A Castro legacy: Cuban-Americans’ hefty clout in US politics

MIAMI (AP) — Cuban-Americans carry hefty political clout in the United States: They more frequently than any other Latinos. They have a strong presence in Washington with three senators. Only one non-Cuban has been Miami’s mayor since 1985.

Much of this is a legacy of Fidel Castro. The longtime Cuban leader died Nov. 25. His communist revolution in 1959 not only sent thousands of Cubans to the U.S. but engendered in them a fervor to resist communism at the height of the Cold War. That issue resonated in their adopted country and helped transform them into a potent force in its politics.

Government figures show about 2 million Cuban-Americans now live in the U.S. Many are concentrated in the three major South Florida counties, giving them a powerful political base.