Felicia Persaud (26512)
Felicia Persaud

Florida’s ‘Mini-Trumpeto,’ who has visions of presidential grandeur spinning in his so small brain, can’t help the hypocrisy and blatant discrimination that oozes out of his pores.

Ronald Dion DeSantis, a.k.a. Ron DeSantis, who is a descendant of immigrants, last week had the audacity to mark the “Pedro Pan” operation that relocated more than 14,000 Cuban children to the U.S. in the 1960s, while his administration began shutting down shelters that provide housing and other resources for unaccompanied immigrant children.

DeSantis has directed the state Department of Children and Families to stop issuing or renewing licenses to providers that shelter unaccompanied immigrant children and the order was rolled out last week, Feb. 10.

DeSantis is now using the hot rod issue of immigration, a Trump tactic, to get him politically forward in a party where xenophobia and bigotry now reigns.

And to critics he has this audacious statement: “To equate what is going on in the Southern border…to Operation Pedro Pan is actually disgusting.”

So repulsive was the comment that even Catholic Archbishop Thomas Wenski had strong words for the man who is doing his utmost to be mini-Trump.

Archbishop Wenski called the order and the Miami event to mark Pedro Pan, “political theater,” and “a new low in the zero-sum politics in our divisive times.”

“Children are children, and no child should be deemed disgusting, especially by a public servant,” Wenski said during a news conference at the Archdiocese of Miami’s pastoral center last week.

So, what was Operation Pedro Pan and how is it different from the unaccompanied minor crisis of today?

Operation Peter Pan, or Operación Pedro Pan, was a clandestine mass exodus of over 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban minors ages 6 to 18 to the United States over a two-year span from 1960 to 1962, as their parents tried to get them out of Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

Father Bryan O. Walsh of the Catholic Welfare Bureau, with the help of the U.S. government, developed the Cuban Children’s Program. Most arrived in Miami, given its proximity to Cuba, and several prominent locations were converted to house them, including Camp Matecumbe, the Opa-locka Airport Marine barracks.

The children arriving at the Southern border today are fleeing gangs, violence and poverty in many Central American nations. Just like the Cuban parents in the 1960s trying to get their children out for a better life, the parents of these new refugees are trying to get their children somewhere safe, for a better life.

What’s so different? The only difference is that the Cuban emigres were largely light-skinned or could pass as “Peninsular” or “Spaniard,” to use Spain’s “Las castas” racial classification term. By contrast, the unaccompanied migrants of today are more “Indio” and “Negro,” per Las castas, or Brown and Black. That does not sit well with Republicans concerned about the darkening of America.

DeSantis as a Catholic should be so ashamed he should be running to confession, but not him. He is too busy trying on Trump’s xenophobia for size and walking around with his head so far up his idol’s butt that he can’t see his dreams of political grandeur beyond Florida—are just that, dreams that have zero chance of manifesting into anything, because karma just won’t let it!

The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.

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