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ education policies like "parental rights in education" and keeping "woke gender ideology out of schools,” reports Axios.

Once a Republican, Crist himself was elected education commissioner in Florida in 2000 before his first term as governor. He left the GOP to run as an independent in Florida’s 2010 Senate race after falling behind then-candidate Marco Rubio, which he lost, then registered as a Democrat in 2012 after endorsing President Barack Obama for reelection.

DeSantis is favored to win over Crist, with a poll earlier this month showing him with an 8-point lead.