Just days before the election, the Romney campaign released a Spanish-language ad in the Miami area in an attempt to detract Hispanic voter’s away from voting for President Obama. The ad shows clips of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and the niece of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro endorsing Obama.
“Who supports Barack Obama?” the narrator asks in Spanish before the clips of the two endorsements run.
“And to top it off, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency sent emails for Hispanic Heritage month with Che Guevara’s photo,” the narrator continues in reference to an internal email at the EPA.
Chavez announce back in October that if he could vote in the U.S. election, he would vote for Obama. He said over the state-owned television station VTV, “In the point of view of his politics, if I were voting, I would vote for Obama and I believe that if Obama was from Caracas, he would vote for Chavez, I am positive.”
Despite Romney’s lower numbers this year among Cuban-Americans, this ad was well received among Florida’s Cuban community. Given their history with the Castro regime, Cuban American’s of all ages are particularly concerned over Chavez’s rule in Venezuela. There is no doubt that linking President Obama with the leftist dictator was a smart move on the part of Mitt Romney if he wanted to appeal to Cuban-Americans.
However, what the Romney campaign may not have realized when they aired this ad is that there is a growing population of Venezuelan-American’s in Florida as well. They did not receive the ad as fondly in favor of Mitt Romney, but instead felt that the ad was offensive. Venezuelan-American’s voted overwhelmingly for President Obama 76 percent to 24 percent.