Cuban Americans: Trump or Biden?
When a vote implies a moral questioning.
What’s wrong with Cuban-Americans? Or rather, what’s wrong with Cuban-American voters? How come so many of them are Trump supporters despite the president having enacted cruel measures designed to make the lives of their compatriots on the island unbearably difficult while hypocritically proclaiming he is trying to help them?
Have you ever heard of immigrants from any other country happy because their homeland is being punished by extreme economic measures? Even worse, how many other immigrants you know that are asking for a military invasion of their homeland?
As a Cuban American myself I know there are no easy answers to these questions although, of course, ignorance and the phantom of the communism they fled, so effectively used as a boogeyman by Donald Trump, are a great part of it.
Something I know for sure: I oppose with all my heart any and all measures designed to make the life of my compatriots harder with the pretext of fighting communism. That’s one of the reasons –not the only one—I will vote against Trump.
In a taped interview with the British newspaper The Guardian outside Versailles restaurant in Miami, a famous meeting place of aging hardliners, a man identified only as Osvaldo said he had arrived in a boat in 1994 but is opposed to anybody coming across the border.
“There are too many people here already,” he said and followed with a passionate cry of “¡Viva Trump hasta la muerte!”
But Osvaldo, a cartoonish character that, unfortunately, for many people has become the representation of all Cuban-Americans, is only a part of the story -- and a diminishing one at that.
“This year even my 75-year-old father is voting for Biden,” said Elay Rodríguez, 42, an articulate Cuban American social media activist. “Cubans have seen how difficult it has become traveling to hug their relatives on the island and how hard it has become even to send money remittances, which are the lifeline for many families in Cuba. And they are not voting for a second term for Trump,” Rodríguez said.
“Check the Facebook page of Cubanos con Biden, a group of more than 5,000 Cuban-American Democrats, and counting,” Rodríguez added. “And, of course, young people without the emotional baggage of their parents with respect to Cuba are making a difference in the Miami political landscape. But they have to overcome their apathy and go out and vote to defeat Trump.”
Florida is an important state where elections are won by razor-thin margins. That makes it much more urgent to vote in November to finally kick Trump out of the White House.
“In any case, both Hillary and Obama won in Miami despite it being the place with the largest Cuban population in Florida,” Rodríguez added. “The majority of Cubans voted Republican but didn’t determine the result of the election then and in November, with many more Cuban-Americans turning Democrat, they won’t determine it either.”
This time around, Florida could become a blue state with the help even of its Cuban American population. And that could mean a Biden victory. But it will be accomplished only if all those who oppose Trump’s lies and corruption in Florida go out and vote.