Joe Garcia in the Miami Herald

Over the weekend, Joe Garcia, Director of NDN’S Hispanic Strategy Center, was quoted in an important piece in the Miami Herald on the relationship between the Democratic Party and Cuban Americans. NDN is leading the charge to engage a new generation of Cuban Americans:

Joe Garcia, vice president of the New Democrat Network, said the Bush administration hobbled the Republican Party by ``selling itself out to the ultra-right.''

''What I think you are going to find from Democrats is they are going to look to engage the Cuban-American community for the solution,'' Garcia said.

Polling results also show indications of a political shift among younger Cuban-Americans:

Bendixen's poll showed that 49 percent of Cuban Americans favored the 2004 sanctions and 45 percent opposed them. Cuban exiles who arrived after 1980 opposed sanctions 55 percent to 41 percent; those who came before 1980 favored restrictions 63 percent to 29 percent.

A similar poll conducted in September for U.S. Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart found Cuban Americans in his district backed current sanctions, although younger voters were less likely to support the embargo. In that poll, 80 percent of the Cuban Americans interviewed arrived before the Mariel boatlift.