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These Latinos Are Going To Play A Major Role In Disrupting Politics In 2019 And Beyond

ocasio2018 / marcorubiofla / Instagram

One of the biggest misconceptions in U.S. politics is implying that all Latino voters have the same political inclination. First and second generation, Mexicans, Cubans, Venezuelans, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans are often thrown into the same basket, which is a grave political mistake.

Truth is that the Latino vote is diverse: some voters defend migrant rights while others question what they call “cue jumpers”. Some align with what the Democrats do in terms of foreign policy, while others defend the hard line that Republicans often have against regimes such as Maduro’s in Venezuela or the echoes of the Castro dynasty in Cuba. Truth is that the Latinos make up about 17 percent of the U.S. population. According to the Pew Center, 69 percent of Latinos voted for the Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections, while 29 percent voted for Republicans, and Latinas voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in a 73-26 percent ratio versus Republicans.

The race is on.

Leading up to the 2020 presidential election (believe us, it is closer than you might think!), here’s 20 Latino politicians you should keep your eye on.

1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Facebook. @Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Did you know? She is the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives. She is also one of the most vocal opponents to the Trump Era. She has not been afraid of speaking out against the POTUS, even calling him a racist in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

2. Julian Castro, Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @secretarycastro

Did you know? He is one of the many Democrats who is waiting to hear on what Joe Biden plans to do for 2020. He was one of the youngest and most dynamic members of the Obama administration. He has announced an interest in running for the presidency in 2020.

3. Antonio Villaraigosa, Former Mayor of Los Angeles, Co-Chair of Mercury Public Affairs

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @antoniocalifornia

Did you know? He was adored by Angelenos during his tenure. Even though he has not expressed his desire to run for office in the near future, he works as a policy consultant and we would not be surprised if he came back to the political arena soon.

4. Filemon Vela Jr., US. Representative for Texas

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @repfilemonvela

Did you know? He has been some of the most vocal people against President Trump’s immigration policies. The fact that he speaks out against injustice in a state like Texas, where immigration is a hotly contested topic, speaks volumes of how much he is willing to risk politically to follow his ideals.

5. Cristóbal Alex, president of Latino Victory

Political Party: leaning towards the Democratic Party

Credit: 150225-dc-alex-120p_e0c2e88974bb9a087f5e687dd7cfdb31.nbcnews-ux-640-440. Digital image. Latino Victory.

Did you know? He is one of the main actors when it comes to mobilizing the Latino vote. Together with actress Eva Longoria, he founded Latino Victory, described as “a progressive political action committee working to grow Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government.”

6. Mario Lopez, president of the Hispanic Leadership Fund

Political Party: conservative, Republican-leaning

Credit: 20170426201244002_hd. Digital image. C-Span.

Did you know? He is a key member of grassroot efforts to empower Latino voters. He does so through the Hispanic Leadership Fund, which, according to its website “is the first center-right non-partisan national Latino advocacy organization governed exclusively by Latino political and public policy professionals.” He is a constant feature in TV interviews when it comes to Latino issues, so we will see plenty of him leading up to the 2020 elections.

7. Carlos Curbelo, former United States Representative for Florida

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Instagram. @carloslcurbelo

Did you know? Unapologetically conservative. He is one of the main targets for Democrats. He is young, Catholic and the son of Cuban exiles. He takes on hot issues like immigration without budging but lost his seat in the 2018 midterm elections to Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

8. Lincoln Díaz-Balart, former United States Representative

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Twitter. @LincolnDBalart

Did you know? He is one of the strongest political voices in the generally conservative Cuban-American community in Florida. He has created a powerhouse duo with his brother Mario Diaz-Balart.

9. Mario Díaz-Balart, United States Representative and Transportation, Housing + Urban Development Subcommittee Chair

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Twitter. @MarioDB

Did you know? He has a solid and constant Twitter presence contrary to many old-guard Republican politicians. Together with his brother Lincoln he is one of the leaders of the Cuban-American community. He knows that political families appeal to some voters and we are sure to hear much more from him in the coming months.

10. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former United States Representative from Florida

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Instagram. @RosLehtinen

Did you know? A veteran politician who was the first Cuban American and first Latina to be elected to Congress. We all know how important Florida is in elections (remember Gore vs Bush?). Yes, here she is a few years ago with salsa queen Celia Cruz. She championed trans right in a conservative state when her son transitioned.

11. Ruben Gallego, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @reprubengallego

Did you know? This U.S. Representative for Arizona is only 39 years old. He is a Harvard graduate who is bound to become a rising star in his party due to his charm and bright mind. He was even a Marine, so he has got it all.

12. Vicente Gonzalez, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Logo. Digital image. https://gonzalez.house.gov/

Did you know? He has become one of the fiercest opposers to the border wall. In a statement, he said: “It is increasingly worrisome that the president is not kept accountable for his rhetoric – be it online or on any platform. No, Mr. President, you cannot shut down the Southwest Border as a bargaining chip for your useless border wall proposal. The American people need to understand that this action would have vast, terrible implications for American consumers and businesses.”

13. Susana Martinez, former governor of New Mexico

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Twitter. @Gov_Martinez

Did you know? She has it all to climb the ranks of the Republican Party after she just finished her tenure as governor of New Mexico. She is a woman and she is a Latina, which appeals to an elusive electorate for the GOP.

14. Brian Sandoval, former governor of Nevada

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Instagram. @governorsandoval

Did you know? He just ceased to be governor of the almighty state of Nevada, which generates millions and millions of taxes. He just joined MGM Resorts as an executive, where he will have a lot of political leverage in the upcoming elections, particularly given Trump’s history with casino ownership.

