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Perspectives

October 27, 2008
Cubans look to U.S. election

Senator Barack Obama speaks to a crowd at The Cuban Club in Tampa, Fla.

Cuban-Americans make up a third of the vote in southern Florida’s crucial districts, where U.S. presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain continue to battle for votes.

The campaigns are now discussing socialism, a topic which may recall Fidel Castro’s Cuba for some.

Circles Robinson is a blogger living in Havana. He writes about the Cuban angle of the impending U.S. presidential election in his blog.

Cuba issue weighs on U.S. elections

I’m living in Cuba, not the United States, but even so I’m tired of the U.S. presidential campaign. It’s been going longer than the last three TV soap operas combined!

There has been extensive coverage here, with entire round table programs dedicated to the subject and almost daily reports and opinion pieces in the newspapers.

Most Cubans made up their minds on who they favor shortly after the Democratic Party primary ended. Not that people are enamored with either of the two major parties, but they at least see a ray of hope for improved relations under Obama. This means a lot for many families divided by the Florida Straits and politics.

In a recent informal NBC News survey held in downtown Havana 63 percent stated that they preferred Obama; 2 percent said they liked McCain, 13 percent had no preference and 22 percent declined to answer.

While Cuba policy is not one of the top concerns of most voters across the US it is a major issue in Florida. The two candidates have made a proportionately large number of campaign visits to that swing state “won” by George W. Bush in 2000 and then again in 2004.

Headlines on October 17 included the following: Obama Bets Big on Florida Turnout (L.A. Times), McCain Comes to Miami to Shore Up his Base (Miami Herald). Election Battle Shifts to Florida (BBC).

Numerous polls show that the large Cuban-American population there, formerly a united Republican bastion, is now strongly divided. “Cuba bashing” simply doesn’t attract the younger generations the way it did the exiles that came to Florida around the time of the 1959 revolution.

Younger Cuban-Americans, like the majority of US citizens, are more concerned about the economy, the war in Iraq and other domestic issues, and less obsessed with maintaining a “tough” policy towards Cuba.

To read more, see the original post.

The views expressed by contributing bloggers do not reflect the views of Worldfocus or its partners.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user juliusbulius under a Creative Commons license.

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Comments

4 comments

#4

[…] Cubans look to US election He writes about the Cuban angle of the impending US presidential election in his blog. Cuba issue weighs on US elections. I’m living in Cuba, not the United States, but even so I’m tired of the US presidential campaign. … […]

#3

Hi, Rob –

I’m curious to see what you have to show… if it’s a PM thing let me know and I’ll give you my email address. Thanks.

bijan rezvani
producer, worldfocus.org

#2

Circles works for the Cuban government but does not like people to know that. Proof upon request.

#1

Is there a sense of gravity at the direction that this election goes? I presume that the results of this election have as much bearing on Cuba as they do on the US.

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