MIAMI – Three months after Joe Biden’s presidency, enthusiasm for his predecessor is still strong among Latino Republicans in Florida.
The South Florida-based Patriots with Trump or Patriots with Trump have held numerous rallies outside Mar-a-Lago, members send messages all day to their WhatsApp group, and a smaller group of 10 meets regularly to consider ways to recruit. of more members – and help elect Republicans in 2022. They are also looking forward to 2024.
“We’re Republicans, but what we really like is what Trump promotes,” said Laureano Chilete, the group̵
“That’s why we consider him our caudillo,” Chileit said, using the Spanish word for strong man. Although the term has a negative connotation in the United States, it is not for Chile. “It just means he’s a ‘leader’ like Uribe,” he said, referring to Alvaro Uribe, Colombia’s right-wing former president. “We are anti-globalization and anti-communism.”
Such enthusiasm is fueled by polarizing policies in Latin America, more opportunities in the conservative Spanish-language media, the Trump family’s presence in Florida, and a state governor who remains a close ally of the former president.
Today, many in Miami still talk about Trump as often as they did when he was president. Like the Patriotas con Trump, many small grassroots groups that emerged during the election period are still active.
“Trump has not lost much support in this community,” said Eduardo Gamara, a political scientist at the International University of Florida, after conducting a survey of a private client.
Trump and Republicans made significant gains among these groups in the 2020 election. The biggest change toward Republicans was among non-Cuban and non-Puerto Rican Latin Americans, and that’s where much of the enthusiasm is concentrated now.
The strong influence of Latin America
The ongoing crisis in Venezuela, the human rights situation in Nicaragua, Argentina’s return to left-wing populism and Peru’s run-off election, with a socialist leading the ballot box, are influencing Latin Americans here and sharpening their focus on Trump.
While few Latinos cite U.S. foreign policy when polled for voting preferences, Gamara found that communities in Florida were influenced by politics in their home countries.
Trump is seen by his international supporters, especially in Latin America, as a key ally in the anti-communist struggle. And in a country where Latinos have a strong bond with family and friends at home, the bond between Trump and supporters of the Latin American right is growing.
A clear example is Colombia’s political polarization ahead of their upcoming presidential election – scheduled for six months before the US midterm elections – and its effect on Colombian Americans in Florida. Amid a fragile and weak peace deal between the government and members of the FARC, the country’s former Marxist rebel group, the internal conflict is growing. Leading the polls is left-wing presidential candidate and former rebel Gustavo Petro.
“This radicalizes the Colombian right. “Colombians believe that the next president will be pro-Chavez, which fits right into the story here,” Gamara said. “Because Colombians face this more directly than other groups, they are currently driving the conservative momentum in Miami.”
Dominicans, although a small group in Florida, are also affected by politics in their homeland. The country’s president recently announced plans to build a wall along the border with Haiti to help curb illegal immigration.
“There is a significant group of Dominicans who belong to the Social Democratic parties at home, but are driven by Trump’s conservative immigration policy,” Gamara said.
Although there is unity among the Latin American left, the right is less cohesive, but they see Trump as a partner in the fight against socialism. He compliments the story that Republicans passed in 2020 and will likely continue to kill – that Democrats are deviating too far to the left and causing the United States to perish.
Evangelicals and conservative media are stepping up the movement
With social media and apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, the back and forth between relatives in Latin America and Florida is ongoing. They share news articles, videos and memes. Even before the November elections, they were a major source of misinformation, something that continues, perhaps with less intensity.
In addition to politics, there is a religious component among some of those who support Trump. Evangelical church leaders play an important role in conservatism in Latin America and here. This is evident in Facebook groups supporting Trump, where messages in Spanish that reflect a religious tone are common. In focus groups, evangelical Venezuelans say they believe Trump is the “chosen one” and “he was sent here – he is the direct voice of God,” Gamara said.
At least one former Trump top adviser has tried to consolidate the international right, including in Latin America. Steve Bannon tried to gather a coalition of global supporters through his nationalist group, the Movement. Eduardo Bolsonaro, the legislator, the son of right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, joined Bannon’s group as its representative in Latin America. At a dinner in 2020 with populist leaders from Europe and Latin America, Eduardo Verastegi, an actor who served as an adviser to Trump’s Spanish White House prosperity initiative, expressed his intention to run for president in Mexico.
At the same time, the range of conservative news outlets and voices has grown in recent years. The Epoch Times Media Group, an information organization founded two decades ago by Falun Gong practitioners, a Chinese spiritual practice persecuted by the Chinese government, now has a digital website in Spanish. Prior to the 2020 election, the paper held the position of Trump and sometimes promoted conspiracy theories.
El American, a conservative Latino-based news site available in Spanish and English, also recently appeared. Its editorial states that the United States “is burned by moral relativism, postmodernism and Marxist ideas.” We are in a cultural war and we know how this war can end. Many of us have fled Marxism. We know that if America falls, there is no other place for freedom on earth. “
In Florida, veteran journalist Marian de la Fuente, who spent years as a news anchor at Telemundo (part of NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News), now hosts America TeVé in Miami in a more conservative tone. The network’s parent company, America CV, has been criticized by Democrats for its intention to buy Radio Caracol, AM. Democrats say the Spanish-language media in Miami is dominated by Republicans, and members of the Congressional Spanish-speaking Council of Congress are urging the Federal Communications Commission to reject the deal. They accuse America’s autobiography of wanting to turn the radio station into a right-wing exit after the station’s former mayor and liberal voice was fired.
Despite Latino Republican enthusiasm for the former president, some believe that as long as Trump has a lasting impact on CSO policy and the culture he has established, his influence will wane over time.
“Because much of Trumpism is not so much about politics and is not deeply essential, it will not have the same power that some assume it will,” said former Florida Republican Carlos Karbelo.
“In the short term, this is definitely something Republicans need to learn to deal with. Republicans will take care of some of these Trump issues and the support that still exists for him among his base,” Karbelo said. that for some Latinos it is also a rejection of the shift to the left that they perceive from the Democratic Party.
Two years after Andreina Kisane co-founded the Venezuelan-American Republican Alliance or VARA, the focus is still on Trump.
She said Biden, offering temporary protected status to Venezuelans, was just an attempt to attract Venezuelans. “Trump continues to be the only solution to Venezuela’s problems,” she said, adding that those who support Biden think only of “personal decisions without understanding the danger that this poses.” She believes Biden is “a puppet on the global reset agenda and the new world order.”
Her group will meet next week to discuss the US Constitution, religion and the packaging of the US Supreme Court, which she compared to what Venezuelan Socialist leader Hugo Chavez did to the courts while he was in power.
“All we can do is stay firm in our conviction and love for God to save our nations,” she said.
Chileuitt, along with the Patriotas con Trump, expanded to create an additional group of supporters from the retirement community. Patriotas chats with Trump WhatsApp have attracted members from Latin America, Spain and Australia.
Citing the Biden administration as “communists and anarchists,” Chileit said he and others had removed Trump’s flags and signs for security reasons. “But people are still worried about the future of this country.”
I follow NBC Latin On Facebook,, Twitter and Instagram.