Jeb Bush retweets 1960 photo of Cuban execution with misleading information

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Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush retweeted a photo claiming it depicted a Cuban farmer receiving his last rites before being executed by one of Fidel Castro‘s firing squads. The photo’s caption suggests the farmer is being executed because they refused to work for the Castro regime, but none of that is actually true.

Despite the retweet containing blatantly inflammatory and false information, Mr Bush has left it up on his feed for nearly a day.

The photo’s caption makes the following claim: «This picture won the Pulitzer prize in 1960. It shows a priest giving the last rites to a Cuban farmer, owner of his land. He refused to work for the Castro regime. He died by a firing squad after a «trial» by Che Guevara that lasted 4 minutes. You will never see this picture on a T shirt.»

Mr Bush attached his own message to the retweet, saying «the repression continues today. It’s time to support the Cuban people”.

Anti-government protesters have taken to the streets in Cuba over the past week to protest food and medicine shortages in the wake of the nation’s worst spike in coronavirus cases since the onset of the pandemic. Supporters of the government have also taken to the streets to counter the demonstrators.

Mr Bush joins his voice to those of numerous other right wing American politicians using the unrest to attack socialism and beat the war drums as some call for US intervention in the nation.

However, the former governor of Florida did not get his facts straight. According to an Associated Press fact check, while the photo, taken by Andrew Lopez, was a 1960 Pulitzer Prize recipient, it is not a tragic image of a farmer standing his ground against a tyrannical regime.

The man in the photo was an army colonel who served under Fulgencio Batista, the US-backed dictator who ruled Cuba until he was overthrown by Fidel Castro’s revolution.

The officer is receiving his last rites prior to execution by a firing squad. He was found guilty of killing two brothers by a military tribunal.

It is likely Mr Bush was simply ignorant to the origins of the photo and was one of the many conservatives who were duped by the misinformation.

«THIS IS THE SOCIALISM THEY DON’T SHOW YOU,» a poster wrote on Facebook, also falling for the trick.

The majority of the responses on Mr Bush’s Twitter feed are people explaining that he is sharing misinformation. However, the account has kept the photo posted.


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