Cuban Americans in Congress

Here is a thorough analysis of the clout that Cuban Americans now hold in the U.S. Congress.

According to the 2000 Census, there are 1.3M Cubans in the U.S. population, or 0.4%. Nevertheless, they have two U.S. Senators (2%) and four U.S. Representatives (0.9%).

Cuban Americans have:

U.S. Senators – Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL)

U.S. Representatives – David Rivera (R-FL); Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL); Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL); and, Albio Sires (D-NJ)

Rep. Lincoln Diaz Balart vacated his seat this year, and was replaced by his brother Mario Diaz-Balart. It was Mario’s old seat that David Rivera captured.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is slated to become the next Chair of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Rep. David Rivera defeated Joe Garcia by a margin of 52.4% to 42.4%.

Senator Marco Rubio is the 39-year-old son of Cuban-American immigrants and was born in Miami. He is the only U.S. born member of the Cuban American delegation in the U.S. Congress. With his eloquence, some are saying that he could become the VP nominee or Presidential contender in 2012. Senator Rubio is a strong advocate of “legal” immigration.

Regardless of their party affiliation, these six Cuban American congressmen share one thing in common – they take a hard line when it comes to their dealings with the Cuban authorities.

Because of their honorable Cuban posture, I respect and congratulate every single one of them. To those who claim that the newer generation of Cuban-Americans favors the easing of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, I tell them to look at last night’s election returns. Either those who favor the easing of the U.S. embargo are not U.S. citizens, or they are a figment of someone’s imagination.

Jorge E. Ponce
Burke, VA

3 thoughts on “Cuban Americans in Congress”

  1. Our Cuban legislators are proof that there is no significant generational shift in the Cuban American community [vis-a-vis Cuba] and proof that despite Sergio Bendixen’s countless polls and despite whatever the out-of-touch Cuban American “intellectuals” opine, and despite how many open letters [like that ENCAUSA garbage] are signed and published by so-called representatives of the Cuban American community, Cuban-Americans wholeheartedly oppose engagement with the tyranny and continue to support a hardline.

    We should all be proud of our legislators.

  2. I must make an important CORRECTION to Mr. Ponce’s excellent letter. Marco Rubio, Mario Diaz-Balart, David Rivera, and Bob Menendez were ALL born in the United States. Only Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Albio Sires were born in Cuba. Former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart and former Senator Mel Martinez were also Cuban born.

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