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Friday, 9 November 2012

The numbers game

It does appear that what I was saying yesterday has really happened. As the graph above from The Wall Street Journal shows, the numbers of Cuban-Americans voting Democrat has increased steadily over the years since 2000 and now they are voting in roughly equal numbers with their Republican colleagues. What this means is that the demographics have fundamentally changed. The Democratic half of the community by and large favours contact with the island and wishes to visit it freely, send money to their families and possibly even look forward to having a share in a business there once the new private sector becomes established. The Republican half favours the embargo and punishing Cubans, driving down their living standards in the hope that they will turn on the government. The former group is growing, the latter is declining. The latter is declining because the community is dying off, they are early migrants who left in the sixties, have few ties to the island and whose children do not share their vehement hatred of Castro. The latter group are growing because they are new migrants and they are growing fast. Look at these figures posted today by Phil Peters on his blog:

Numbers of Cubans who obtained legal permanent residency in the past ten years, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
2002                28,182
2003                9,262
2004                20,488
2005                36,261
2006                45,614
2007                29,104
2008                49,500
2009                38,954
2010                33,372
2011                36,261
Total              326,998

That's nearly 3 per cent of the total Cuban population becoming US citizens in the past nine years. Think about it, can this be allowed to go on? Cuba simply cannot afford to keep losing these people and the US can't keep absorbing them - especially since the Cubans are made a special case among the Hispanic communities, benefitting from the ridiculously anachronistic Cuban Adjustment Act and the ability to obtain citizenship easily. Logic tells you that sooner now than later something has to change - and following this election, Obama has the best opportunity to do it than any President since Kennedy.
More on all the voting from Fabiola Santiago in the Herald; in the Wall Street Journal, “Cuban-Americans Move Left;” and in the Financial Times, “Cuban-Americans Stun Republicans.”

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