Meek team seizes on Greene gaffe on traveling to Cuba (video)

The Kendrick Meek campaign immediately pounced last night on a report on WLPG, the ABC affiliate in Miami, that broadcast a story on Jeff Greene spending several days traveling to Cuba on his yacht, illegally, in 2007.

On Sunday, the St. Petersburg Times first reported that according to two former crewman on Jeff Green's yacht, the Palm Beach billionaire went to Cuba to go "party" there several years ago.  But during a Bay News 9 debate aired Monday night, Greene denied that, saying he went as part of a Jewish humanitarian trip.

But a former deckhand said last night on Miami TV that Greene was lying about that.  Watch the report below :

In a statement, Kendrick Meek blasted Greene, saying:

"Jeff Greene's lies know no bounds. It is astounding that Jeff Greene would make light of the plight of Cubans and the Jewish community in Cuba who are living under a repressive regime. This episode goes to the very nature of Greene's character and shows his complete disregard for the public trust. All on his own, Jeff Greene has once again proven that he has no business representing our state in any capacity."

This morning, the crack team of Beth Reinhard and Adam Smith with the Miami Herald & St. Pete Times are quoting another deckhand on that now infamous trip to Cuba who is contradicting Greene's spokesman Luis Vizcaino, who said yesterday that Greene had "misspoken" during the debate, and that in 2007 Greene had traveled on his yacht, Summerwind, from Honduras to the Bahamas and had a hydraulic problem, and therefore had to dock for two days in Havana.

But deckhand John Walenczyk says otherwise, telling the Times/Herald:

"It was their total intention to go to Cuba,'' he said Tuesday. ``We never went to Honduras, not even close. I figure it was the glamour of wanting to go to a banned country.''

Under current U.S. law, Americans can travel to Cuba, but they must receive permission from federal authorities to do so.  Greene had not.  Last year Tampa City Councilmember Mary Mulhern traveled to the communist nation, as have former Congressman Jim Davis and former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco in recent years, as the issue is not nearly so volatile in the Tampa Bay area as it still remains in some parts of Miami-Dade County.

It will certainly add some fire for Kendrick Meek and his statewide bus tour, which begins today in Orlando.

Oh, there was one piece of good news yesterday for Greene.  A spokesman for Warren Buffett came out yesterday to rebut Meek's campaign ads that say that the "Oracle of Omaha"had ever called Greene's investments in credit default swaps "financial weapons of mass destruction."  Buffett of course did make that famous remark about such derivatives, but never explicitly about Greene.

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