Dem Senate candidate to campaign with liberal donor who boasted about '8-hour dinner' with Fidel Castro


Former Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, is set to campaign with a liberal donor who boasted online about dining with communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro for eight hours while on a trip to Cuba in 2002.

Finkenauer, who is running against incumbent Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican, will be campaigning in San Francisco at an event hosted by the Electing Women Bay Area PAC. The event will take place on Thursday at the home of liberal political donor Andrea Dew Steele with a requested donation of $1,000.


However, Steele, who is the founder of Emerge America, boasted online in 2016 about an “8-hour dinner” she attended with Castro. Steele posted a picture on Facebook standing next to Castro and described a long dinner and trip to Cuba she took in 2002.

“All of this talk of Cuba today reminds me of my trip to Cuba in 2002 and my (8 hour) dinner with Fidel (and 20 others) pictured below with me on the left,” Steele wrote on Facebook in 2016. “This is an historic time that we are living through.”

Steele had also posted the same picture with Castro on Facebook two years before, stating she was “fortunate” to be included on a delegation, amid the Obama administration’s attempt to normalize relations with Cuba in 2014.

“In honor of the opening of relations with Cuba, I just have to post my photo with Castro taken in 2002 when I was fortunate to be included in an official delegation,” the post stated.

Steele acknowledge to Fox News in a Wednesday email that the trip to Cuba was an “official trip” but did not provide comment on the dinner with Castro. 

Katharine Cooksey, a spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), blasted Finkenauer for cozying up to liberal donors who “support communist dictators” and have anti-America views, in an email to Fox News.

“It’s hard to take Abby Finkenauer’s doomed Senate run seriously when she doesn’t even take it seriously herself. Why else would she schmooze with liberal California donors who support communist dictators like Fidel Castro but look down on hardworking Iowans? If Finkenauer believes Iowans share these same anti-America values, she’s in for a rude awakening.”


Fidel Castro ruled Cuba beginning with the 1959 revolution and ending in April of 2011 when his brother Raul took his place.

Raul Castro resigned in the spring and was succeeded by President Miguel Díaz-Canel. Over the summer, Cuban people carried out the most widespread protests the country has seen in decades over the communist regime and food and medicine shortages, as well as power outages. The protests turned violent as participants clashed with the police.

Finkenauer’s campaign and Electing Women Bay Area did not respond to Fox News’ multiple requests for comment.

Fox News’ Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.

Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.


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