15. Albert Morales, Senior Political Director at Latino Decisions

Political Party: former Democrat

Credit: dba1c7206b04399d8f47d1c33a42650e_f718. Digital image. Latino Decisions.

Did you know? He is based in D.C. as the mastermind of Latino Decisions, a company dedicated to Latino political opinion research. They have worked with people like Hillary Clinton gathering data on the Latino vote. Morales will be key in defining strategies for various candidates, most likely Democrats.

16. Darren Soto, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @repdarrensoto

Did you know? He is of Puerto Rican origin, which makes him more than appealing to Florida voters. One of his key platforms is gun control. People like Darren will be key for Democrats in the hotly contested swing state come 2020.

17. Marco Rubio, United States Senator

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Instagram. @marcorubiofla

Did you know? After being defeated by Donald Trump in the 2016 primaries he has no intention to run for 2020 and has expressed his support of the current President. As the prospect of Trump not ending his presidency has gone from lunacy to distant probability, Rubio could become one of the frontrunners to challenge the Democrats. Do not count out the possibility.

18. Joaquin Castro, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @joaquincastrotx

Did you know? No, you are not seeing double and we didn’t make a mistake. Joaquin is the twin of Julian (scroll up to No. 2 in this list). They were born to a Chicana political activist, so social justice and human dignity run through their veins. Latino Kennedys, anyone?

19. Eva Longoria, activist

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: eva-header-V2. Digital image. 1843 magazine

Did you know? Yes, she is better known for her role in Desperate Housewives, but she is a political powerhouse. She has a degree in Chicano studies from Stanford, leads various NGOs to support Latinos and women, and has spoken at the Democratic National Convention. She will certainly get her voice heard as we head up to 2020.

20. Nanette Barragán, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @repbarragan

Did you know? The representative from Long Beach, California went to the border with fellow California politician Jimmy Gomez to meet with migrants at the border. The two representatives sat with the migrants in the cold and demnaded access to the processing center that Border Patrol said was at capacity. They were denied entry to verify Border Patrol’s claims.


READ: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Unapologetically Bringing Puerto Rico To The Halls Of Congress

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Here's How Brazil's New President Went After LGBTQ People And Minorities His First Week In Office

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Here’s How Brazil’s New President Went After LGBTQ People And Minorities His First Week In Office

jairmessiasbolsonaro / Instagram

After leading a divisive campaign, newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro promptly issued executive orders targeting Brazil’s indigenous groups, the LGBT community, and minorities. The far-right leader ran on a platform where he stated he would overhaul many aspects of life in Latin America’s largest nation. In just his first week of office, Bolsonaro offered a glimpse of what could be the start of many far-right policies.

Hours after his inauguration, Bolsonaro issued an order for that will make it impossible for new lands to be identified for indigenous communities.

In a devastating blow to indigenous communities, Bolsonaro issued an order to put the Minister of Agriculture (MOA) in charge of designating protected lands for indigenous people, according to The New York Times. That ministry has historically favored the interests of industries that want greater access to protected lands. It’s a move that’s seen as undermining the indigenous rights and environmental protections of countless people in these undeveloped areas. “Quilombolas,” descendants of former slaves, would also be affected by this move.

FUNAI (the National Indian Foundation), the department in charge of indigenous rights, oversaw these indigenous lands but Bolsonaro’s decree now places those responsibilities to the MOA.

There has been an outcry from many indigenous rights groups that say the order represents a threat to Brazil’s indigenous population. Protected lands for indigenous groups take up 13 percent of Brazil, much of which in located in the rainforest and with limited development.

He has continued to deliver on his anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric by limiting their rights.

The newly created Human Rights Ministry will no longer adhere to the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community which could spell trouble for countless people in Brazil. The newly named Ministry of Women, Family, and Human Rights made no reference to LGBTQ+ rights in its priorities.

According to the AP, Damares Alves, the new human rights minister, didn’t acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community in her first address. Alves has previously said that “the Brazilian family is being threatened” by diversity policies. This new realignment and focus on human rights has caused fear and anger in the LGBTQ+ community that feels that the move will result in more discrimination.

“The human rights ministry discussed our concerns at a body called secretariat of promotion and defense of human rights. That body just disappeared, just like that,” Symmy Larrat, an LGBT activist told the AP. “We don’t see any signs there will be any other government infrastructure to handle LGBT issues.”

Many of his policies fall in line similarly with those of  U.S. President Donald Trump.

Both presidents have had hard stances on immigration, minority groups and an agenda filled with nationalist policies. President Trump tweeted praise of Bolsonaro’s inauguration speech, saying “the U.S.A. is with you!” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even attended Bolsonaro’s swearing-in ceremony.

Similar to Trump, Bolsonaro has attacked the press and even placed restrictions on journalists at his inauguration. Reporters had to arrive several hours before the event began and weren’t allowed to move freely in the presidential palace limiting the scope of their reporting.

All these swift orders by Bolsonaro have rewarded the base that got him elected which some see as similarities of the early days of President Trump’s tenure. He’s made a big splash in his first days as President and has signaled even bolder acts to come.

His first few days in office might be an indication of what’s to come in  Bolsonoro’s term as president.

After years of recession, corruption scandals and a crime wave that led to record homicides, there was an outpouring of anger that elected Bolsonaro to the presidency. But now that Bolsonaro is elected, Brazil must anticipate what’s to come next and be prepared for which direction their far-right leader will take them. Whether it’s on issues like security, where he plans to loosen gun restrictions in Brazil to allow citizens to carry a gun for self-defense, or boosting the economy with plans of privatizing major airports and seaports, he’s sure to face some opposition.


READ: Brazil Elected A New President And People Across The World Are Comparing Him To Donald Trump

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