This is change. Change in the Cuban community...
My mom just told me a story about a call she got yesterday
evening from a Romney canvasser who happened to be like
her, an older Cuban immigrant woman. Before I get to recounting
that though here is some back story you have to know
below the pastelito...
Mom is a Cuban immigrant who was amongst the last of
the family that left the island in 1965. I was born in the states
not long after. For most of her time in the United States my mom has been,
like most Cubans of her generation, a staunch Republican.
For those that don't understand the phenomenon of the mostly poor to middle
class Cuban community's hardcore support of Republicans over the years,
it mainly has to do with Kennedy's refusal to back a Bay of Pigs
invasion and attempt to oust Castro by Cuban ex pats in 1961.
Kennedy balked as the invasion began, after he had expressed potential support
in arms for the citizen's militia. At least that is the story I have always heard.
There was a bloodbath and Castro grew stronger. Never mind that Kennedy probably averted WW3 by not getting involved officially. But the result + a number of other factors caused the Cuban community to go Republican almost 100% for the next few decades. I mean I grew up in Miami loving Reagan because that is what I was fed...
Needless to say It didn't take long for me to see the light...
Flash forward to 2004...
In 2004 when I went down to help the GOTV vote in Miami
(I have lived in New York now for 15+years) I had to almost
beg my mom to support Kerry. She did so and thus reversed more
than 20 years of voting Republican. But it was new and she did so reluctantly,
mostly because I asked her to. In 2008 she was swept away by Obama and became a strong supporter who now says she loves him!
So she was sitting at home yesterday evening and got the call.
"Buenas noches señora" the lady said. ("good evening mam")
"Yo la estoy llamamndo de la campaña de Mee RRongney" (I am calling you from the campaign of ... and this is how it sounds and funny way to write for the obvious reason
(rr=roll the r) MEE RRONGNEY)
At that point mom says she stopped her cold and told her politely;
"Con permiso señora, yo voy a votar para el presidente Barack Obama"
( Excuse me mam, I am going to vote for prez Barack Obama)
Mom says the woman's voice got loud and frantic and she retorted
"Pero señora como puede ser eso? (But mam how can that be!?)
And then the Romney canvasser lady went into a tirade....
"Como puede ser que usted va apollar a Obama cuando el es la causa de la crisis economica, cuando el esta de acuerdo con el matrimonio de los gays, cuando el
esta de acuerdo con los abortos ...no es usted Catolica?"
(How can you support Obama when he is the cause of the economic crises, when he is for gay marriage, when he is for abortion...are you not Catholic?" )
To which my mom beat her back with;
"El presidente esta haciendo un buen trabajo sin el apollo de el congreso y las cosas estan mejorando! Y yo si soy catolica, pero apollo a
las uniones de toda buena gente no importa su sexualidad, y nunca me e hecho un aborto, pero eso debe ser la decision de una mujer solamente"
(The president is doing a good job with no support of the congress and things are getting better! And yes I am Catholic, but I support unions of all good people regardless of their sexuality and I have never had an abortion but I believe it is soley a woman who should choose whether to have one.)
At that point, and this is the weird kicker and the reason I took the time out of my day to write this really; The Romney canvasser then said,
"Pero señora el señor RRONGNEY tiene una familia muy linda. Obama no. Obama tuvo un padre boracho y una madre que no lo queria!"
(but mam Mr RRONGNEY has a beautiful family. Obama doesn't. Obama had a father who was a drunk and a mother who did not love him!)
At this point mom says she wanted to say "horrores" (horrors)to the woman, but she characteristically kept her cool and dignity and replied
"Senora yo nunca escuche esa historia, pero si es verdad, hasta mas admiracion tengo para el Presidente por haber superado todo eso. Ahora me despido, buenas noches, y arriba Obama"
(Mam I never heard that story, but if it is true, I have even more admiration for the President for rising above all that. Now I have to let you go, good night, and up with Obama!)
All I have to say is that I am very proud of my mom!
Please forward this story around so people see that today's Cuban community is
much more bi partisan than most people would think! My Mom lives in Cape Coral Florida
with her husband who is a lifelong Democrat.
PA Lante Obama.
PS- This is the Republican mama I spoke about in the song I wrote and video I appeared in 2008;
PSS- YES WE ARE making another video and have a new song called PA LANTE!
Hopefully we will have it done very soon! Be on the look out for it....
Thanks for the Rec! Just talked mom thru finding the link online and she read it and is very happy and thankful for all the nice comments.
* Aunt's Update *
So mom is very happy about all the nice comments on here.
she called me back a little while ago and said she spoke to my aunt who recounted
a story of even scarier shenanigans by RRongney canvassers, this time the door to door variety. I called mi tia (my aunt) to get the direct word which I will keep brief here. Tia is also Cuban and arrived int he states before my mom by way of lancha (speedboat) around 1962
Basically two RRongney foot soldiers showed and knocked on her door. They were apparently hunting for elderly who are feeble of mind. They knocked on the wrong door.
They were polite at first and said they were from the RRongney campaign and where there to help her vote absentee so she wouldn't have to take the trouble to go in to the polls in November. They said they could sign her up and that would be it, she would be done voting and wouldn't have to worry anymore. She told them she was voting for Obama. The canvassers expressed there dismay and asked if she was a Republican (apparently she was on their list as a registered R.) She said she is a Republican but has not had time to go and change her status (She has sadly been in ill health too) And she would consider voting for Republicans again when they actually offered some programs that would help her... and that until that time she was voting Democratic.
And that was that. The canvassers left in a tizzy...
I got to say, I canvassed for local and national politicians, and the tactics that I am hearing that these Republican foot soldiers are using on people out there, on the elderly, and the retired, on my family... is not only disrespectful and despicable, it is illegal or bordering on illegal! It has to stop!