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Jeff Greene discusses his yacht’s stop in Cuba

by George Bennett | August 3rd, 2010

Greene

Greene

ORLANDO — Democratic Senate candidate Jeff Greene told reporters today that his 2007 stop in Cuba was an unplanned one brought on my mechanical problems on his 145-foot yacht. The hydraulic troubles, he said, gave him the opportunity to go on an impromptu fact-finding mission about conditions in the Jewish community under the Castro regime.

The Cuba visit first became a topic of discussion when a Sunday St. Petersburg Times profile of Greene included a quote from a former deckhand who said: “Mr. Greene’s yacht is known to be a party yacht. When it went to Cuba, everybody talked about the vomit caked all over the sides from all the partying going on.”

Cuba

Cuba

Many readers undoubtedly focused on the alleged vomit-caked debauchery. Others, including Greene’s Democratic primary rival Kendrick Meek, raised eyebrows because most visits to Cuba are illegal under the U.S. embargo against the communist nation.

When Meek pressed Greene on the Cuba visit during a debate taped Sunday, Greene said he had gone “years ago on a Jewish mission to Cuba.” A Greene spokesman today said Greene “misspoke” in describing the trip as a planned mission.

Greene discussed the matter with reporters during a late-afternoon campaign stop. Read the transcript after the jump….

Jeff Greene on his visit to Cuba:

Well, I think it’s been made very clear. You know, we were traveling on the boat and we were on our way from Honduras to the Bahamas and there was, actually, it was a little mechanical problem. And I had some friends who were there on a mission. It’s a Jewish community mission. And as a Jewish person I’ve always been very sensitive to the plight of Jews all over the world.

And so it was an opportunity for a couple of days to go out and observe for myself what it was like in the Jewish community. And I can tell you, what I saw was not very good. I mean, there were people who were in their 80s, who had been there since pre-Castro, who had good lives and good jobs and they’re living on $50 and $100 a month now.

And it was very sad to see and it makes me stand up that much more where I’m in favor of the embargo. I’m in favor of Cuban Americans being able to go see their families because my grandparents were immigrants from Lithuania and I would have wanted to be able to go see them. And I’m in favor of the president’s plan to allow remittances to families, but I’m in favor of the embargo because this regime has destroyed what was once, you know, a great country. They’ve destroyed it.

(A reporter said: “This was not a scheduled stop?”)

Hemingway

Hemingway

No it wasn’t scheduled, no. It was last-minute. We were going from Honduras to the Bahamas, we were going by there and we actually had a mechanical problem. The captain asked if, he said, can we stop there at the Hemingway Marina and I said, well, if it’s legal. He said, well, you can stop there. We were able to stop there and then I was able to get out into the Jewish community and visit with a number of members of the community at two synagogues there.

(Greene was then asked if he had originally described it as a planned visit to help the Jewish community)

No, we went there. We weren’t planning to go there originally. We were on the boat. I want to make it very clear, we were on the boat already. We were heading by there. We had a mechanical problem with hydraulics. We stopped there. And then, as long as we were going by there, we needed to fix this hydraulics problem, I thought, it’s a good chance for me to get out and see the Jewish community. I had some friends who had been there on some missions.

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15 Responses to “Jeff Greene discusses his yacht’s stop in Cuba”

  1. Sane Citizen Says:

    How about his unpaid fines in Belize for dragging his anchor across a coral reef there?

  2. paul Says:

    This guy is cool!

  3. Gabriel M. Valdes Says:

    Years ago the Palm Bach Post published an article about rich men from Palm Beach going to Cuba by yatch and having parties with underage girls at the Marina Hemingway. It seems that this is the same story with Mr. Green as protagonist. The Cuban government does not interfere with this kind of activity, but I doubt very much that he was allowed to visit any community as he states. We don’t need any more politicians with a 145-foot yatch.

  4. SheliaJoy Says:

    Charlie Christ is Florida’s next Senator. Both Greene and Meeks are ethically challenged. I know there are other Democrats out there that would have made a better canidate than those two.
    First time I did not vote for a Democrat in thirty years.

  5. Tom Says:

    HE’S NOT WHAT WE NEED IN FL!! NEXT!!

