Courting Caribbean Votes – Cuban-Americans

Go Lean Commentary

Dateline: Miami, Florida – There is a huge chasm in the Cuban-American community…

… not Black versus White … not rich versus poor … but rather old versus young.


The old wants Cuba on its knees and forced to conform, reform and transform to a model of “their” making, while the young just wants to “move on”, accept Cuba for “what it is” now and then just move forward together. This chasm is expressed in the numbers and the anecdotes.

For the Florida Presidential Primary this past March, the observation was made that supporters at a rally at a popular Cuban restaurant, Versailles, ranged in age from 49 and 93; they were both Cuban-born and U.S.-born. But none younger than 40 supporting any Republican candidate. According to the Pew Research Group, this is evidence of a ‘growing partisan gap’ between younger and older Cubans.

So in effect, the partisan gap for Cuban-Americans is a choice between the past versus the future; embargo versus re-approachment. The leader of this Cuba re-approachment movement?

The President of the United States: Barack Obama.

Passions run “hot” on both sides. Obama, a Democrat, has 4 more months left on his administration. His successor is being selected now:

Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

CU Blog - Women Get Ready for New Lean-In Campaign - Photo 5

CU Blog - Going from Good to Great - Photo 2

This is the question being debated. The election is November 8, 2016. Of the 22 million that compose the Caribbean Diaspora, (including foreign born and 1st generation US-born), Cuban-Americans are one of the largest sub-groups with 1,173,000 persons born in Cuba. These are being courted right now for their support and their vote.

  • Who will they vote for? Who should they vote for?
  • What if the criterion for the vote is benevolence to Caribbean causes?

This commentary is 3 of 3 of a series from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean, in consideration of Courting the Caribbean Votes for the American federal elections – President, Vice-President and Congress (Senate & US House of Representatives). This and the other commentaries detail different ethnic communities within the Caribbean Diaspora and their voting trends; the series is as follows:

  1.       Courting the Caribbean Votes – Puerto Ricans
  2.       Courting the Caribbean Votes – ‘Jamericans’
  3.       Courting the Caribbean Votes – Cuban-Americans

The quest of the Go Lean book is to elevate the Caribbean’s societal engines – economics, security and governance. All of the commentaries in this series relate to governance, the election of the leaders of the American federal government. The Go Lean movement (book and blog-commentaries) asserts that Caribbean stakeholders need to take their own lead for the Caribbean destiny, but it does acknowledge that we have a dependency to the economic, security and governing eco-systems of the American SuperPower. This dependency is derisively called a parasite status, with the US as the host.

Cuban-Americans love Cuba … and America. For those Cuban-born, but living in exile, their quest is to impact the island nation to be better, one way or another. This year they are looking to impact their homeland with their vote. So they seek to support American candidates for federal offices that can help to transform the island of Cuba. See a related news article and VIDEO here:

Article Title: Millennial Cuban-Americans abandoning GOP to support Clinton, poll shows
By:  Serafin Gómez and Mary Beth Loretta of Fox News Latino
Rafael Sanchez is a Cuban-American who lives in the predominately Cuban neighborhood of Westchester in Miami-DadeCounty. He works at a local health center and has voted for the Republican presidential nominee in previous elections.

But this November, for the first time, the 29-year-old plans to switch his political affiliation.

“I’m voting for Hillary Clinton,” Sanchez told Fox News Latino. “As much as I like to vote Republican as often as I can, the party itself has changed dramatically – to the point where I just vote Democrat.”

Sanchez is not alone.

According to a new poll by Florida International University, for the first time in decades the majority of South Florida’s Cuban-American voters – a dominant voting bloc in the region – are not supporting Republican nominee Donald J. Trump, despite him being a part-time local.

According to FIU, Trump is now in a dead heat with Clinton among Cuban-Americans in the area.

“As Trump struggles to garner the support of Latinos across the U.S., he may have lost the one group every Republican candidate has been able to count on for more than 30 years,” FIU spokeswoman Dianne Fernandez said in a statement.

She described the trend as GOP “voter erosion.”

