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Squandering the Cuban vote
Washington Times ^ | Aug. 2, 2003 | WT Editorial

Posted on 08/01/2003 10:41:38 PM PDT by FairOpinion

Edited on 07/12/2004 4:05:51 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

It is not an overstatement to argue that George W. Bush is president today largely because of Cuban Americans. After Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno ordered an armed raid to take 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez away from his family and ship him off to communist Cuba, outraged Cuban Americans turned out in force to vote against Democratic candidate Al Gore in retribution for the administration's mistreatment of one of their own. More than 80 percent of Florida's 400,000 Cuban-American votes were delivered for Mr. Bush in 2000. This put him over the top in that state's close election, and thus, provided the electoral votes to defeat Mr. Gore.


(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: asylum; bush; cuba; cuban; cubanamericans; gwb2004; hispanicvote; refugees; repatriated
I do hope Bush intervenes and won't let these 19 Cuban refugees be sent back, not for political reasons, but because it's the right thing to do.

And it's way past time for President Bush to change Clinton's "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy, which is what compels the INS and the Coast Guard to send back these poor people fleeing Castro's dictatorship.

1 posted on 08/01/2003 10:41:38 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
We dont give a damn about all the mexicans coming here illegaly, but a few Cubans try to escape tyrrany & we send them back

If George W doesn't change this asinine policy, he doesn't deserve to be re-elected

2 posted on 08/01/2003 10:45:18 PM PDT by Ford Fairlane
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To: FairOpinion
Without the votes of 500 Cubans in Miami, Owlgore would be president.
3 posted on 08/01/2003 10:56:26 PM PDT by RLK
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To: Ford Fairlane
Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian or frikkin' Martian, we cannot solve all the world's problems by moving the entire dissident population of all the turd-world countries here. I'm sorry if it sounds mean, but the answer to all the world's problems is not, "Move to America". We just cannot do it.
4 posted on 08/01/2003 10:57:43 PM PDT by Thorondir
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To: Thorondir
...Furthermore, I truly feel for the poor escapees from Fidel's damned prison camp, but they need to deal with him rather than just run away and leave their family and friends floundering under his iron heel. What if the American colonists would have just run away to another country instead of fighting against England's tyrranny? That was a war nobody said we could win, but we did.
5 posted on 08/01/2003 11:00:29 PM PDT by Thorondir
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To: RLK
"Without the votes of 500 Cubans in Miami, Owlgore would be president. "

---

And if the Cuban Americans hadn't stopped the Democrat vote counters from taking the votes into a closed room to "count", Bush wouldn't have had those extra 500 votes, you can bet on that too.
6 posted on 08/01/2003 11:02:11 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: Thorondir
the answer to all the world's problems is not, "Move to America". We just cannot do it.

I agree - but we should have fixed the Cuba problem in 62 & we let them down - & if we are letting mexicans in why are we sending cubans back

7 posted on 08/01/2003 11:08:33 PM PDT by Ford Fairlane
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To: FairOpinion; Luis Gonzalez
There is one fly in this ointment with both moral and political ramifications. First off, let me state that I do not like this police and was involved in enforcing if for many years. That said:

If the administration over turned current policy for Cubans would it have a moral obligation to do the same thing for Haitians? I believe it would myself, but that is only because I've seen the conditions in Haiti and the looks on the faces of those who we returned.

If Haitians were not given the same consideration then the President's many detractors would scream foul and how much more politically costly would it be nationally? If he gave Haitians the same consideration? Then you know this would cause an even greater uproar amongst certain elements who only grudingly vote Republican.

Oddly enough, candidate Clinton did promise to reverse this police and allow Haitians in. Despite Coast Guard warnings, President Clinton didn't and many thousands of Haitians set sail for freedom. Many died when their overloaded boats over turned (we often found wreckage and parts of bodies). The lucky ones were interdicted and taken back to Haiti were many were summarily executed, out of sight of course, by thugs. Of Course President Clinton was never taken to task for this.

This is a very difficult issue...I wish I had the answer.

8 posted on 08/01/2003 11:14:26 PM PDT by CWOJackson (go pat go,,,going, going....gone)
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To: Thorondir
Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian or frikkin' Martian, we cannot solve all the world's problems by moving the entire dissident population of all the turd-world countries here. I'm sorry if it sounds mean, but the answer to all the world's problems is not, "Move to America". We just cannot do it.

-------------------------

That's a separate issue, but one that should be examined. If left to thir own devices half the world would come here looking for a better life. There is no way of accommodating them here. They need to build a better life where they are. Additionally, many of the people who would come here bring the attitudes that have made life less better where they were and those attitudes suck the life out of the system here.

9 posted on 08/01/2003 11:16:58 PM PDT by RLK
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To: RLK
Yep. They often come here to escape the oppression that their culture enabled back home, then get homesick for that same culture and use it to drag ours down into the gutter. It's sad and all too common, but I can't say I blam them.

