The first time Sebastien de la Cruz sang the national anthem in front of millions of people, he was 11-years-old. The San Antonio Spurs (miss you Timmy!) tapped the young Mexican-American mariachi with the golden voice to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” during Game 3 of the 2013 NBA finals. A lot of people couldn’t stand the idea of a young, proud Latino singing his country’s national anthem while dressed as a mariachi, so of course the Spurs brought him back for Game 4.
Sebastien is back again. This time, he’s 14-years-old, and he performed the national anthem during day 3 of the Democratic National Convention. The video gave me chills; It was a nice reminder that this young Mexican-American is as much a part of this country’s fabric as Francis Scott Key’s music, or the stars and stripes the black Vietnam veteran is saluting. Sebastien’s performance and this audience’s reaction that America really, truly is great already.
Ricky Martin says when it comes to the Latino support of Joe Biden for president, voters bang. He also says those who are voting for Donald Trump completely bomb.
In an interview with The Big Ticket podcast, the “Livin La Vida Loca” singer highlighted the importance of voter turnout and laid out his reasons for giving former Vice President Joe Biden his own vote.
Speaking to The Big Ticket, Martin underlined his efforts to see change this year.
“I’ve been supporting Biden forever,” the singer shared on the podcast. “I think he is the only option we have and he is great. He has been in politics all his life. This is the moment. We all need to get together and be loud about the course of this nation.” For Martin, it seems that the backing of Biden by the Latino community is especially important and seeing anything less is something he truly cannot understand. Martin went so far as to highlight his disbelief in seeing Wanda Vázquez, the current governor of Puerto Rico, endorsing Trump this year.
“Who is that? Next!” he exclaimed during the podcast. “She doesn’t even exist. She wasn’t even elected by the people. She’s not part of this conversation.”
Trump went onto call Latinos in the United States who support Trump “really scary.”
When asked about Latinos in the United States who support Trump, Martin said it’s “really scary” to see but he remains positive that the majority of Latinos will vote him out of office.
“It’s really scary,” he said, before commenting that he does think that the majority of Latinos will vote for Biden. “It’s super sad. I think. Trumpeters make a lot of noise. And it’s scary to see their enthusiasm but us, we’re doing what’s right, the right way and we’ll see what happens in November. But I’m very optimistic.”
“I am a Latino, gay, married to an Arab living in Trump’s America,” he said about his husband Jwan Yosef, a Syrian-born, Swedish painter Marin married in 2017. “We check all the boxes.”
Martin’s comments come at a time when Trump continues to receive support from Cubans in Florida.
The battleground state has seen Cuban Americans, who often vote Republican, make last-ditch efforts to reelect Trump. “Florida’s Cuban American voters remain a bright spot in Trump’s effort to retain his winning coalition from 2016,” ABC reported. “Polls show his strong support from these key voters may even be growing to include the younger Cuban Americans that Democrats once considered their best hope of breaking the GOP’s hold. For Trump, that support could prove essential in a tight race in a state he must win to beat Democratic challenger Joe Biden.”
Referring to the increase in early voters this year, Martin says he’s happy to see voters turning out. “For that, I’m extremely happy,” he explained. “We’ve had plans of if we might leave the country. No, we have to stay here and fight for our rights and for what we believe.”
You can check out Martin’s full interview with The Big Ticket on Nov. 3.
The Democratic National Convention is underway and people around the county are tuning in for all of the festivities. The convention is all virtual because of Covid-19 meaning that it is easier for everyone to enjoy the political convention. mitú spoke with two young delegates about why they are involved with politics and the importance of being part of the process.
As the Democratic National Convention starts, young Latinos are among the delegates including Zenaida Huerta and Anthony Santiago.
Delegates are representatives at the nominating conventions for the two major political parties. Their responsibility during the convention is to cast a vote for the candidate who won the primary votes in the states they represent. It is possible for anyone to be a delegate in upcoming elections. Just click here and learn the process.
Being involved in politics is something Santiago has been passionate about for years.
“I have had an interest in politics for as long as I can remember, starting with my mom and I watching the news every morning while I was getting ready for school and feeling that Barack Obama was a leader I could look up to,” Santiago says. “He inspired me to want to get involved in helping my community as best as I could with any problems that we may face. It’s my goal to eventually run for office and to be a leader in the city of Kissimmee, [Florida], where I have lived for all 19 years of my life.”
For Huerta, it is a continuation of a family’s political legacy.
Huerta first got involved with her family’s political legacy when she interviewed her grandfather. He worked with the United Farm Workers and Huerta wanted to know why he worked so hard for no pay.
“‘It was a lot of work, but it was right,'” Huerta recalls her grandfather saying. “These words stay with me. My grandfather’s values passed onto my father, who was an AFL-CIO campaign manager who organized car wash workers in Los Angeles. Some of my clearest memories as a child are atop my father’s shoulders at labor marches and rallies. Obviously, as a child, I did not know what collective bargaining was, but I knew that I saw thousands of people, standing together, united to make a difference. Collective action is powerful. I am involved not just because I am one voice, but because I am one of many.”
Huerta is no stranger to the delegate process having supported Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016.
Like many young Latinos, Huerta believes in Sanders’ vision for the U.S. For Huerta, her support of Sanders revolves around the dignity of the working class and Latino laborers.
“According to a March poll by Univision, the top three issues for California Latinos are lowering the cost of healthcare, improving wages and incomes, and creating more jobs,” Huerta says. “This pandemic has affected each of these issues. Latinos have the highest poverty rates in California amongst all racial and ethnic groups. That is why I believe that we need to provide Medicare for All and reduce economic inequality more than ever.”
Santiago is giving his support to Joe Biden.
Santiago’s support for Biden, aside from the delegate duties, stems from a respect for the former vice president’s work. Santiago first started to admire Biden when he was part of the Obama administration.
“Personally, I have always liked Joe Biden since I had watched him and Barack Obama over the years and admired their relationship,” Santiago says. I” paid very close attention to the Democratic primary this year, watching every debate and taking the time to look into each candidate and Joe Biden’s plan for healthcare was what I gravitated to most. My abuela was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer a few years ago, and thanks to the ACA she has been able to get affordable treatment and is doing very well today.”
The two delegates are eager to cast their vote for their respective candidates.
Both of the delegates are excited to cast their votes because of the importance of their participation.
For Santiago, it is about being part of the bigger picture of American politics.
“Being part of the convention means a ton to me. I have always wanted to get involved at the local level in order to help improve my community, and as the sole Biden delegate for Osceola county, I view this as a crucial first step,” Santiago says. “Looking through it from a wider scope, I also view this as an opportunity to make a positive change to the entire country. I get to join my fellow delegates in choosing our official presidential nominee to take on Trump and defeat him in November, ending his terrible leadership and making America work for its citizens.”
Huerta feels her sense of duty in representing her generation in casting a vote for Sanders.
“Being part of this convention as part of Gen Z means that I represent a generation that has seen opportunities for economic mobility dwindle throughout their lives,” Huerta says. “As I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party’s nomination, I cast my vote for a better future. Although Bernie will not be nominated at the convention, his movement has won by opening the eyes of young Latinos across this country, myself included. As Cesar Chavez said, ‘Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.’”