Some of the Cubans critical of the regime reject the disinformation campaign encouraged by the president to mobilize the vote against Biden
Donald Trump’s effective disinformation campaign to mobilize the Cuban vote is echoed in the streets of Miami, in the lines of voting centers, at family dinners and in disputes between neighbors. The association as a communist of his adversary, Democrat Joe Biden, and the Republican vote as the “true act of patriotism”, are the loudest arguments in this state with almost one million Cubans, two weeks before the presidential elections. But far from the honks of Trumpism on the boulevards and the retweets of a photo of Biden greeting Fidel Castro, a part of the Cuban community demands sanity. It is them that Biden is looking for: moderate Republicans who can grant him Florida, a decisive state to take over the presidency of the United States.
In an electoral announcement that went viral this week, a former combatant in the Bay of Pigs invasion (Cuba) in 1961, Santiago Morales, who was imprisoned by the regime for 18 years, asked in Spanish to vote for Biden. The call of the veteran Morales surprised many by the distance he marked in front of the organization to which he belongs, Brigade 2506, which has supported Trump’s candidacy since 2016 and has done so again this year. Morales compared President Trump with Castro and Chávez in the video – financed by the tycoon and former Democratic Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg – and declared: “They are not going to fool us. In these elections we are not going to vote for him. Trump, you will be the only loser, “Morales says in the recording, referring to a few words from the US president to the military whom he also called” losers. “
There is a part of anti-Castroism that is not so visible these days of electoral euphoria in Miami. “The vision that has been sold since Trumpism is that he is going to be the liberator of Cuba. And many people have bought it that we see on the streets. But the reality is that neither Republicans nor Democrats have overthrown the Cuban government. If you read the press and allow yourself to be invaded by media influence, you think that the Cuban Revolution is that falls yesterday, but that’s not real. And Trump is not going to end the Cuban government, who is going to end the Cuban government is the almanac, “says exiled journalist Juan Almeida, son of the historical commander and vice president of Cuba Juan Almeida, from the patio of his house.
Another Cuban joined the talk at Almeida’s house, preferring not to give his name for fear of reprisals from the island. This indicates that his vote will go to the Republican Party, but not for the reasons that are vociferous in the streets, but for a conviction with his economic and social policy. “I am totally against those who say that the Democrats are socialists. Leave Biden or Trump, the paths of this great country will follow, because there is a base, a structure called a system and that is what will prevent it from changing, “he adds.
At the door of a West Miami voting center, 28-year-old Christine Robaina explains why her parents will not vote for the first time, since they arrived more than 40 years ago, for the Republican Party. “My mother and my aunt are very educated, lawyers, my grandmother was a sociology professor in Cuba, so we are very aware in my family of how dictators rise to power. And we see that Trump is not freedom, he is fascism ”.
Everyone agrees that the fight for the Cuban vote is common. More than 900,000 Cubans live in Florida, almost 30% of all the Hispanic vote in the state, according to the latest Pew Research report Center. And the specter of the dispute between George Bush and the Democrat Al Gore of the year 2000 in this State is still present: Bush obtained an advantage by at least 1,784 ballots in his favor, which was later reduced to 537. Winning over the Cuban and Venezuelan electorates (about 75,000 voters) may mean winning the game in one of the entities with the most undecided vote in the country. To get an idea of the battle for Florida, in 2012, Barack Obama triumphed there with only 0.9% difference against Mitt Romney and, in 2008, with 2.8% against John McCain.
Despite the tradition of a disputed entity, its projection on the streets is, according to what they say, unprecedented. “We have never seen this fervor. There are people who have clashed in the markets, we live that division. And anyone who turns on the television these days in Miami believes that this is the reality of the country, ”explains the Cuban exile. “Something is happening here that happens a lot in Cuba. And the thing is that people are afraid to say that they will vote for the Democrats, ”says Almeida.
From Florida, he is the leader of the extremist organization that supports Trump, the Proud Boys, a group that the FBI links to white nationalism and misogyny, and which has organized demonstrations against the anti-racist movement Black Lives Matters. Enrique Tarrio, 36, of Cuban origin and raised in this part of the state, heads this radical group and is also a reflection of the radicalization of a part of the Republican electorate in this corner of the southeast of the country.
The disinformation campaign that has bought the most visible part of Miami’s radical Republican vote is Biden’s association with socialism. “Communism is always the ghost, but it is right here. It may be a distant ghost for Europe, but the Cuban communism has it here, it does not have it in a textbook ”, Almeida points out, regarding the effectiveness of the message. “This city is full of victims and it is very easy to manipulate them,” he adds.
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