Trump Goes To Miami To Accept Endorsement From Bay Of Pigs Vets

JP Carroll | National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump accepted an endorsement Tuesday in Miami from Cuban exile veterans who fought in the Bay of Pigs.

Brigade 2506 veterans, the name of the CIA-backed unit that fought in the Bay of Pigs invasion, endorsed Trump Oct. 12. The candidate visited the veterans’ museum in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami Tuesday to accept their support Tuesday.

The endorsement marks the first time the paramilitary unit has ever endorsed a presidential candidate in its 55-year history. Many older Cuban-Americans tend to identify as Republican, in large part because of the Republican Party’s long-standing opposition to the communist Castro regime in Cuba.

“To be endorsed by such a distinguished organization as yours is humbling and I can’t thank you enough,” Trump said when receiving the endorsement. “I know we share the same ideals. A foreign policy that will promote freedom and true democratic change in Cuba” the GOP nominee said.

President Barack Obama normalized ties with Cuba through executive order in December 2014. As a result of the Obama administration’s actions, diplomatic relations were restored between the two countries.

Florida is a crucial swing-state in the upcoming election and could be crucial to Trump getting 270 electoral college votes to win the presidency. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is polling at 47.6 percent in Florida versus Trump’s 44.3 percent, according to RealClearPolitics’ latest polling average.

Trump previously dealt with Brigade 2506 in 1999 when considering running as the Reform Party presidential candidate and gave a decidedly anti-communist speech to the veterans group.

Trump tweeted the same day of the endorsement that “The people of Cuba have struggled too long. Will reverse Obama’s Executive Orders and concessions towards Cuba until freedoms are restored.”

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