  6. sioban torres Says:

    As a foreign policy tool, the embargo actually enhances Castro”s standing by giving him a handy excuse for the failures of his homegrown Caribbean socialism. He can rail for hours about the suffering the embargo inflicts on Cubans, even though the damage done by his domestic policies is far worse. Tons of tourists from all over the world (except the US) vacation and spend billions in Cuba every year and this Ass GREENE thinks it’s great that folks can live on $100 a month ! How do they LIVE HUH !!!! No Air Conditioning, Black Market EVERY-THING !!!! My friend raises Pigs on the 3rd floor to plump and sell because you can not buy meat. I made an incubator at 14 years old so we could eat and sell chickens because you can’t buy them. I could go on and on and on. I invite anyone pro Castro to live there for a year with only earned cuban money and tell all how “great” it is.

  7. Tom Says:

    This guy talks out of both sides of his mouth; he’s perfect for politics. So the yacht docked in Cuba, big deal. We can travel to communist China but not to Cuba. What a joke. Free our foreign policy from the hands of the elderly Miami Cuban Americans and let’s get real about the ‘threat’ from the Island 90 miles away. All this 5o plus year embargo does is penalize the ordinary Cuban people, it does nothing to harm the Castro Brothers and their fellow Party members.

  8. V Says:

    And he got that yacht with money he made from betting on people’s suffering. I guess playing the Jew card wins over some of his kind. All it does is turn me off even more to this creep. What a sleeze.

  9. Hangman Says:

    Make sure he pays the required US taxes for the repairs they had done while in a foreign port (Cuba). Sounds like a lame excuse to justify a stop there. And no, it is not legal for US citizens to enter that country that way, I don’t know the flag of his vessel, but US flagged vessels are also not allowed there.

    Maybe his yacht is not US flagged so that he can avoid the taxes due to the US……

  10. Lying f*ck*ng pig Says:

    This guy is a lying piece of crap. Sounds just like the lying you hear around here in PB politics. The rich love living by different set of rules, then lying about it. Listen, if you are that much of a badass, just come clean. But that will never happen because to do so means you must possess character.

    Lastly, I can assure you that his yacht is NOT registered in the US. Most of the large yachts are flagged from a foreign ports like the Marhall Islands, Belize, etc. They sure know how to work the systems that they created to further enrich themselves. And don’t get me started on the Jewish crap. I am getting so freaking tired of hearing about the Jewish plight. Phuk Isreal and everyone that came over here thinking they are entitled to everything. They only care about themselves. You don’t hear them crying about the atrocities of other religions and cultures, but God forbid someone says something about a Jew. I wish they would all take their sorry, greedy, corrupt asses back to Isreal. Then let them act tough on their own. Maybe let Iran blast them a bit. Then maybe they might learn to respect other people as well.

  11. 23 Says:

    There is an article online…in Gawker I think that talks about his Yacht Summerwind and how many crew members allegedly thinks he’s a blowhard butt hole typish of person.

    They say he has gone thru over 20 captains! How can that happen!

    We need this with our Politician Problems?

  12. Gabriel M. Valdes Says:

    Going fom Honduras to the Bahamas, a yatch goes around the western end of Cuba and takes the Gulf Stream route, which is equal distance from Havana and Key West. I assume an American vessel should go to Key West for repairs, considering the distance and sea currents. Also Cuban salaries actually range from $10 to $20 a month, not $50 to $100 as Mr green states. I think he has a lot to explain about this issue if he thinks an intelligent voter will go to election day with him in his mind. Americans should be able to go wherever they want to go, including Cuba, and do whaterver they want to do, as long as it is legal and ethical. However, politicians who want to be elected to public office, should explain what they do to the electorate. If not, stay as a private citizen and then do whatever you want to do. We all have a right to do it, as long as we don’t want to represent other citizens as public officers.

  13. creepycrawlies Says:

    Something about this guy, the way he double-talks, he gives me the heebie-jeebies, creepy-crawlies. He is really wierd!!! Not my vote.

  14. miss Says:

    really cool….

    sandra,
    ——–
    shaitanOfCorsica.com
    Expedition Yacht

  15. Carlton Says:

    Did you reporters think to ask Greene:
    1. What was he doing in Honduras?
    2. Is his yacht a US-flagged vessel?

    Your readers might like to know.

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