US Election: What if Cuba could vote?

Kyle Kim
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HAVANA, Cuba — As part of GlobalPost's project to interview 100 people in 20 locations around the world about the 2012 US election, we asked Cubans:

Who do you want to win the 2012 US election?

Will the election affect your country?

How has your view of the US changed since President Obama took office?

What should the next US president do?

  • Country: Cuba
  • Name: Jaime Garcia
  • Occupation: Security guard
  • Age: 23
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "Obama. I still like him, even though he hasn't kept his word on some things. I guess he has a tough job."

The election's impact: The next election will definitely have an impact "because of the blockade [embargo]."

My view: It's gotten worse. "I've heard that lots of people there are out of work."

Top priority: "For Obama to lift the embargo."
  • Country: Cuba
  • Name: Alexis Martinez
  • Occupation: Taxi driver
  • Age: 47
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "Obama. We have a saying here: better to go with the bad one you already know than the bad one you don't know yet. I've been following Romney a bit. He reminds me of [George W] Bush."

The election's impact: "The election will definitely have an impact on us. We're still hoping for more from Obama."

My view: "I still see the US as a great country. It's had it's ups and downs over the years, but right now it's down."

Top priority: "He should sit down at the table with Cuba and figure out a way to overcome our problems. Lift the Blockade [embargo]. Open up a little."
  • Country: Cuba
  • Name: Carlos Alzugaray
  • Occupation: Former diplomat and expert on US-Cuba relations
  • Age: 69
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: "I'd vote for Obama, without a doubt. With Romney, there's no chance of any improvement [in US-Cuba relations]. He's promised to go back to George W. Bush's policies. I don't think Romney is as right-wing as Bush, and he doesn't have the same links to the Cubans in Miami that Bush did. But I think if he wins he will need the help of the extreme right, and he'll have to make concessions, especially if he wants to be re-elected."

The election's impact: "Romney would be more dangerous [for Cuba] than Obama. I think he'd pursue a more bellicose foreign policy. Whereas if Obama wins he won't be thinking about re-election. So we'd get to see what he really wants. I expect he'd do more to improve relations with Cuba."

My view: "I have a mixed opinion. I have a good opinion of the US as a people, and American industry and the arts. But on the other hand I see the US as even more prone to trying to impose its political system on other countries. And that doesn't work. The world is more complicated than that. Clearly there is more 'imperial hubris' in the Republican Party." 

Top priority: "The US is in the middle of a difficult situation. It has problems that the system can't seem to fix because it's so difficult to get a political compromise on anything. He needs to balance the budget, cut debt, makes ends meet. But those require trade-offs."
  • Country: Cuba
  • Name: Ines Quesada
  • Occupation: Member of "Ladies in White" dissident group
  • Age: 49
  • I would vote for: Romney
My vote: “Romney. Obama hasn’t helped us. I think Obama is a communist.”

The election's impact: “Maybe Romney can free us from this communism.”

My opinion: “Obama hasn’t helped us. That would change in a second term.”

Top priority: “Bring freedom to the Cuban people.”
  • Country: Cuba
  • Name: Anita Tellez
  • Occupation: Accountant
  • Age: 25
  • I would vote for: Obama
My vote: Obama.

The election's impact: "If [Obama] wins, maybe he'll lift the Blockade [Embargo]."

My view: "It's about the same."

Top priority: "I want him to do more to help immigrants, and give people better access to education. My aunt had a degree in physics [from a Cuban university] and over there her degree is worthless. She's working in a restaurant."

GlobalPost series: See what the world thinks about election 2012

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