Larwyn emailed about this,
Un Goofo Grande
Mitt Romney committed a paso falso the other day when he spoke to a group of Cuban-Americans in Miami:
When he mistakenly associated Fidel Castro’s trademark speech-ending slogan–Patria o muerte, venceremos!–with a free Cuba, listeners didn’t laugh. They winced.
Castro has closed his speeches with the phrase–in English, ”Fatherland or death, we shall overcome”–for decades. . . .
Romney’s fumble demonstrates the potential snags for state and national politicians trying to navigate the Cuban-American community of South Florida.
Ever since Ronald Reagan enthralled exiles by crying, ”Cuba si, Castro no,” in a landmark 1983 visit to Little Havana, politicians have clamored, with mixed success, for the Spanish-speaking vote.
It’s not so different from the candidates who court Broward County’s heavily Jewish retirement condominiums, offering residents a free nosh and delivering their best schtick.
And if you do go to Broward, Gov. Romney, try to avoid the slogan “Arbeit macht frei.”
I mentioned to Larwyn that Taranto makes a very apt comparison, as the rallying cry of the Cuban revolution, the older generation of Cubans will tell you that Che would preside over executions in Cuba and yell out the “Patria o muerte, venceremos” as he was giving the order to fire the rifles.
Please, please, if you’re a political candidate, avoid the foreign language schtick altogether.