Things That Matter

Meet 8 Latino Politicians Who Are Getting Ready To Fight Against Trump

The new Congressional class has been sworn in and Latinos can celebrate some historical firsts. There are eight new Latino politicians walking the halls of Congress and among them are the first Latina Senator ever elected and the first Dominican-American Congressman ever elected. Here are the eight new Latinos ready to work for their constituents.

1. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla.


Representative Darren Soto made history by becoming the first ever Puerto Rican elected to Congress from the state of Florida. Soto is representing Florida’s 9th district, which covers parts of southern Orlando, Kissimmee, and Winter Haven, and has a large Puerto Rican population. According to NBC News, the demographic for Florida’s 9th Congressional district is about 40 percent Puerto Rican.

“I talked about the things we care about,” Soto told FOX News. “The whole Central Florida community wants to see recovery in Puerto Rico. They are a strong trading partner with us. We believe that increased prosperity in Puerto Rico will increase prosperity in Central Florida.”

2. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY


Representative Adriano Espaillat has made history by being the first elected Dominican-American to Congress in U.S. history. Espaillat is also the first formerly undocumented immigrant to ever be elected to the U.S. Congress. Espaillat will be representing New York’s 13th Congressional district, which is a very diverse district covering Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood.

“I will become the first Dominican-American to ever serve in the U.S. Congress,” Espaillat told that crowd at the Democratic National Convention. “Perhaps even just as important, I will be the first member of Congress who was once undocumented as an immigrant. You take that, Donald Trump!”

3. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.


Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto has the honor of being the first Latina ever elected to the Senate. During her campaign, Cortez Masto spoke passionately about immigration reform and standing up for working families.

“To me, it’s having a seat at the table,” Cortez Masto told NPR about being the first Latina Senator after her win. “It’s being a voice and having a different perspective and bringing that voice to the table to fight for issues that I know are important for not just people in Nevada but across this country. It is young women, young girls, that now know and see somebody in a position that they think that they can achieve.”

4. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas


Representative Vicente Gonzalez was elected to represent the 15th district of Texas, which stretches from Seguin to McAllen. Gonzalez beat Republican Tim Westley for the Texas Congressional seat 57.3 percent to 37.7 percent. For Gonzalez, the greatest issue is making sure college and higher education are affordable and attainable for all.

“We need to find a way to let them go to school and not come out with the burden of debt,” Gonzalez said, according to RGVProud. And I have a plan for the first two years of college to be debt-free, and you get a great return nationally, by having this brain power that we create. So I encourage that. And we need to find ways to have head start and Pre-K programs fully funded.”

5. Rep. Nanette Barragán, D-Calif.


Representative Nanette Barragán won a very hard fought election against Isadore Hall who had the backing of Governor Jerry Brown, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In the end, Barragan beat Hall by earning 51.2 percent of the vote. Barragán is representing the 44th congressional district of California which includes Compton, Carson and San Pedro.

“I think the first thing I feel is pride that, once again, I beat the odds,” Barragán told Daily Breeze, referencing her upbringing by undocumented immigrant parents. “That’s been my life story. It’s even more meaningful to be able to go serve in Congress at a time when we have a new president coming who doesn’t think immigrants provide value.”

6. Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif.


Representative Lou Correa will be representing California’s 46th Congressional district, which includes Santa Ana and Anaheim. Correa is going to Congress prepared to fight against Trump’s plans for mass deportations. But, more importantly, Correa wants his story to be one of hope to anyone in the nation that is growing up in a lower socio-economic standing to know that nothing is out of reach.

“To me, it’s a testament to the greatness of this country, where a person that grew up in this neighborhood can actually make it to the U.S. Congress,” Correa told the LA Times about the Penguin City barrio, the neighborhood in which he grew up.

7. Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev.


Representative Ruben Kihuen is a Mexican immigrant born in Guadalajara who moved to the U.S. when he was 8 years old. Kihuen is another first as he takes to Congress as the first Latino elected in the state of Nevada for such a position. He will be representing Nevada’s 4th Congressional district, which covers most of southern Nevada.

“It’s my job to continue to fight to make life better for working families and people like my parents so that everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream,” Kihuen said in a statement, according to News 3 Las Vegas.

8. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif.


Representative Salud Carbajal will be representing California’s 24th Congressional district, which includes Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. Since the beginning of the legislative session, Carbajal has already voiced his belief in political accountability by voting against the gutting the Independent Ethics Committee.

“As this session of Congress is called to order, I’m incredibly honored and humbled to have the opportunity to represent the hardworking families of California’s 24th Congressional District,” Carbajal said in a statement, according to Noozhawk. “This Congress brings with it an unprecedented set of challenges, but I am committed to providing increased economic opportunity and a better future for communities across the Central Coast.”


