Biden Makes Pitch To Haitian, Cuban Voters In Miami

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Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden reacts to watching a traditional Haitian dance at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami, Florida on October 5, 2020. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)
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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Tues. Oct. 5, 2020: Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, made a Monday visit to Haitians and Cuban voters in Miami, as polls show the vice president with a slight lead ahead of his rival, President Donald Trump.

Many Haitians lined the streets outside the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami for the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami visit of Biden and his wife yesterday. Inside, Biden, welcomed by Haitian dancers, told an audience wearing masks that he is counting on the Haitian American vote to help him swing Florida and win the 2020 presidential election.

“Think about this: Wouldn’t it be an irony, the irony of all ironies, if on election eve, it turned out Haitians deliver the coup de grâce in this election?,” Biden said through a face mask. “So, ladies and gentlemen, good news is for me, I’m here. The bad news is, for you is, I’m coming back. I’m coming back and I want to see these beautiful young ladies, I want to see them dancing when they’re four years older, too.”

“The Haitian community by itself, if the turnout was like it was last time, the Haitian community itself can determine the outcome of this election,” Biden said. “I really mean it. Look at the numbers, it’s real.”

Haitian people residing in the US show placards as Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden arrives for an event at Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami, Florida on October 5, 2020. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

And he pledged to provide Temporary Protected Status for Haitians in America to prevent deportation, noting that in his first 100 days in office, he will halt deportations for undocumented immigrants who have been living and working in the U.S.

“I promise you there’ll be no quit in my part as your president making sure the Haitian community has an even shot to get back on its feet and move in the direction to be able to realize it’s incredible, incredible potential,” he said.

In 2016, Donald Trump ad visited and captured many Haitian votes, but then quickly turned against Haitians as he did most immigrants, ending TPS, the Haitian Family Reunification Program, reportedly referring to the country as a “S-hole” nation, and, during the pandemic, deporting Haitians who then tested positive for COVID-19 in Port-au-Prince.   

Biden also visited the Jose Marti Gym in Little Havana to appeal to Cuban voters, before a town hall event at the Pérez Art Museum last night.

“Cuba is no closer to freedom and democracy than it was four years ago. In fact, there’s more political prisoners, the secret police are as brutal as ever, and Russia is once again a major presence in Cuba,” Biden said during a speech at the Jose Marti community gym before a small crowd of socially distanced supporters and journalists. “For my entire career, I stood for democracy and human rights, for freedom of the press, assembly and religion against dictators of the left and the right.”

Trump has also made much of his opposition to Maduro, but he has not embraced TPS for Venezuelans already living in the United States.

Less than a month from Election Day, polls show Biden faces an uphill climb in his effort to win over Cuban-Americans in this critical battleground state. 

According to a major poll released Friday by Florida International University, 59% of Cuban-Americans in South Florida plan to vote for Trump this year, while only 25% said they would vote for Biden. Another 16% were undecided or didn’t plan to support either candidate. 

The current state polls show that Biden is ahead by anywhere from a half percent to about 3-4% in Florida, which has 29 electoral votes.