Another new poll, conducted by Benixen &  Amandi International with the Tarrance Group, shows Clinton with a 53 to 29 percent lead over Trump among all Hispanics in Florida.

Clinton’s 24-point lead, the Miami Herald points out, is still lower than the 60 percent support Barack Obama enjoyed among Florida Latinos when he won the state in 2012.

With the overall race for the SunshineState so close – the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls shows Clinton and Trump deadlocked at 44 percent – Latinos, especially Cuban-Americans who formerly backed GOP presidential candidates, could tip the state – along with its 29 Electoral College votes – to the former secretary of state.

Leading the trend toward Clinton among Cuban-American voters are younger millennials who are breaking away from their parents’ and grandparents’ voting habits.

“There is definitely a difference, generationally,” Melissa Pomares, a 25-year-old Cuban-American law student from Miami, told FNL in an interview.

Pomares voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 but is leaning toward Clinton this year. She says social issues are a big part of why.

“I was very pro-gay marriage,” she said. “I think that there is definitely a disconnect between me and [previous generations in her family] as far as social issues go. They’re definitely more traditionally conservative, and I think I’m more liberal.”
Serafin Gomez covers Special Events and Politics for FOX News Channel and is also a contributor to FOX News Latino. Fin formerly worked as the Miami Bureau Producer for Fox News Channel where he covered Latin America.
Source: Posted September 14, 2016; retrieved October 9, 2016
VIDEO – Donald Trump’s town hall with South Florida Hispanics –

Posted Sep 27, 2016 – Following the night of the first 2016 presidential debate, Donald Trump visited Miami Dade College to hear testimonials from South Florida Hispanics, who shared life experiences and their admiration for Trump. He was given a linen Cuban guayabera [(a shirt)] by Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R-FL 105th District), who served as the moderator at the meeting. – CBS Miami/ Alexa Ard/ McClatchy. Read more here:

As related in the previous blog-commentaries in this series, the experience in the US is that the politicians do not always represent the majority of the people, but rather the majority of the passionate ones in their constituency – those who turn out to vote. According to the foregoing story, it is obvious that passion for Cuba is resulting in passion for the voting booth. Therefore, there is a jockeying to win these votes for the different parties this election year. The Cuban numbers are so impactful that they can swing the vote in this swing state of Florida.

The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). It advocates optimizing the societal engines of economics, security and governance in the Caribbean; This is not an elevation plan for Florida or any other jurisdiction in the US. Though the roadmap features strategies, tactics and implementations to better engage the Diaspora’s time, talent and treasuries, our focus is first and foremost the homeland.

We are not encouraging the Diaspora how to vote for the best American destiny; rather we are presenting the Diaspora with the urgency to chose candidates that can, by extension, impact the Caribbean for the better.

Better? That is the goal; to make the Caribbean – Cuba included – a better place to live, work and play.

Considering all 30 Caribbean member-states, the acknowledgement is that Cuba is different. It is what it is.

Cuba has suffered from censure and sanctions from the US and many Western Powers for more than 56 years. They have had a debilitating Trade Embargo since 1962. Only now is the abatement of some of those sanctions. Under Obama, he has re-instated diplomatic relations – by Executive action – with Havana and pleaded with the US Congress to lift the Trade Embargo. Change is taking place, in the US and in Cuba. What will be the next steps?

The next President will determine.

The Caribbean Diaspora, and Cuban exiles, can have an impact now. They can lend voice and vote to the cause for Cuba: entrenchment or re-approachment.

The CU/Go Lean roadmap seeks to reboot the Caribbean societal engines, the economics, security and governance. To be successful we need all-hands-on-deck: residents and Diaspora. To start, we need to lower the trend for expanding the Diaspora, we want to dissuade further migration and hopefully to facilitate a subsequent repatriation. Countries need to grow their populations in order to grow their economies.