READ: We Didn’t Elect The First Woman President, But We Elected The First Latina Senator

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Bolivia’s Ousted President Won’t Run Again As Indigenous People March In Guatemala In Solidarity With Him

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Bolivia’s Ousted President Won’t Run Again As Indigenous People March In Guatemala In Solidarity With Him

evoespueblo / Twitter

South America’s poorest country, Bolivia, is in the midst of a political crisis, and Guatemala’s indigenous people are marching in solidarity with ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales. After the Guatemalan government joined the United States in recognizing extreme right self-appointed Jeanine Anez as the interim president of Bolivia, Guatemala’s indigenous people expressed their outrage in an organized protest. Hundreds of indigenous people marched in Guatemala’s capital Thursday to protest the change of government, which they view as a coup d’etat of Bolivia’s first indigenous president. With a “Brother Evo, Guatemala is with you” banner in hand, the protesters marched toward a heavily guarded US embassy. The next day, Morales announced that he won’t be “taking part in new elections.”

Before Morales rose to the presidency, he was a campesino activist, representing indigenous traditions and customs under attack by the US government. “We are repudiating the discriminatory and racist coup d’etat that took place in Bolivia,” said Mauro Vay, march organizer and head of Guatemala’s Rural Development Committee. 

Protesters proudly waved the wiphala flags, an indigenous symbol of solidarity.

CREDIT: @UKREDREVOLUTION / TWITTER

This man held an image that told the story of a thousand words. As a child, Evo Morales’ family were subsistence farmers, which allowed him to enjoy a basic education. He later moved to grow coca, the raw plant used to make cocaine. During the U.S.’ “War on Drugs,” coca farmers were under attack. Morales rose to defend the campesinos from what he called an imperialist violation of indigenous culture. His protests may have led to several arrests, but his notoriety grew to elect him to Congress as the leader of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party. 

In Paraguay, Bolivian ex-patriates went up against the police to rehang the wiphala flag at the Bolivian embassy.

CREDIT: @WILL_J_COSTA / TWITTER

Several indigenous residents of Paraguay arrived at the Bolivian embassy to hang the Wiphala flag, which was reportedly taken down. They faced police resistance but eventually succeeded. The next day, the flag was removed. 

In 2005, Morales ran against former President Carlos Mesa and won, becoming the first indigenous president of Bolivia. 

CREDIT: @BRETGUSTAFSON / TWITTER

Then, it gets murky. By the time his first term was over, MAS rewrote their constitution to lift the one-term limit on presidents. Morales ran for a second term and won. Even though he claimed he wouldn’t run for a third term, Morales claimed the first term didn’t count because it was completed under the old constitution.  So he ran again and won for the third time. In October 2019, Morales ran for his fourth term, and won by a small margin, prompting a recount.

Just 24 hours into the recount, Morales ordered the recount to an end and declared himself president over his opponent, former president Mesa. the Organization of American States (OAS) conducted an audit that flagged the election as possibly fraudulent.

The OAS is not in the service of the people of Latin America, less so the social movements. The OAS is at the service of the North American empire,” Morales later said. Still, protests erupted across the country.

In a quickly developing government coup, military chiefs removed Morales.

CREDIT: @FAFASCHMITT / TWITTER

On Nov. 10, General Williams Kaliman, the commander of Bolivia’s armed forces, decided, along with other military chiefs, that Morales should step down. Morales tweeted, “I denounce to the world and the Bolivian people that a police officer publicly announced that he is instructed to execute an illegal arrest warrant against me; likewise, violent groups assaulted my home. A coup destroys the rule of law.” He added, “After looting and trying to set fire to my house in Villa Victoria, vandalism groups of the Mesa and Camacho coup docked my home in the Magisterio neighborhood of Cochabamba. I am very grateful to my neighbors, who stopped those raids. A coup destroys peace.”

Mexico offered him asylum and sent a plane to escort Morales to Mexico City.

CREDIT: @EVOESPUEBLO / TWITTER

“This was my first night after leaving the presidency, forced by the coup of Mesa and Camacho with the help of the Police. There I remembered my times as a leader. Very grateful to my brothers from the federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba for providing security and care,” Morales tweeted. Right-wing Christian opponent, Luis Fernando Camacho, also called “Bolivia’s Bolsonaro,” led violent protests against Morales and his Indigenous supporters, burning Bolivia’s Indigenous Wiphala flag. 

Mexico, Cuba, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Argentina have maintained that his removal from office was a coup. The United States, led by a right-wing president, has recognized Bolivia’s interim right-wing president as valid.

Morales announced Friday that he won’t run for president in the reelection “for the sake of democracy.”

