New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio apologized Thursday after he triggered an uproar in Florida by quoting revolutionary Che Guevara at a Miami union rally earlier in the day.

The Democratic presidential candidate said later he had no idea the famous quote was from Guevara, an ally of Cuba’s Fidel Castro. “I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way,” he said on Twitter. “I certainly apologize for not understanding that history.”

I did not know the phrase I used in Miami today was associated with Che Guevara & I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way. I certainly apologize for not understanding that history. (1/2)

— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) June 27, 2019

I only meant it as a literal message to the striking airport workers that I believed they would be victorious in their strike- BdB. (2/2)

— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) June 27, 2019

De Blasio quoted Guevara outside Miami International Airport as he spoke in support of union workers there who had walked out to protest poor working conditions and pay. As he was about to hand off the microphone, he shouted: “Hasta la victoria siempre!” (Ever onward to victory.) Though onlookers cheered and applauded, he was lashed by state Democratic leaders and lawmakers.

Guevara, born in Argentina, was a top lieutenant of Fidel Castro and is particularly hated in Miami, where many Cubans fled when Castro took over. Raul Castro used Guevara’s quote when he announced the death of his brother in 2016. Guevara, executed in Bolivia in 1967, became a symbol of revolution, and his face is seen in murals across the world.

Followers on Twitter couldn’t make up their mind if de Blasio was clueless about the quote or simply realized he had erred politically and was attempting as graceful a dodge as possible.

Someone who loved de Blasio’s quote was Donald Trump Jr. He said the mayor’s quote was “no better way to prove” that the Democrats are a “bunch of communists,” adding: “Way to go, comrades!” Twitter critics didn’t quite let him get away with that one.

There’s no better way to prove to Americans that the Democrats aren’t a bunch of communists than quoting… checks notes… Che Guevara. Way to go comrades!!! 👍

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 27, 2019

The only thing that could be more un-American would be, oh I don’t know, colluding with Russia.

— kyle (@Kaybee801) June 27, 2019

I think I'd stay away from the salutation "Comrades."

— seeker #CloseTrumpsCamps 🌎 (@seekerwisdom1) June 27, 2019 Download REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus

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