Saturday, November 6, 2010

Not Your Father's Exile? Values vs. Policy (Part II)

A young Cuban-Amerian friend from Miami whom I met while we campaigned together for Obama back in 2008 (and who now works for the administration) shared the following comment with me regarding Rubio's recent election and Lopez-Levy's article in Foreign Policy.

This friend is about the same age as Rubio and, though very different from him politically, can understand as an insider some of the more nuanced and apparently contradictory political dynamics of the Cuban-American community.
I think the polls, while hitting on an inevitable shift in exile thinking as the older generation fades away, miss an essential point about the current Cuban-American electorate.
As in so much in politics, their vote preferences are about values, not policy. Cubans here do increasingly support lifting parts of the embargo.
But even many of them would prefer to see their politicians taking a tough and principled - if blunt and ineffective - stance against the regime rather than siding with the agricultural interests and Castro sympathizers they see pushing for policy changes.
It's part of the messaging problem for advocates.

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