People who leave their beloved homelands do so for a reason; the Go Lean movement (book and blogs) identified these reasons as “push and pull” factors. We must do better in lowering these factors than we have in the past. By doing so, we become an American protégé, rather than just an American parasite. This is the quest of the Go Lean/CU roadmap, to elevate the Caribbean’s economic-security-governing engines. The roadmap recognizes that the changes the region needs must start first with convening, collaborating, confederating the regional neighborhood, no matter the ethnicity, language or colonial legacy of the member-states. This means including Cuba, not censuring them; (if the US Congress refuses to end the Trade Embargo, that only affects Caribbean territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, we can still support interstate commerce with the remaining 28 member-states).

The need to confederate the region in a Single Market, including a reconciled Cuba, was pronounced early in the book, in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 & 13) with these statements:

xi.  Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation … for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xiii.    Whereas the legacy of dissensions in many member-states (for example: Haiti and Cuba) will require a concerted effort to integrate the exile community’s repatriation, the Federation must arrange for Reconciliation Commissions to satiate a demand for justice.

xx. Whereas the results of our decades of migration created a vibrant Diaspora in foreign lands, the Federation must organize interactions with this population into structured markets. Thus allowing foreign consumption of domestic products, services and media, which is a positive trade impact. These economic activities must not be exploited by others’ profiteering but rather harnessed by Federation resources for efficient repatriations.

The Go Lean book, and previous blog/commentaries, stressed the key community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies necessary to effect change in the region for all member-states – including Cuba – to improve the oversight of the governing process. They are detailed as follows:

Anecdote – Caribbean Single Market & Economy Page 15
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – new Security Principles Page 22
Community Ethos – new Governing Principles Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future – Give the Youth a Voice & Vote Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-around Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations – TRC Cuba Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategic – Vision – Integrated Region in a Single Market Page 45
Strategic – Vision – Core Competence – Specialty Agriculture like Cigars Page 58
Tactical – Confederating a Non-sovereign Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing to $800 Billion Regional Economy – Marshall Plan Models Page 67
Tactical – Separation of Powers Page 71
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up Page 102
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Impact Elections Page 116
Implementation – Reasons to Repatriate Page 118
Planning – Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region – Marshall Plan for Cuba Page 127
Planning – Reasons Why the CU Will Succeed – Lessons from Unifying Germany Page 132
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices Page 139
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 176
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Cuba Page 236

The points of effective, technocratic oversight and stewardship for Cuba were further elaborated upon in these previous blog/commentaries: Obama – Bad For Caribbean Status Quo The Road to Restoring Cuba Cuba to Expand Internet Access Repenting, Forgiving and Reconciling the Past US Territories – Between a ‘rock and a hard place’ Colorism in Cuba … and Beyond Migrant flow into US from Caribbean spikes Restoration of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba CariCom Chairman calls for an end to US embargo on Cuba ‘Raul Castro reforms not enough’, Cuba’s bishops say Cuba mulls economy in Parliament session Cuban cancer medication registered in 28 countries Cuba Approves New “Law on Foreign Investment”

We want to make Cuba and other places in our Caribbean homeland, better places to live, work and play. So we must engage the political process in Washington, DC as the Trade Embargo is a major obstacle for Cuba. There is the need to put the island’s communism history “to bed”. Cuba had to adapt the strategy of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” when they previously aligned with communist Russia (the Soviet Union). But this is now 2016; the Soviet Union is “no more”. The Trade Embargo should also be “no more”.

(There is still the need for formal reconciliations).

The only way to impact Washington is through voting. This is why the Cuban-American vote is being courted. Which presidential candidate best extols the vision and values for a new Caribbean? This is the question being debated in places like Miami.

The Go Lean movement urges Cuban-Americans to decide based on one criterion, one Single Cause: a unified, forward-moving Caribbean, with Cuba included.

The Go Lean roadmap advocates being a protégé, not just a parasite. This is a turn-around plan for Cuba and all the Caribbean. We must now seek out solutions that encourage participation of all Caribbean member-states in nation-building. The goal is to stop any future societal abandonment. Rather than life abroad, like the Cubans living in exile, the Go Lean roadmap calls for the empowerments so that Caribbean people can prosper where planted in their homeland.

Its election time in America; and the candidates are courting voters … of Caribbean heritage. The Go Lean movement urges participation in this process, but not to change America; our only focus is to change/elevate the Caribbean; all of it. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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