Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton mocked the anti-Castro sentiment of Miami Cubans and their influence on the political process, according to newly released State Department emails.
On December 16, 2009, State Department legislative affairs staffer Richard Verma emailed Secretary of State Clinton to update her on the status of the Obama administration’s pick for ambassador to Brazil. Their pick Tom Shannon was being blocked at the time by then-Republican Florida Sen. George LeMieux, who viewed Shannon as being weak on Cuba’s Castro regime.
LeMieux was reportedly backing Charlie Crist against his tea party primary opponent Marco Rubio in a race that heavily prioritized Florida’s Cuban vote.
“What took them so long? Did you promise your first born?” Clinton asked.
“Yes, I sold my soul to George Lemieux today. I am not proud of it,” Verma replied.
“Does this mean you have to go to Cuba and arrest Castro or just shovel more $ into Little Havana?” Clinton asked Verma, referring to the politically powerful Cuban-American neighborhood in Miami.
“I suspect they would prefer more $ for Little Havana,” Verma said.
President Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. will open an embassy in Havana, and Cuba will have an embassy in Washington, D.C.