Historically a Republican group, this election season saw a dramatic reversal for Cuban-Americans and their party alignment. Carrie Sheffield and Clay Aiken sat down with Bold Editor David Grasso and Bold Contributor Cathy Areu, both Cuban-Americans, to discuss the GOP’s relationship with Latinos and Hispanics on Bold TV on Feb. 24.
Younger Latinos in the U.S. are leaning more towards liberal politics than the older generations. David said that although a vast majority of his Cuban relatives voted for Donald Trump, that isn’t the case among the younger generations.
“[Younger Cubans] relate more to the social issues of the U.S.,” Cathy said. “They’re more with the millennials,” she said, which brought up how Latinos assimilate in the U.S.
“My family has been here for 50 years and they’re very American,” David said. “I was raised with the identity of American Plus. We are Americans first above all else, but the Cuban identity is something we have in addition to that, and in fact, I was taught that that was something good.”
During the show, David “came out of the closet,” and admitted to traveling to Cuba a few months ago to visit family. While there, David witnessed the moment it was announced on Cuban television that Wet Foot Dry Foot was repealed by then-President Obama in January.
Wet Foot Dry Foot was a policy that allowed any Cuban who touched American soil to remain in the U.S. and eventually be granted residency. It was a revolutionary policy, David said, calling it an “ultra accommodative immigration policy.” Some special treatment is still available to Cuban migrants through the Cuban Adjustment Act.
“[People were] stunned,” David said. “Obama came and repaired relations. [He] was hugely popular. When we were watching the TV, everyone was in collective shock because they couldn’t believe he would betray the Cuban people.”
Article originally published on bold.global.