Fellow Cuban-Americans: Vote for Joe Biden Because He is Anti-Fascista, Anti-Racista, and Anti-Comunista

By Margarita Cambest

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Photo credit: Joele Denis

I was 9 years old when a family friend told us about her escape from La Isla in the 1990s. In the middle of the night, under the cover of darkness and animal carcasses, the former doctor spent a terrified night in a butchery until she could make it onto a barge headed to Miami with exports of animal products (and Cubans). She’s a hairdresser now.

My own family can recall times of joy in youth on their beloved island — friends from school and moments with family — but that has all been overshadowed by memories that led them, like many others, to flee. I guess you can say I understand that my people escaped oppression, political and economic strife, as well as the holds of a communist dictator.

That is why I have such a hard time understanding why fellow Cubans are now turning toward someone showing us that he is capable of just as much atrocity as what so many of our family members escaped.

Can’t you see that no matter how many boxes of blonde you grab off the Sedano shelves, we will still be la Mexicana in their eyes?

Regimes do not start with firing squads.

They start with pitting sides against one other and dehumanizing people who disagree with you. They start with the distrust of the military and the media. They start with telling you the things you saw and heard did not actually happen.

Our president has decided to cozy up to the same despots beloved by Fidel Castro and the similarities are striking.

Ni de aquí, ni de alla (neither here nor there) is a phrase I’ve thought often throughout my life. As a Cuban-American, I’ve found myself repeatedly somewhere in the dash between my two rich identifies. While proud of both pieces of me, I no longer recognize my birthplace as a place that welcomes people that look like me.

In the past four years my family has been told to go back to where we came from, questioned about nationality before being allowed to do our jobs, detained over our immigration status, and feared speaking up politically over potential repercussions.

This is not normal.

My husband goes to work for this country every day as part of a volunteer force with other brave service members dedicated to protecting our chosen nation. Neither he, nor the late Sen. John McCain nor Sen. Tammy Duckworth are “losers” or haters of the American way of life for holding our nation to a high standard. In fact, it’s one of the best things about this country.

The America I was born into and the America that Joe Biden believes in is not an America of communism. It’s a return to decency, to working together across party lines, race, ethnicity, and background to get to a place where all our voices matter.

I ask fellow Cuban-Americans — no beg — to open your eyes and consider the future you want for your children and grandchildren. I have proudly cast my ballot for former Vice President Joe Biden because I am anti-fascista, anti-racista, and anti-comunista. Please do the same before it’s too late.

Margarita Cambest is a South Florida native and military spouse born in Miami to Cuban and Puerto Rican parents. She currently resides in Maryland.

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