The Christian Science Monitor

In Florida, Democrats worry Venezuela policy could drive Latinos to GOP

Helena Poleo couldn’t believe her ears.

The Democratic debates in Miami, which had spanned four long hours over two nights, were over. And no one had even mentioned the crisis in Venezuela. 

Candidates made obvious plays for Latino voters, says Ms. Poleo, a communications specialist and Venezuelan immigrant who’ll be voting in the U.S. for the first time in 2020. Onstage, some vowed to decriminalize illegal border crossings and showed off their Spanish-language skills. Many also took time to visit a nearby migrant children’s detention center and denounce the Trump administration’s border policy. 

But Florida is home to the nation’s largest Venezuelan population. To Ms. Poleo, the candidates’ failure to address the situation in her home country – where a struggle over the presidency

The Cuban effectA real advantage

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