During the early stages of the 2016 Republican presidential campaign, when Marco Rubio seemed to be at least a semi-viable candidate, I read a statement to the effect that ‘Rubio doesn’t really represent, and certainly can’t count on, the “Hispanic vote” because non-ethnic-Cuban Hispanic Americans generally loathe their Cuban brethren and would have no particular affinity for him. In fact, they might actually be predisposed again him’. (sorry no cite)
As I recall, the main reasons given for this were historical (and, to an extent, economic), with Cuban Americans not having ‘experienced’ the US in the same way as most other Hispanic Americans and thus not in a position to ‘speak for them’.
Is there any truth to this - that Hispanic-Americans generally dislike, if not distrust, Cuban-Americans?
I don’t believe that any ethnic group (for lack of a better term) votes as a bloc. Obviously that can’t be true. No group even thinks as a bloc.
On the other hand, there will be and are statistical tendencies in any group. And that’s what I was getting at - is there any evidence to suggest that what I read about - non-Cuban ‘Hispanic Americans’ generally not feeling kinship with those of Cuban ancestry - is true?
The Cuban Americans who fled Castro’s Cuba were, in many cases, middle class or wealthier, and educated. They were the same kinds of people who are leaving Maduro’s Venezuela. I don’t discredit people for leaving an autocracy, even if I have economic and philosophical disagreements with them. The Cuban experience is different than the Mexican experience. And the Mexican experience is different than the Guatemalan, Honduran, Costa Rican experience, and so on.
As **asahi **mentions there is a bit of class stress in the mix, especially towards those members of the Cuban community who emigrated in the 60s and 70s and their descendant generations.
There is a large component in other Latino communities that sees the Cubans as privileged on the basis that for several decades it looked as that if you were fleeing/defecting from Cuba, the door would open and you’d be welcomed with open arms, while everyone from everywhere else had to queue up and prove they should be let in.
But again, this is not a uniform thing, and there is a broad range of variation in how our communities look at one another. Trying to figure a common cause is though.
The thing is, “Hispanic Americans” is a category created by the Anglodominant establishment culture, but it does not really identify the sort of coherent group identity arising from a common historic experience in the same sense that African-American does. You have the very divergent historical and environmental forces shaping the different Latino cultures in their homelands AND in the US – remember also that some of us have been part of the tapestry for a long time vs. others who are living the “immigrant” experience.
Agreed that they are all different, but the Guatemalan, Honduran, Mexican, Salvadoreño, etc. experience are more similar to each other than the Cuban experience. It’s as if you were to compare grapefruits, oranges, limes, and apples. Sure they’re all different, but some are more similar than others. The reason, as mentioned, is that Cubans that came over back during Castro’s heyday tended to be upper middle class and gravitate Republican, while those from the other groups tend to be poor or working class and gravitated to the Democrats. In today’s world of political polarization, that’s what counts. Take the Cruz vs. O’rourke race here in Texas. Hispanics, which here in Texas tend to be Mexican-American, favored O’rourke despite Cruz’s name and Cuban heritage (and yes we did realize that Beto is Irish and not Mexican-American).