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