Joe Garcia & Fidel Castro: Too close for comfort?

As we have mentioned here before, Joe Garcia, Democratic candidate for Florida’s 25th congressional district, has some dubious ties to some individuals who directly profit from the Castro dictatorship. Garcia has accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from owners of travel agencies that specialize in travel to Cuba, have extensive business relationships with the Castro regime, and are in a position to reap major profits if the embargo against Cuba’s dictatorial regime were lifted.

Joe Garcia says he is not in favor of lifting the embargo, but it is hard to believe that these individuals — shrewd businessmen and businesswoman who are in favor of lifting the embargo — would be pouring thousands of dollars into his campaign if they did not think he was going to advocate their position. Nevertheless, Garcia swears that his pro-embargo position will not be swayed by the cash pouring into his campaign coffers by these people.

Because of this connection between business partners of the Castro regime and Joe Garcia, one has to wonder: Is Fidel Castro taking an active role in Florida politics? Is Joe Garcia allowing his campaign to be at best, besmirched, and at worst, influenced by the most brutal dictator in the western hemisphere? Is Fidel Castro too close for comfort?

Florida politics website, The Shark Tank, has a detailed list of 17 donors to Joe Garcia’s campaign who all but one happen to make a living doing or facilitating business with the murderous regime in Havana. Here is just a sampling of five of them:

Maria ‘Tessie” Aral– President of  ABC Charters
Donated- $5295
ABC Charters flew 10,500 passengers to Cuba this summer, up from 6,000 last year.

”I think all of that will be wonderful when all travel restrictions are lifted,” Ms. Aral said. “But we’re not there yet.”

Marvin Verble– Executive, ABC Charters MIA Operations

Donated- $2000
Married to Vivan Mannerud of ABC Charters (Airline Brokers Co.) Read more here

John Cabanas– Owner of C&T
Loann Cabanas
Adalgiza Cabanas

“I support the revolution very strongly, very passionately,” he said. “I am integrated into the revolution in the deepest part of my being . . . I love Fidel like my father, and I believe he loves me like his son.”

John Cabanas, of C&T Charters, is perhaps the least known but the most powerful owner in a group that includes Vivian Mannerud, who followed her father into the business after he was convicted in the 1980s of “trading with the enemy,” in part for taking four Pepsi machines to Cuba; and Francisco Aruca, owner of Marazul Charters, who sneaked out of a Castro-run prison dressed as a child, but now praises Cuba on his Miami radio show.  A large man, quick to laugh and partial to linen Guayaberas with a gold plane pinned to the collar, Mr. Cabanas, 66, grew up in Key West, Fla., but spent 28 years in Cuba. He says his company is the largest of the seven or eight that fly there regularly. NYT: Charter Companies Flying to Cuba Thrive

You can read more information about Joe Garcia’s donors and their connection to Fidel Castro HERE.

Perhaps Joe does not have a problem being so close to Fidel.

Personally, though, I have a problem with someone who does not have a problem being so close to Fidel.