Rudy In Little Havana - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Rudy In Little Havana

MIAMI, FL — Rudy Giuliani stopped by a health and fitness facility here in Little Havana on Friday, and spoke to a lively and adoring crowd in a room packed with a few hundred Cuban Americans.

It was quite a colorful scene for a political speech. As I entered, a band was playing Cuban music and women who wore white peasant dresses with red streaks danced and shook maracas.

The former mayor of a city that is home to hundreds of immigrant groups, Giuliani seemed quite at home in this environment, and offered a stirring tribute this hard-working community that overcame the oppression of their Communist nation once they got a taste of freedom.

“Most of you came here with very little money in your pockets, many of you didn’t speak English,” he said. “New country, very different, very big, very confusing. But you brought with you what’s inside your soul. And no tyrant, no dictator, no bully, can take that away from you, and you proved that.”

Giuliani described Castro as a “vicious dictator,” and reminded the crowd that just as with Yasser Arafat, he did not invite the tyrant to the 50th anniversary celebration for the United Nations.

Everything he said had to be repeated in Spanish by an interpreter, who ran into trouble on a few occasions when Giuliani spoke too long without interruption.

Giuliani also recalled how in 1996, when the Cuban government shot down a raft-spotting plane from a group that helps rescue Cuban exiles, he placed signs in front of the Cuban Mission to the U.N. renaming the street, “Brothers to the Rescue Corner.”

When that line got translated, the crowd began to chant “RU-DY,” and a middle-aged woman in the front row, quite a firecracker, shouted to him, “You no just talk now, you talk before, before, when you mayor of New York!”

The crowd cheered.

“I love you, I admire you,” Giuliani shouted back. “I see something within you that is a quintessential story of America. I see in real life terms how freedom plays out when you get the opportunity for it.”

He said when people are given freedom, “look, just look, at what they can achieve so quickly against all of the odds. That is the great story of the Cuban American people, here in Miami, here in America.”

At one point in the speech, he broke out in a chant of “U-S-A,” and Rudy grabbed a pair of maracas, and joined along, shaking them for rhythm.

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