Cuba Issue Remains a Hot One in Midterm Elections From New Jersey to Nevada

Relations between the United States and Cuba have been tense since the beginning of the Castro Regime in the Caribbean nation, which established a socialist state sympathetic to the U.S.’s Cold-War rival, the Soviet Union. It has been more than a half century since the Cuban revolution, and only in recent years has the United States taken steps to normalize relations with its neighbor. As the midterm elections approach, Cuban Americans from New Jersey to Nevada are concerned about further steps proposed by the Obama Administration, which hopes to maintain Democrat control of Congress so it can press on with important domestic policies such as comprehensive immigration reform.

Generally speaking, the Cuban-American population supports the United States’ trade embargo of Cuba and the raft of other policies designed to isolate the island nation. Many Cuban-Americans have fled the country for the United States and strongly oppose the Castro Regime. They see sanctions and isolation as the best way to punish the regime. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (D) is a close ally of the Cuban American Lobby, and he opposes any liberalization of current policies. He and others argue that allowing increased trade or tourism would provide the Cuban economy with more money, which would enhance the power of the regime.

This puts the Obama Administration in a tough spot — among President Obama’s many promises as a candidate was a pledge to increase diplomatic relations with Cuba, and his administration has proposed new rules that would give more freedom to academic, religious, and cultural groups that wish to provide services in Cuba. These efforts are supported by a growing number of Americans, and even among Cuban Americans there is increased acceptance of new policies.

Yet Cubans are a loyal part of the Democrat’s power base, especially in places like Florida. Historically they have been very sensitive to the Cuba issue, abstaining from voting or even voting against Democrats when their interests are not respected. In a difficult election year — which includes a tough re-election battle for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada — the Administration does not want to pick a potentially costly fight.

We will continue monitoring this story and others that will impact the elections coming up in less than a month. These elections will have a major impact on the next two years of domestic policy — Obama would like to address a number of issues (including immigration reform) if he can maintain control of Congress, and Republicans have made it clear that they want to stop the government entirely. If you have questions about immigrating from Cuba or any other country through a family-based petition or employment visa, contact us today for a free consultation with our experienced Nevada immigration lawyer.

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