CREDIT: @VERSOBOOKS / TWITTER

Morales resigned Sunday after protests left four people dead. “For the sake of democracy, if they don’t want me to take part, I have no problem not taking part in new elections,” Morales told Reuters while remaining in asylum. “I just wonder why there is so much fear of Evo,” he offered.

READ: A US-Backed Opposition Leader Has Declared Herself President Of Bolivia Amid Outrage At Her Comments About Indigenous Bolivians

House Committee Holds Impeachment Hearings And Democrats Are Laying Out All Of Their Evidence

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House Committee Holds Impeachment Hearings And Democrats Are Laying Out All Of Their Evidence

PBS NewsHour / YouTube

This past Wednesday, the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump moved into the public spotlight when the House Intelligence Committee opened hearings in the Capitol. The day was marked with back and forths between members of the committee, both Democrats and Republicans, that further displayed the political divide in this country. The issue at hand is whether Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, by freezing U.S. military aid. 

One of the key figures in leading the proceedings is Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who has been a frequent target of President Trump. The congressman is heading the Democrats’ investigation into whether Trump abused his presidential powers for political gain and against national security interests. The proceedings are expected to last at least 10 days and will be a showcase of what many Democrats believe is an opportunity to show the American public why Trump needs to be removed from office. 

“Our job is to shape public opinion, not just follow public opinion,” Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee told Vox. “It’s to do what we think is right, for our country, for our national security, and to persuade people of that.”

One of the biggest moments on the first day of the impeachment hearings came from Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) who made the argument that Trump’s actions were “criminal.” 

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), who is the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the chairman of his brother Julián Castro’s presidential bid, had one of the most notable moments on Wednesday. In speaking to Bill Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Castro tried to make the case for President Trump’s actions as criminal. Taylor is a key figure in the  proceedings as he was the top U.S. official in Ukraine as the scandal was unfolding. 

In a tense moment between the two, Castro asked Taylor if he considered President Trump’s actions worthy as being labeled as “criminal.” Castro didn’t back down as he made the comparisons to Trump’s actions to other criminal offenses. 


“So ambassadors, is attempted murder a crime?” Castro asked, repeating his question. “Is attempted murder a crime?”

“Attempted murder is a crime,” Taylor said.

“Is attempted robbery a crime?” he asked.

“Neither of us is a lawyer,” Taylor began before Castro interrupted.

“I think anyone in this room could answer that question,” he said.

“I’ll go out on a limb and say yes it is,” Taylor said.

“Is attempted extortion and bribery a crime?” Castro responded. 

“I don’t know sir,” Taylor said.


The moment resonated with many people on social media who agreed with Castro’s reasoning. 

Credit: @madg_lulu22 / Twitter

Castro’s questioning prompted varied responses from people online that agreed with that Trump had indeed committed a crime by withholding money from Ukraine. One of those people included U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) that echoed similar thoughts to that of many Democrats. 

“This is what I have been saying over and over again. Attempting a crime is a CRIME. #ImpeachmentTrumpNow,” Talib tweeted. 

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer later Wednesday afternoon, Castro reaffirmed his position on his questioning with Taylor. “Based on the evidence that I’ve seen, the President… either he committed extortion and bribery of a foreign official or he committed attempted extortion and bribery of a foreign official… it’s still a crime.” Castro said.

This moment is huge for Castro outside of just the hearings as he pursues to challenge U.S. Senator John Cornyn, (R-Texas). Many are looking at Castro’s role in the hearings as an opportunity to make his name known in the Democratic party. 

“It’s an opportunity in the national spotlight,” Mark Jones, a Rice University political science professor, told The Statesman. It’s a chance “to reemerge on the national scene and bolster his overall relevance in the Democratic Party.”

This was one of many big moments on the first day of these impeachment hearings. 

Credit: @alexismhodges / Twitter

If these public hearings are anything like the first day, there will be a lot of action on both sides of the political aisle. Wednesday showed proof that Democrats will pull out all the stops in presenting their case for impeachment to the American people. 

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has been one of the most staunch opponents of the Democrats’ attempts to impeach President Trump. During the hearing, Jordan said that the whistleblower was “the reason we’re all sitting here today” and that they should testify before the impeachment inquiry. The goal in doing so would be to discredit the whistleblower’s credibility. 

But Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) quickly responded to Jordan’s claims by naming the actual person who started the entire Ukraine scandal.

“I’d be glad to have the person who started it all,” Welch said. “President Trump is welcome to come in and sit down right there.”

The quick exchange produced laughter and applause from some in the room. Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez chimed in on the moment. “Don’t sleep on Peter Welch!” she wrote on Twitter. “He’s great.”

If Wednesday is anything like the rest of these hearings we are all in for a real treat for the next few weeks. 

READ: Remembering Pedro Zamora, The HIV-Positive Man Who Changed Hearts And Minds While On ‘Real World: San Francisco’