The criticism against Florida Rep. Val Demings (D) continues to mount as the Rubio campaign accuses Demings of trying to be “politically advantageous.” The Rubio campaign has maintained that Demings didn’t “realize Cuba existed until she announced her run for Senate,” and Demings has doubled down by meeting with members of the community to discuss the political tension within Cuba. However, she is accused of remaining “silent” until the protests erupted last year against the Communist dictatorship.
In a statement, Laura Ortiz, the Hispanic Media Director for Marco Rubio for Senate, argued that “Val Demings’ epiphany to publicly support the U.S. Embargo on Cuba occurred after the July 11 protests and after she had announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate,” adding that “her close friendship with pro-Castro and anti-embargo members of the House of Representatives, including Barbara Lee, Karen Bass, and Jim Clyburn, will be a cause of concern for Cuban Americans in Florida and will not go unnoticed.”
Rubio has often criticized Demings as being a “Pelosi puppet,” and should the former Orlando Police Chief be elected to the Senate, Rubio warns that she’ll be a “Schumer puppet” as well. Moreover, Rubio has slammed Demings, accusing her of championing “far-left, socialist agenda” as a lawmaker.
Demings has rebutted by arguing that the Sunshine State deserves better than Rubio as a Senator.
Last year, after the Cuban protests erupted, lawmakers were divided on whether the United States should uphold its embargo. Lawmakers like Senator Rubio and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) support it. While Demings did express that she supported the protests from the Cuban people, Miami Herald reporter Alex Daughterty questioned whether Demings supported the embargo, but Demings “declined to take a position.”
“The people of Cuba must know that the U.S. government stands with them against the failed and oppressive communist and socialist regime,” said Demings in a November 2021 press release.
The Demings for Senate campaign could not be reached for comment.