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Cuban-American Voting

The voting response of Cuban-Americans to the perpetuation of the Castro regime has generally been to use their influence to push the agenda of the American far right, even though many Cuban Americans may fundamentally disagree with the views of the reactionary candidates they vote for. The larger views of the candidates seem less important than their position vis--vis Castro.

For this and other reasons, Cuban-Americans have incurred resentment from other Hispanic group, being generally more wealthy, more conservative, and better educated. Their political influence is tremendous despite the fact that they comprise less than 5% of the U.S. Hispanic population (total 1 million people of Cuban origin live in the United States). 65% of Cubans live in Florida, and are a key constituent in the state's voting. Yet Cuban-Americans are also a pluralistic group, many of whom oppose the effects of the embargo.

On the right end of the Cuban-American political spectrum is the recently deceased Jorge Mas Canosa, considered the most prominent activist in the exile community. In the 1980s the Reagan Administration appointed three people to head an organization of Cuban expatriots that would be an arm of U.S. policy toward Cuba (a very clever idea that worked). The Reagan Administration appointed Mas Canosa and two other Cubans to head it, but the other two dropped out of its leadership because they did not want to seen as puppets of the US government. Mas was perfectly happy in that role as he was completely in agreement with what the Reagan Administration wanted to do. (See Jane Franklin's article, "The Cuba Obsession.")

The Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF) now has over 50,000 members, which addressed policy issues and commissions studies on a post-Castro Cuba. CANF also oversees anti-Castro radio broadcasts, and opposed negotiations with Castro. CANF directly  lobbies the U.S. Government and is a good example of the lobbying power of the Cuban right and its influence on U.S. Foreign Policy.

Go to Brothers to the Rescue

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