Charlie Crist and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, in Cuba
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist always did like to make cozy with important people. You remember.
The Florida congressman and former governor apparently got to do both April 25 when he slipped out of Washington in secret, boarded a plane and flew with Chief of Staff Austin Durrer to Havana.
Certainly his office kept the three-day trip under ‘wraps.
It was Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times who brought the story to light Wednesday.
Odd timing for such a trip. Risky even. As Contorno wrote, “Crist’s tour of the island coincided with growing diplomatic strain between Trump and Cuban leaders over the situation in Venezuela, a country in the midst of a humanitarian and constitutional crisis. (President Donald) Trump’s foreign policy team and influential Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio have accused Cuba of propping up Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, the country’s disputed leader. National Security Advisor John Bolton claimed there are more than 20,000 Cuban troops in South America providing security for Maduro.”
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, who hung out with Crist on the island, denied the claim on the day Crist arrived, calling Bolton a “pathological liar.”