They represent 650,000 and 50,000 potential votes respectively. And they could make a difference, but both are mostly seduced by the heavy hand and aggressive rhetoric of Donald Trump.
Courted by Donald Trump before he was president, Cubans and Venezuelans living in Florida they are, among Hispanics, the stone in the shoe of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in his journey to win this decisive state in the November elections.
“He still hasn’t given with the right message for them “, which is “saying something more than defending Barack Obama’s position towards Cuba,” the Argentine journalist based in Miami Andrés Oppenheimer tells Efe, who is convinced that the Democrat’s campaign is going to take a turn in that direction in the section end of the campaign.
Biden will visit Florida this September 15, But it won’t be in Miami but in Tampa, where he will participate in a round table with veterans, and in Kissimee, where he will meet with the Hispanic community in that town where a large number of Puerto Ricans reside.
Polls in the last week have shown that while he is leading the way in voting intention, the former vice president victory in Florida is not assured and it needs more Hispanic and non-Hispanic votes to offset the traditional support of North and Central whites for Republican candidates.
Cubans and Venezuelans, what represent 650,000 and 50,000 potential votes, respectively, could make a difference, but both are mostly seduced by Trump’s heavy hand and aggressive rhetoric towards the governments of their countries, despite the fact that he has not achieved the changes in power that they wanted so far.
A poll last week showed that Trump scores 38 points from Biden of advantage among Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade and at the end of August another poll revealed that 7 out of every ten Venezuelans with the right to vote in the US will vote for the president.
The Democratic candidate has “a very poor offer for the Venezuelan community,” says José Colina, president of the Miami-based organization Venezolanos Perseguidos Políticos en el Exilio (Veppex), to Efe.
The former vice president under Barack Obama (2009-2017) has promised to grant to the thousands of Venezuelans who fled to the United States due to the serious crisis in their country a Temporary Protection Statute (TPS) so they can regulate their situation here, but those people still don’t have the right to vote.
Furthermore, “he has not stated what your policy will be towards the dictatorship of Maduro “, while the Trump Administration has issued” political and economic sanctions and qualified the regime as a tyranny “, in addition to recognizing the opposition Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela.
To questions from Efe, Colina acknowledges that all this has not achieved a political change in Venezuela or make the economic and social crisis more bearable for Venezuelans, but at least it is something in front of the “nonexistence” of pronouncements from Biden.
“It seems that the strategy of his campaign was to say nothing so as not to create problems,” underlines this former Venezuelan military.
Conversely, the “efficient” strategy Trump’s communication campaign has created the perception that his policy towards Venezuela has had results and “in politics, perception is an asset.”
In the case of the Cuban exile, the problem with Biden is not what he has not said, but rather that he has indicated that he intends to continue with Obama’s policy of rapprochement with the Cuban regime, underlines Orlando Gutiérrez, leader of the Cuban Democratic Directorate, an organization integrated in the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance.
“That means more than what we have already seen,” Gutiérrez said in reference to the concessions that as of 2015 the government of the democrat made to the Cuban government, then chaired by Raúl Castro, without requiring him to do anything in return according to the opinion from exile.
“Nobody understands and knows the problem of Cuba better than the Cuban exile,” says Gutiérrez, who argues that it is a matter of time before a firm policy of economic and political sanctions like the one Trump has applied to the “bloody regime that has been in force for 61 years. power “on the island produce the desired results.
“We are very close to this regime leaving power and Cubans being able to regain their freedom,” said the Cuban opponent.