This past week saw GOP presidential candidates John McCain and Rudy Giuliani swooping into South Florida to talk tough about Castro and to chase the “guayabera bucks.”
What does it all really mean?
Unfortunately, not much, as Cuban Americans have heard it too many times before: Lots of rhetoric, and no hard evidence that the candidates have a better way to help a post-castro Cuba.
Consider this comment from Phil Peters, as you listen for the candidates’ positions on wet-foot/dry-foot and other matters of substance to the Cuban and Cuban American community:
Aside from Mitt Romney’s cribbing of Venceremos Brigade rhetoric, this may be an election in which the candidates have nothing new to add to the Cuba playbook. Which means, we can guess, that we’re in for a competition of symbolism and rhetoric to show whose love and commitment is most genuine.
But, really, Cuban Americans should expect and demand more than that, for their dollars and their votes. This is a pivotal moment in the history of Cuba, and U.S.-Cuba relations. Anyone elected to the White House next year will surely face some tough choices.
In a close election, Cuban American votes, like in 2000, could determine who wins. That is powerful leverage that must be used accordingly to tell the candidates to pipe down on the rhetoric and to explain their positions on issues that really matter.
(Cross-posted at Uncommon Sense.)