Things That Matter

Catalina Lauf Is Running For Congress And Wants You To Know Her Mom Is A Legal Immigrant From Guatemala

Since the midterm elections, there’s no doubt there’s a new breed of politicians in charge on Capitol Hill. Some have labeled these new politicians as the “Freshman Four, or “The Squad,” and it’s made up of Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. They mean business, they stand up to President Donald Trump, and, clearly, they intimidate right-wing conservatives because they’re always on the defense. Republican lawmakers seem to consist of mostly white males. But, who is to blame for not re-energizing the conservatives? Trump, perhaps? Not necessarily. Looks like there’s at least one potential lawmaker who seeks to be in office as well, and she’s not white nor male. 

Catalina Lauf, a young Latina, is aiming to run for office despite having no experience in politics.

Credit: catalinalauf / Instagram

Lauf, a former Trump administration adviser, is seeking to take down the current the Democratic incumbent Lauren Underwood and retake the state’s 14th Congressional District in Chicago, Illinois. Like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Underwood also unseated a Republican in the midterm elections. 

There are a lot of similarities between Lauf and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, but make no mistake, these two Latinas are starkly different.

Credit: catalinalauf / Instagram

For starters like the majority of Republicans, Lauf is a pro-Trump supporter and believes everyone on the left is basically a hater who doesn’t understand what Trump is trying to do. 

“He’s not a racist,” Lauf told “Fox & Friends” this weekend. “People like my mom and my grandmother and many other Hispanic-Americans who have come here legally feel so insulted by that, because they did it the right way. And there’s a process for it. And you should be a law-abiding citizen. President Trump is doing his best to protect this country, and we should be enforcing immigration laws.”

The 26-year-old, who is half Guatemalan and half German, said she doesn’t ultimately care if people compare her to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. As long as voters know what makes her different from her.

Credit: catalinalauf / Instagram

“I’m not anti-anyone, I’m pro-America,” Lauf said on Fox on Monday. “But if there’s a contrast” [with her] it’s that I’m driven by a love for my country, not a hate for everything it stands for.”

So what does she stand for anyway? Peace, unity, and the American way. Her slogan is “Latina by heart, American first.”

“Today, angry voices seek to divide us by skin color, economic class, and where we come from. They use envy and bitterness, trying to convince us to surrender our personal freedoms for the false promises of socialism,” Lauf narrates in her campaign video. She also makes it clear that politicians like the four freshmen are making this country and terrible place. 

Lauf went on to say that the “Four Freshmen” are running on a theme that aims to break up what America is all about. “They forget that America is an idea, an idea that we are all created equal and that what we have in common is far more powerful than any of our differences,” Lauf said on Fox News. As to her policies, she said that she’s a big supporter of small business. “I’m a very big proponent of entrepreneurship and small business and that’s a big platform of mine. My district has a lot of small business owners and we need to ensure we’re creating an environment that really fosters that growth,” she added on Fox & Friends. 

Does she have a chance to take back the Republican seat? Perhaps. 

Credit: catalinalauf / Instagram

As we said, Democrat Lauren Underwood already took the seat from the Republican vote, and Lauf said she is certain her district is Republican at heart. She also said that Underwood is making pathetic attempts at trying to be part of the Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s squad by posing extremely left-sided policies. 

“I plan to offer a counter to that message, one that doesn’t tear others down, but lifts all of us up,” she said. “A message that focuses on what brings us together, not our differences, and how that commonality will help us get things done for our constituents and preserve the promise of the American Dream.”

At the end of the day, it all comes down to donations. Underwood raised $4 million in campaign funds for her winning election. Lauf needs to bring in more if she truly wants a chance. We just have to see how badly Republicans want this newbie in their corner. 

READ: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Clapped Back On Twitter After GOP Leader Refused To Call Her By Her Name

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’