Friday, September 16, 2016

Clinton, Trump and Cuba Policy: Only poll that counts is the one on Election Day

Obama's Cuba policy will be weighed at the polls in November

Donald Trump repudiated Obama Cuba policy today in Miami, FL
The 2016 presidential election was going to be a wash on Cuba policy with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump supporting Obama's failed Cuba policy. Until today when Mr. Trump in Miami announced that he had changed his mind on the President's Cuba policy. CNN reported on what the GOP presidential candidate said today in South Florida:
Trump -- speaking in a state with a heavy Cuban voting bloc -- characterized Obama's deal as "one-sided" and benefiting "only the Castro regime."
"But all of the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done with executive order, which means the next president can reverse them. And that is what I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands," Trump said Friday.
"Those demands will include religious and political freedom for the Cuban people and the freeing of political prisoners," Trump said.
This new contrast over Cuba will test the FIU poll of Miami Cubans and their supposed strong support for Obama's Cuba policy. Recall that Marco Rubio who has repudiated the Obama Cuba policy lost across the state of Florida in the Republican primary but won Miami-Dade County handily with the Cuban American vote. Trump's about face on Cuba policy will be good news for the GOP in South Florida where Cuban Americans upset over the December 17, 2014 announcement now have a candidate that they can support.  Jorge Perez, a prominent businessman promoting engagement with the Castro dictatorship, lost influence with candidate Trump over Cuba policy.

This will also turn around the erosion in support for the Republican Party by Cuban American voters. The bottom line is that like the Asian American vote, the Cuban American vote is profoundly anti-communist and in the case of Cuba taking a tough stand on the Castro brothers will deliver votes.

The Trump phenomenon is a rejection of the professional political class, of which Hillary Clinton is a paradigmatic example, due to the economic pain of the middle class.  In an anti-establishment year the GOP nominee holds the trump card as the non-politician in the race for the White House.

Now Cuban-Americans have a choice and not an echo on Cuba policy this November. This is good news for the United States and for GOP prospects in South Florida.

I still have my concerns with the Trump candidacy over issues of torture, complimenting Vladimir Putin and the Chinese communists, but at least on Cuba policy voters now have a clear choice.

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