What they see in Trump is a guy thats unapologetically pro-American.
WASHINGTON D.C. (Texas Insider Report) Cuban Americans equate socialism" with their nations former dictator Fidel Castro and his brother-successor Raul making them acutely aware that replacing President Donald Trump with a Democrat would begin an inevitable slide toward socialism in the United States.
What this community first understands is that there is evil in this world because they witnessed it" said Republican Florida Cong. Mario Diaz-Balart who is the son of Cuban exiles.
Cuban Americans are high-intensity voters for good reason and they show up making the advantage Republicans have with them highly important.
Part of a broader Republican-leaning community thats proliferated throughout South Florida and spawned generations of native-born Americans since the rise of the Castro dictatorship decades ago Cuban Americans are fervent backers of President Trump.
They are attracted by his economic policies his stance against Cuba and especially by the perception that hes an unabashed patriot.
Over lunch at a Cuban pizza restaurant in Hialeah Florida Cong. Diaz-Balart explained that his communitys support for the GOP has shown signs of increasing under Trump.
What they see in Trump is a guy thats unapologetically pro-American" said Cong. Diaz-Balart (right.)
He does not apologize for the United States and hes not out there saying the United States is evil" he said.
Mario Diaz-Balart says the Democrat presidential fields embrace of socialism" both as a label and in many of the policy ideas Democrat candidates are pushing has hit major nerve with Cuban American voters as it has with the much smaller Venezuelan American community in South Florida who are witnessing in real-time a socialist regime destroy what was once a wealthy thriving democracy in their country.
Trumps delivering on his promises to roll back Barack Obamas move to open relations with Cuba as well as implementing enforcement mechanisms via economic embargoes that previous presidents avoided has paid major political dividends.
Indeed a recent Republican poll obtained by the Washington Examiner and conducted just after the mid-term elections found President Trump wins a 61 favorable rating among Cuban Americans.
Cien por ciento Republicano" shouted a worker on the factory floor to Cong. Diaz-Balart as he toured a local manufacturer of industrial walk-in coolers and freezers.
Translated the Amerikooler employee was telling the congressman that he is 100 Republican."
Its a common refrain here in this mostly Cuban American working-class city of about 240000 in the heart of Miami-Dade County that is dotted with modest single-story homes strip malls and warehouses and dominated by Americans whose primary language is Spanish.
Cuban Americans are a critical component of the Trump coalition in this 2020 battleground state which by itself could hold the key to his reelection.
I love Trump" said Nereida Queiros 74 a Republican voter who spoke to the Washington Examiner during a comedor" a regular luncheon for low-income Cuban American seniors at the Wilde Community Center in Hialeah. Comedors particularly at Wilde are must-visits for politicians hunting for votes in this community.
Queiros who supervises programs for seniors at the center has lived in the United States for 50 years but still speaks in broken heavily accented English and required a translator for portions his interview conducted as Diaz-Balart a ninth-term Republican checked in with his constituents and other seniors who had gathered for lunch and conversation.
Hes doing what he has to do for this country" Queiros said explaining an enthusiasm for Trump that has been unaffected by immigration and refugee policies that Americans of other Hispanic ethnicities have derided as hostile or even prejudiced.
He says straight he doesnt think political. He say what he feel."
According to Florida exit polling from the 2016 presidential contest Trump captured at least 54 of the Cuban-American vote which accounted for 6 of the statewide electorate. That was not insignificant in a contest with Hillary Clinton that Trump won by 1.2 a tight margin typical for this swing state over the past two decades.
Quietly some Republican operatives concede Trump might have a leg up with Cuban American voters because he and they share an affinity for braggadocio and embellishment.
When Trump talks tough and exaggerates many Cuban Americans do not view him as dangerous or out of line but in a way one of them.