As the 2020 presidential elections draw closer, the Republican Party is likely to present only one candidate, Donald Trump. Meanwhile, the contenders for the Democratic nomination, as well as Congressional and Senatorial candidates from both parties, are seeking to capture a mass of voters that today is up for grabs: Latinos.

Certainly, this segment of the U.S. population is not to be underestimated: in 2018 there were 59.9 million Hispanics living in the United States.

That is why, judging from their recent statements, the Democrats seem to have changed their rhetoric as many Latinos have experienced the evils of socialism and communism “in the flesh.”

 A declared socialist

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks to the crowd during a rally at Central Piedmont Community College on the lawn of Overcash Center in Charlotte, N.C. on Friday, May 17, 2019. (David T. Foster III/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

Although Sen. Bernie Sanders has proclaimed himself a “socialist” and has a long history on the U.S. left, his presidential campaign co-chair Carmen Yulin Cruz has recently denied that they are socialists.

His change of characterization before the Latino electorate makes sense: many of the Cubans and Venezuelans residing in Florida, for example, have escaped the lack of freedom and poverty brought by the socialist experiment in their countries of origin.

Mexican-American journalist Jorge Ramos, who was expelled from Venezuela for criticizing the imprisonment of political prisoners, interviewed Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, about the 2020 elections. Cruz acknowledged that Latinos do indeed have a negative concept of socialism and that’s why neither she nor Sanders are using that term when interacting with Latinos.

Quoting ‘Che’ Guevara

The case of Cruz and Sanders is not isolated: on June 27, the mayor of New York, Democrat Bill De Blasio, quoted Ernesto “Che” Guevara in a speech to union members from American Airlines and Delta Airlines.

“To victory, always,” exclaimed the presidential pre-candidate in Miami, home to millions of Cuban exiles.

His statements generated such negative reaction that De Blasio had to quickly apologize on social networks.

One of the major criticisms of the controversial quote came from Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

Rubio, who is of Cuban descent and has a strong influence on the Latino community in Florida, was categorical in his statements:

“Che Guevara opposed freedom of expression and religion, imprisoned homosexuals, led a repression against rock & roll musicians, abandoned his children, and boasted that ‘my friends are friends as long as they think like me,'” the Republican Senator wrote on Twitter.

“It is unacceptable to quote a murderer like Che Guevara,” said Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala, also from Florida.

Latinos don’t want socialism

Many Latinos living in the United States, and their families, have suffered the consequences of this doctrine in their countries of origin. That’s why it’s no coincidence that more and more people in this segment of the population support President Donald Trump’s anti-communist discourse.

Indeed, since he arrived at the White House, the Trump Administration has strongly condemned and sanctioned the regimes of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

At the same time, the image of the president grew in the Latino community in the United States: When he took office he had 31% approval, and is now at 50%, according to a McLaughlin & Associates poll.

In fact, days ago, the president launched his campaign for re-election in the state of Florida, home to millions of Latino exiles.

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks to the Venezuelan American community at the Florida International University Ocean Bank Convocation Center Monday, Feb. 18, 2019 in Miami, Fla. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks to the Venezuelan American community at the Florida International University Ocean Bank Convocation Center Monday, Feb. 18, 2019 in Miami, Fla. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

But also at the domestic level, Latinos benefited from the policies of the Trump Administration: unemployment in the Latino community has fallen to historic lows.

In this sense, it should be noted that the greater well-being that Latinos in the United States currently experience was caused by policies that were contrary—for example, the reduction of taxes that led to a greater hiring of workers in companies—to those of a socialist nature that have left their former countries in poverty and misery—for example, the increase in taxes and welfare.

Also, Dr. Esther Valdes, an immigration lawyer from California, points out that many Latino families disagree with the so-called “sanctuary cities”—mostly governed by Democrats—that allow many criminals belonging to the Latino community, who entered the United States illegally, to be housed and not deported.

In that framework, in a dialogue with The BL, Dr. Valdes affirms that the reinforcement of border security—including the construction of the wall—is seen positively by a vast sector of the Latino community residing in the United States, since it protects these families from drug trafficking, human trafficking, and delinquency.

On the other hand, the majority of Latinos are Christian or Catholic believers and that is why they welcome Trump’s pro-life and anti-abortion policies (in the face of the legalization of abortion until birth and the medical abandonment of newborn survivors of abortion by Democratic governors). In fact, in most of Latin America, abortion is banned, and the recent international abortion lobby to legalize it has met with strong resistance from the population in these countries.

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Within this framework, it is logical that Democrats hide their socialist ideology, as they seek to capture Latino voters who just escaped from those regimes in search of freedom and prosperity in the United States.

The warm applause with which thousands of Latinos in Miami responded a few days ago to Vice President Mike Pence when he echoed Trump’s statement, “America will never be a socialist country,” is a clear demonstration of what Latinos don’t want for America.