COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – About 500 people were on hand at the American Top Team MMA Gym, which was the third of four stops for President Donald J. Trump’s Fighters Against Socialism bus tour that made the rounds throughout Florida on Sunday.
Hosted by Donald Trump Jr., UFC Superstar Jorge Masvidal and Cuban immigrant Maximo Alvarez, who delivered an impassioned speech about the American dream at the Republican National Convention, were also there to show their support for the president.
(Watch the Coconut Creek event below.)
The kick off started at 11 a.m. at the Tampa Convention Center, then headed to Orlando to Mech-Tech Institute for a 1:30 p.m appearance. Then it was off to Coconut Creek and finally Miami.
By 6 p.m., there was a crowd gathered inside American Top Team waiting for the arrival of the speakers as piped in music — everything from Bruce Springsteen to the Rolling Stones to Mr. 305 Pitbull — kept them entertained while they waited for about 30 minutes for the event to get underway.
In Broward County, where masks are required, some in attendance followed the rules, while others did not. There wasn’t much in the way of social distancing, either.
The Trump campaign has been pushing the anti-socialist message, which resonates here in South Florida where many have fled communist totalitarian regimes. Yet, after four years of Trump in the White House, those countries remain the same — Castro still controls Cuba, Maduro is still president in Venezuela.
“As it relates to Venezuela and Cuba, he’s going to maintain those kinds of pressures to try and get those countries to shift,” Trump Jr. told Local 10.
Mixed martial arts superstar Masvidal delivered a strong anti-socialism message as the opening speaker before Trump Jr. came on to the stage.
Masvidal spoke directly to the Latinos in the crowd, saying: “I do know Latinos. Latinos are not lazy. Latinos are not looking for a handout, we don’t want free stuff — we want freedom and opportunity. We want know that our hard work and sacrifice is going to pay off so we can get our piece of the American dream. We owe it to our parents and grandparents who risked their lives to get over to this great American country.”
He pointed out his father, Jorge Sr., who was in attendance, and shared how the elder Masvidal fled Fidel Castro. “He escaped Cuba on an inner tube when he was 14 years old — spent six days at sea, praying every minute of it that he would get to a free country where he could start a family and get back everything that socialism stole from him.”
Masvidal has spoken openly in interviews about visiting his father in prison where he served 18 years on federal drug trafficking charges.
For his final push, the fighter said he sees everything through a sports lens, comparing Donald Trump to a head coach.
“Before the global pandemic, we were winning Super Bowls and when you’re winning Super Bowls, you don’t fire the coach. It doesn’t' matter if you don’t like the plays he runs, the players he puts on the field or what he says on Twitter. You sure don’t replace him for another coach that’s been in the business for 47 years at every level and never won a (expletive) game.”
After the event, Local 10′s Hatzel Vela talked to Trump Jr. one-on-one about the president’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis. When asked how he was doing, Trump Jr. said: “He’s doing great.” He said that Trump Sr. is eager to get back on the campaign trail. So, why not release his COVID-19 negative test results, we asked?
“I don’t know anything about it. I mean, listen, if the White House cleared him and says that he’s not contagious, then I’m taking their word as gospel,” Trump Jr. said.
After the Coconut Creek appearance, the group headed to Miami Executive Airport, where they were joined by Republican Senator Marco Rubio.