For the 2008 US Presidential election, it may look as if the Cuban-American vote is up for grabs. For the most part, this has been one voting bloc that looked to be exclusive to the GOP. In regards to winning Florida, the Cuban-American voting bloc has been one of the most crucial voting blocs to secure.
In short, if you want to win Florida, you would very much need support from Miami’s Cuban-American community. This has been one of the most crucial voting blocs in the GOP. However, the Cuban-American voting bloc may look to be up for fair game in regards to this year’s election.
Democratic co-frontrunner Senator Barack Obama of Illinois while in Florida, spoke during lunchtime with the Cuban American National Foundation. In front of the crowd, Obama explained his new policy in regards to Cuba. Obama has given the idea that he would willingly meet with current Cuban leader Raul Castro, the brother of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Recently, Fidel Castro turned power over to Raul Castro. On a side note, US President George W. Bush said that in a few weeks, a new initiative will take place that will allow those that live in the US to send cell phones to those in Cuba.
But, Obama’s policy towards Cuba is considered controversial. However, the Cuban American National Foundation did not greet Obama with boos. They greeted him with a standing ovation.
Under Obama’s policy if elected president, Cuban-Americans will be able to visit Cuba and/or send money to relatives that live there.
Interestingly enough, one of the guests attending happened to be Alina Fernandez. She is the estranged daughter of Fidel Castro. Fernandez lives in Miami, Florida in exile. Also, Fernandez has been one of the most outspoken critics towards Castro. Fernandez said that she believes Obama has been the only presidential candidate to speak the truth about his intentions in regards to Cuba.
However, there were those who have their criticism towards Obama’s policy. Ninoska Perez-Castellion of the Cuban Liberty Council said that Obama was ignorant on the issues on Cuba.
So far, Pepe Hernandez, the president of the CANF said he was disappointed in McCain’s message. However, Hernandez maintains that he still loves McCain and values his friendship. Hernandez was critical of Bush’s announcement of sending cell phones to Cuba. He explains that sending cell phones to Cuba has been going on for quite awhile.
While there are criticisms towards Obama’s stance on Cuba, there is the clear indication that the Cuban-American vote is up for grabs. One can expect that the issue of Cuba will be a hot button debate in regards to foreign policy.
McCain looks ready to square off against Obama. However, Obama has said that the Democratic contest is not over yet. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York is not out of the race yet. So far, Clinton and Obama are still fighting it out for the Democratic nomination.
But, Clinton’s chances of securing the nomination let alone winning the US presidency look slim to none.