The bottom like is, though, that we cannot just absorb every unhappy person in the world into the United States. If they cannot build a safe, clean, prosperous and fair society in their own homelands, then how can we expect them to act like they belong in ours?
10 posted on 08/01/2003 11:26:25 PM PDT by Thorondir
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To: CWOJackson
"If the administration over turned current policy for Cubans would it have a moral obligation to do the same thing for Haitians?"

I grow tired of the comparison between Cubans and Haitians, so let's settle this once and for all.

If you claim that we have a moral obligation to treat them the same, then what you are saying is that we need to invade Cuba (like we invaded Haiti), overthrow the despot running the country (like we overthrew Duvalier), and set up free elections (like we did in Haiti).

The current policy in place, is an agreement between Clinton and Castro, and I don't elevate agreements with despots to the level of US policy...do you?

The prevailing law is the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966...it's the law. This law is being violated by a Bill Clinton Executive Order, I (along with most conservatives) consider EO's to be unconstitutional...what do you think?

Haitians and Cubans have not been treated equally, so either send in the Marines and knock off Fidel, or overturn "wet foot, dry foot", and adhere to the constitutionally enacted law.

11 posted on 08/01/2003 11:26:59 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez (Yo soy la Cuba libre.)
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To: CWOJackson
"This is a very difficult issue..."

---

I agree. There is no easy answer. But we can address them one at a time. What puts the Cubans into a different category, is that we had a long standing policy towards them, which Clinton changed in a cruel way.

A lot of people from a lot of countries all want to come to the US, because they want freedom, democracy and capitalism. Of course we can't take them all in. But I think if Bush will get a second term, he will make great strides towards helping more countries to become free and democratic.
12 posted on 08/01/2003 11:36:33 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
I agree. There is no easy answer. But we can address them one at a time. What puts the Cubans into a different category, is that we had a long standing policy towards them, which Clinton changed in a cruel way.

Yep but Castro also has the Mariel card. Releasing violent criminals from his jails.

I don't think any administration wants to go through that again.

13 posted on 08/01/2003 11:44:38 PM PDT by Dane
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Dane
"Yep but Castro also has the Mariel card"

---

And we have the "cruise missile card".
15 posted on 08/02/2003 12:05:59 AM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: RLK
Your analysis of election 2000 is correct, but one could just as easily credit Bush's victory to his winning the non-Hispanic white vote in Florida. Funny how Republicans, in their zeal to win the affections of people not naturally inclined to support them, will forget the people who actually do vote for them (Although I admit that Cubans are the ONE Hispanic group the GOP has done well with, though that support has declined over time)

But back to your point; you could credit his victory to any group or locality from which he achieved a 500 vote advantage.
16 posted on 08/02/2003 12:16:42 AM PDT by Aetius
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To: FairOpinion
Cubans' return 'just not right,' Gov. Bush says***The governor hinted at a major announcement of some kind by his brother's administration in the coming months related to Cuba policy. ''I think this can be rectified,'' he said.

The issue could prove politically damaging to the president, who relied, in part, on hundreds of thousands of typically loyal Republican Cuban Americans in 2000 to narrowly win Florida and, as a result, the White House.

The president's advisors believe Florida could be pivotal for his reelection next year. Democratic challengers are already angling to exploit the flap, with Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman calling a South Florida news conference earlier this week to declare the repatriation an ''abandonment of American values,'' and then showing up at the Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana to mingle.

But the statements by the president's younger brother -- a Miami resident and fluent Spanish speaker with credibility among exile activists -- could serve to help repair the damage by reminding Cuban Americans of the brothers' close ties to them.

The governor acknowledged in the interview that losing Cuban-American support could be devastating to the GOP, noting that President Bill Clinton's success in wooing even a mere third of their vote helped him win Florida in 1996.

A key critic on Thursday welcomed the potential for changes in policy but attributed the governor's assurances to politics.

''I think they're going to have to do something, because they can't win Florida without the Cuban-American community's overwhelming support,'' said Joe Garcia, executive director of the influential Cuban American National Foundation, whose top leadership has been especially critical of the Bushes in recent days. ``Unfortunately, it took the foundation and others demanding action over things that were promised three years ago.''

In the interview, Gov. Bush called Lieberman's move a ''repugnant'' political play, saying that he registered his disagreement with the White House ``with respect, not rancor.''

Acknowledging a failure by the White House to articulate a ''coherent policy'' on Cuba, the governor added that the president would announce major changes in policy sometime before the 2004 election.***

17 posted on 08/02/2003 12:56:52 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: FairOpinion
I thought they had already been sent back. If Bush allows this to stand, he does not deserve to be reelected. I am upset about this.
18 posted on 08/02/2003 1:40:08 AM PDT by marron
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To: marron
They were sent to Guantanamo Bay but its an outrage that people fleeing a Communist tyranny are going to be housed with terrorists whose goal is the destruction of America.
19 posted on 08/02/2003 3:28:07 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: RLK
That's BS. I have yet to meet a first-generation Cuban immigrant who thinks Communism is hot stuff.
20 posted on 08/02/2003 3:47:02 AM PDT by Green Knight (Looking forward to seeing Jeb stepping over Hillary's rotting political corpse in 2008.)
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To: Green Knight
Just to clarify, there's a difference between...

