Selling the shift

As I mentioned earlier, I have a piece up at Pajamas Media about the Cuban-American generational shift that makes Godot look punctual. As a companion to that I thought I’d post just a few quotes from the Herald about “generational differences” from the last 20+ years. In November we’ll get to see once again what’s what.

…there has been a generational change among Cuban voters. The power is no longer being wielded exclusively — perhaps not even primarily — by those whose political orientation is Cuba…
-MIAMI’S VOTE MADE HISTORY, November 10, 1985, by Tom Fiedler
The memory was reinforced in a similar conversation with a middle-aged Cuban American who watches some of his contemporaries react in anger and frustration to the obvious Americanness of their yuca (Young Upscale Cuban American) children. They want their children to feel the loss of Cuba as they feel it.
This wish to have our children re-create our own past experiences is common, perhaps even universal. But it is a vain hope, one that brings only grief if it is pressed very hard.

-THE ‘MEMORY OF A MEMORY’, November 20, 1988, by Joanna Wragg
For Hispanic candidates banking on ethnic calls to arms, the survey suggests that the approach may bring no better than mixed results right now. And in the future, they may not work at all, as the numbers of younger voters overtake their seniors.
-MAYORAL ELECTION EXPOSES GENERATION GAP, November 7, 1993, by Andres Viglucci
“There is a generational transition going on,” said Jose Ceballos, Hispanic coordinator for the Clinton-Gore campaign. “I have a lot of young Cubans who come up to me and say, `Don’t tell my Mom, but your guy’s doing pretty good.’ “
-GOP WOULD BE TOUGHER ON CUBA, KEMP PLEDGES, October 27, 1996 by Tom Fiedler
There are also some generational differences. Younger people are more likely than older exiles to favor dialogue and to want to hear music from the island played on Miami radio, according to the poll.
-EXILES GLUM ABOUT PROSPECTS FOR CUBA, June 29, 1997 by Cynthia Corzo and Fabiola Santiago
Some of the change is generational . Cubans who came to the United States in the 1960s – and traditionally have held the more conservative views – now make up only a third of the Cuban population in Miami-Dade.
“Through time, there has been a greater acceptance that there are going to be these initiatives,” Perez said. “I also think that to some extent, there’s been a transition in the Cuban-American community. People have changed their position, and many of the traditional hard-liners have died.”

-U.S.-CUBA EXCHANGES BECOMING MORE COMMON, March 26, 1999, by Fabiola Santiago
Ohanian said she believes the idea that Van Van could succeed at a major theater like the Knight Center is disturbing to many members of the older generation. “I think it forces them to realize there are a lot of Cuban music fans out there, who include their own children and grandchildren, and that it’s another generation that doesn’t think exactly the way they do.”
But her accusations that the foundation’s leadership crushes internal dissent and makes a mockery of the values established by the late founder Jorge Mas Canosa are now taken as a glimpse into a much-rumored generational and political rift.
-EACH SIDE IN RIFT CLAIMS LEGACY, July 26, 2001 by Liz Balmaseda
The rift in the leadership ranks of the Cuban American National Foundation may be more than a generational changing of the guard, even more than a struggle for the hearts and minds of Miami’s exile community.
It may represent the emergence of an entirely new domestic Cuban-American image.

-CANF RIFT MAY OPEN NEW DOORS, July 29, 2001 by Robert Steinback
The debate reflects in part a generational split. Many of the protest organizers left Cuba as adults, many with experience in Cuba’s rough-and-tumble pre-Castro politics.
-GRAMMY FLAP EXPOSES SPLIT AMONG EXILES, September 2, 2001, by Andres Viglucci
South Florida’s Cuban Americans are divided along generational lines over President Bush’s new restrictions on travel to Cuba, according to a poll…
But Gonzalez said that Cuban Americans who arrived after 1980 are increasingly becoming a voting power – a potential problem for Bush as the majority of his support comes from those older than 50.

-YOUNGER, OLDER CUBANS SPLIT ON PLAN, July 10, 2004 by Adjoa Adofo
One poll conducted by a nonpartisan, nonprofit Hispanic think tank, the William C. Velasquez Institute-Miriam Group, showed that Cuban Americans are deeply divided – mostly along generational lines – on the new restrictions.
-CUBA POLICY IS USED AGAINST GOP, August 12, 2004 by Oscar Corral
Mesa said part of his strategy will be to bridge the generations and remind the community that it shares a singular hope: ridding Cuba of Castro…
The differing approaches reflect a generational shift in Cuban-American politics. Many Cuban-born exiles support stiff sanctions against the Castro government. Some newly arrived immigrants and some born in the United States advocate more contact with dissident groups in Cuba and suggest that harsh travel restrictions only harm families here and on the island.

-EXILE GROUP GETS NEW LEADER, November 15, 2004 by Lesley Clark
Consenso Cubano’s proposal represents more than a generational shift. In some cases, it also marks a deeply personal reevaluation of long-held beliefs.
“I come from the very hard-line tradition,” Carlos Saladrigas, head of the Cuba Study Group, told me afterward. “But it’s important to reflect. I’ve come to understand that the isolation of a country only benefits the totalitarian state.”

-THE `TRANSITION’ HAS BEGUN, December 6, 2006 by Ana Menedez
Generational change and the rise of independent voters will be tested most in the 21st district, which stretches from Miramar and Pembrokes Pines in Broward County to Miami Lakes, Hialeah, Doral and Kendall in Miami-Dade County…
Martinez offers some wiggle room.
He would not touch the 4-decades-old embargo but says he would push Congress to lift the travel and money restrictions imposed by the Bush administration in 2004 — a reflection of a generational split in the Cuban-American community, according to several polls.

-February 24, 2008 by Alfonso Chardy

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