Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is expected to announce her 2022 gubernatorial run for office in the coming weeks, is referring to Governor Ron DeSantis as a communist dictator and equating him to some of the most notorious human rights oppressors in the Western Hemisphere—Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega.
In a scathing opinion editorial posted in the Miami Herald, Commissioner Fried states that Gov. DeSantis does not want Floridians to vote, protest disagree with him, adding that DeSantis has abused his power and has “eroded the liberty and rights of his constituents and businesses in the Sunshine State, rewarded his wealthy donors and undermined the media.”
“Under the guise of fighting election fraud, (Florida’s only election fraud in 2020 came from Republican operatives) DeSantis prioritized legislation adding hurdles to vote-by-mail and originally sought to ban ballot drop boxes,” stated Fried. “This comes after a record number of Floridians voted by mail in 2020, and more Democrats than Republicans voted that way.”
Fried is referring to the SB 90 voter integrity bill that DeSantis recently signed into law that prohibits ballot drop boxes and ballot harvesting.
“From Nicolás Maduro’s actions to undermine Venezuela’s electoral process and suppress votes, to Daniel Ortega’s moves to intimidate and confuse voters in Nicaragua, tactics to limit voting has been widespread in South American regimes. Voter suppression is a slippery slope that ends only with injustice.
DeSantis is also working to silence dissenting voices. His top legislative priority, House Bill 1, clamps down on freedom of speech and criminalizes protests — a clear infringement on our First Amendment rights, guaranteed by the Constitution. Under the new law, even if you’re peacefully protesting, if others became violent, you could be jailed alongside them. This move to silence, intimidate and imprison opposing voices bears a chilling resemblance to Fidel Castro’s actions to jail critics of his regime.”
This is not the first time Fried refers to the DeSantis administration as a regime. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez recently pushed back against Fried when she initially referred to her and the rest of the DeSantis administration as a "regime."
Fried continued with her attempt to portray DeSantis as the Pol Pot of Florida accusing him of trying to “consolidate power and silence media,” much like the dictatorial regimes of Castro, Maduro, and Ortega have done, continue to do.
“We’ve seen the same actions to consolidate power and silence media in countries like Cuba and Nicaragua, where Castro oversaw a rewrite of the constitution and Maduro has consistently silenced and undermined the independent press,” continued Fried.
Fried, along with Florida Democrats appear to be trying to use the same “Communist” narrative that Republicans effectively used against them during the 2020 presidential election. During the history 2020 election, Democrats thought that running on the “Democratic Socialist” political agenda would help them defeat Republicans statewide, but on election day, Republicans all but swept Democrats statewide.
It was a devastating defeat for Democrats, who saw their state political party’s chairwoman Terrie Rizzo, along with her inner circle resign in disgrace as a result of their poor election day performance.
Fried doesn’t appear to be swayed from running on the same Progressive agenda, as the Democratic political star needs to shore up the base of the Democratic Party, which has gravitated towards Democratic Socialism.
And then there is Charlie Crist.
Crist, who has also embraced the same anti-DeSantis rhetoric, is will be announcing his third run for governor this week and could be a huge obstacle for Fried in a Democratic gubernatorial primary race. Crist is without question the best retail politician in Florida history. Fried’s hands will be full with Crist, and if she manages to make it out of the primary, challenging DeSantis and massive campaign war chest will be a heavy lift.