A) People who lived in peaceful socialist countries, like France or Germany. These people have never known tyranny (At least real tyranny. Income Tax is a minor tyranny in my book, but that's a topic of discussion for another day), and so have never associated their system of government with being bad. They just assume that their country didn't become great because it was lacking something, which the US has, and that if enacted here, Socialistic policies will work.

B) People who grew up in brutal dictatorships. These people hate the system they grew up in AS WELL as the dictators. When Castro talks lovingly about Communism, all the while he's got his boot on somebody's head, do you think that makes that person inclined to think Marx was a wise man? As I said, I don't know ANY 1st-generation Cuban immigrant who thinks Communism is peachy. They all understand that it was the bane of their existence. Moving on to the 2nd and 3rd generations, you'll find some who do think it's a good idea, but that's because they're to ignorant to quiz their parents on what it was like in Cuba, and through extensive contact with Commies in THIS country.

Maybe this is a self-serving statement, but there SHOULD be a difference between Cubans, Haitians, and Mexicans. Haitians and Mexicans live in hellholes of their own devising. Ones which can be rectified at the ballot box. Exactly HOW can Cubans rectify THEIR problems at the ballot box? They can't. The only way to solve their problems is at gunpoint. Of course, that's easier said than done. Chavez's own military turned on him and HE'S still in power, and I don't see Castro's military turning on him. And lastly, they come here for different reasons. Most Mexicans come here just for the benefits they get. Most Cubans, however, come here looking for freedom. Were Mexico an island, I VERY much doubt you'd see them building little shanty rafts to get across the Florida strait the way Cubans do. Wouldn't you prefer to have a group of immigrants who come here not for the financial and medical benefits, but for the free society?

Bush should NOT send those refugees back, and he needs to eliminate that "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy. The sense of betrayal down here is palpable.
21 posted on 08/02/2003 4:06:16 AM PDT by Green Knight (Looking forward to seeing Jeb stepping over Hillary's rotting political corpse in 2008.)
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To: Green Knight
Seems I feel the need to clarify a little bit more.

Again, what's the difference between Mexicans and Cubans? If a Mexican gets sent back, there's no problem. He goes home, cleans up, then tries to jump the fence, again. There's no threat of incarceration or execution. No visit from the (Non-existent in Mexico) Secret Police.

If a Cuban gets sent back, best case, he gets thrown into a very dank, dark cell for a very long time. Worst case scenario, he's executed.

BIG difference between a country which actively ENCOURAGES its people to leave its shores, and one which imprisons and murders its own people just for trying to leave. I doubt the fate of the refugees will be all that pleasant once they get back to Cuba.
22 posted on 08/02/2003 4:14:35 AM PDT by Green Knight (Looking forward to seeing Jeb stepping over Hillary's rotting political corpse in 2008.)
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To: FairOpinion
"More than 80 percent of Florida's 400,000 Cuban-American votes were delivered for Mr. Bush in 2000. "

SOURCE: http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20030801-093837-9954r.htm

Let's see, that's......about 320,000 votes that Bush received from Cuban-Americans in FL in the 2000 Election.

...and Bush won FL by 520 votes!

Is it safe to say that there are more than 520 "pissed-off" Cuban-Americans in Miami?

"...Karl Rove!...Paging Karl Rove!!" - "Anyone home???"

Sounds like some heads should roll over this stupid "everyone asleep-at-wheel" incident.

23 posted on 08/02/2003 9:30:50 AM PDT by LibFreeUSA
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To: Thorondir
"Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian or frikkin' Martian, we cannot solve all the world's problems by moving the entire dissident population of all the turd-world countries here. I'm sorry if it sounds mean, but the answer to all the world's problems is not, "Move to America". We just cannot do it.

Stick it up yours!!

The Cuban Americans are more patriotic and pro-American than your average stooge walking down the street!!!

24 posted on 08/02/2003 9:33:39 AM PDT by LibFreeUSA
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To: Thorondir
CORRECTION!! - sorry Thorondir

This mssg was meant for: RLK

"Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian or frikkin' Martian, we cannot solve all the world's problems by moving the entire dissident population of all the turd-world countries here. I'm sorry if it sounds mean, but the answer to all the world's problems is not, "Move to America". We just cannot do it.

Stick it up yours!!

The Cuban Americans are more patriotic and pro-American than your average stooge walking down the street!!!

25 posted on 08/02/2003 9:36:40 AM PDT by LibFreeUSA
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To: LibFreeUSA
No problem.
26 posted on 08/02/2003 11:16:53 AM PDT by Thorondir
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To: LibFreeUSA
"...Karl Rove!...Paging Karl Rove!!" - "Anyone home???"

Sounds like some heads should roll over this stupid "everyone asleep-at-wheel" incident.

===

Exactly right. It's time for them to wake up and take action, instead of letting the Clinton law continue, and hurt Bush. Not to mention, that Clinton's cruel executive order should have been reversed by Bush soon after he became president.
27 posted on 08/02/2003 12:08:28 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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