MIAMI — The Biden administration’s plan to remove a Colombian rebel group from a list of foreign terrorist organizations barely caused a ripple outside Washington when the news broke this week.
But in Florida, home to an estimated 150,000 Colombian American voters, it’s a different story. Biden’s policy is reverberating loudly among Democrats, leading some of the state’s top elected officials, strategists and activists to rail against the decision.
“This is terrible. It’s bad policy. It’s bad politics,” said Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate who’s Colombian American.
Calling the news “outrageous,” Taddeo criticized the Biden administration on Twitter and recounted how she fled her home country at the age of 17 “because of the Marxist terrorist organization, FARC, a group of militias who kidnapped my father who was a WWII American fighter pilot.”
Stories like Taddeo’s aren’t rare in Miami-Dade, the state’s most populous county. It’s home to a huge concentration of Hispanic voters and Latin American exiles who fled leftist violence or dictatorships in Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela and found a common political bond in Florida.
The Colombian government’s decades-long war with the guerrilla movement known as