MIAMI (CBS4) – As South Florida and the rest of the state’s Hispanic population continues to grow, its political influence remains largely with Cuban-Americans.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanic growth in the Puerto Rican-heavy central Florida counties along Interstate 4 was almost as large as the Latino gains in Cuban-dominated South Florida during the past decade. According to the census report even heavily Hispanic cities, like Hialeah Gardens, have become even more Latino but many of the newcomers are from Central American. Weston has developed a thriving Venezuelan community and is regularly featured on the websites of Caracas real estate agents.

But while the state’s Puerto Rican, Venezuelan and Mexican communities increased, they haven’t  elected their members to high office in proportions that reflect their numbers — their organizations are fragmented and have little political involvement.

Tampa-based political consultant Angelette Aviles, a Puerto Rican, hopes Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic groups will take a closer look at the how Cuban-Americans have influenced politics, especially by channeling political donations, which has allowed them to influence even national politics.

“There’s still a big lack of engagement” among non-Cuban Latinos, she said. “There’s a lack of understanding that it takes more than just voting to shape the political process.”

In Florida’s congressional delegation, the three Hispanic members of the House and Sen. Marco Rubio are all Cuban-American. Nearly all of the 13 Latino members of the State Legislature are Cuban-American. One is Puerto Rican and another is of Spanish descent.

At just over 1 million, Cubans-Americans still are Florida’s largest Hispanic group, making up about a third of the state’s Latinos, according to the Census’ American Community Survey. Puerto Ricans now number more than 725,000.

Hispanics now make up almost 1 in 4 Floridians, up from 1 in 6 a decade ago.

The parity in Hispanic gains has political importance as it could lead to at least one new Latino-majority congressional district in the center of the state and possibly another in the south. And it could lead to a geographic shift in Florida Hispanic’s political and economic power.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (26)
  1. MRB says:

    At least we know how to spell.

    1. kittothekat says:

      Wow! Bravo for you Einstein! With everything being said here, that is your only highly intelligent comment……. I am so impressed! Not

  2. south florida Gringo says:

    The Cubans allowed a Communist dictator to take over their country, came to the US and continue to support the same ilk, IE. Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart brothers, George W Bush, etc. They blame John F. Kennedy for their demise because he didn’t forego the well-being of his nation for the political future of a pimple of an island nation off it’s coast – well that’s bright. Cubans are the most politically inastute group known to man. Wake up Cubans!

    1. Just...?? says:

      South florida gringo…suggest to check the history,about Fidel & USA(Love) check,how many cubans die & jail,figthing for free Cuba…(Look for “The Fourth Floor”,by Earl E. Smith,1963)……If You read,then you know Why?? Thank Jesus!! Kennedy is Dead & in Hell,with His Brothers..Not with Marilyn Monroe & the one die in the lake…& Miami,was dark,ugly,before the Cubans..About Iliana,Balart’s brothers,agree with You(Bush??)…LOL

      1. kittothekat says:

        Just how many of your people died fighting to free Cuba? No, most of you are here living off the good ole USA and it’s freedon and being rude and nasty to everyone. Most of you are living a million times better than you would have been had you stayed in Cuba even if Castro had never taken over. You are busy here cultivating your lack of feelings, manners and culture which is indicated by your glee in the death of the Kennedys which is so ignorant, as usual. How dare you rejoice in the death of an American President! Would you have jeopardized your home and family in order to help out your neighbor? NO!!! You wouldn’t even help your neighbor even if it didn’t jeopardize your family. You would just say, as I have heard Cubans say so many times before, “Oye, that is not your family, don’t bother with him…..” You are a despicable human being. Go get the money and fight for your own country. Oh no, you are too comfortable here on the internet insulting the American people and wishing our Presidents a death in hell. How dare you. You wonder why you are not liked?

    2. kittothekat says:

      I applaud you!

  3. Can someone please explain the difference in Latino and Hispanic? I noticed that both were used throughout this article. I couldn’t tell if they were being used interchangeably or to mark a difference in two groups of people.

    1. Just...??? says:

      Latino Word,i s being used for La Raza,socialists… the Hispanic(Word)…NO Latino..eewww

      1. That’s interesting because in Los Angeles the word Latino is the preferred choice. People used to wear t-shirts that had the slogan “Hispanic is NOT Latino” or something like that.

  4. vanessa says:

    How judgemental and rude we can all become when we’re behind a computer screen. Actually, in Miami that happens everywhere, so never mind.

    1. Me says:

      Yeah, in Miami people are more vicious and mean in person than behind a computer screen. I don’t think in my eight years of living here, not one person has ever said “thank you” or “excuse me”. Courtesy does not exist here.

  5. kittothekat says:

    I am first generation American and raised as such. I am half Cuban decent and can tell you that their rudeness and abrassive nature has ruined Miami for me They are loud and non caring about others. They bully things from parking places to cutting in line at any opportunity they can find. Many of them defraud the system by getting government assistance at every turn they can without truly qualifying. I know because I have seen it happen…..I once asked a group of my co-workers to please speak English as there were Americans in the room and the reply was, ” they need to learn Spanish, this is our town now”. I have been told to my face that Americans are stupid so they can be taken advantage of.
    As far as politics, they destroyed their country and now they will destroy mine….

    1. Me says:

      I was going to write practically the same exact thing. Miami Cubans are rude as hell. They don’t bother to learn English and only care about themselves. Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

      1. kittothekat says:

        I am glad too because the Cuban people seem to think that I am a racist against them… Much to the contrary. My mother was Cuban and she was embarrased about their behavior here. She always said that they were representing her and she could not blame Americans for not wanting them around… I was proud of being of Hispanic descent but I am ashamed of these people. Numerous numbers of them have told me to my face that Miami if Cuban and whoever does not like it can leave….. We wonder why Communism took over their country???

  6. Clay Renoit says:

    The only gain that you people want. Is to see how rude you can be to other people. Thats your gain ! ! ! (vanessa your 100% right about how rude these people can be) Can I also say that for some reason most of them come from somewhere else. They come for our freedom in the USA..Its my USA that gives them freedom to do anything that they dam well want to do and thats be rude to all. Its my USA that you came to. To respect us by being rude to a country that gives you freedom…If you hate it so bad there is other places the like rude people like you…You came over from somewhere else so you can have freedom..No so you can be rude to people that help you have your freedom. Everyday people fight a war so you and I can be free..You see it, like you don’t care who is fighting a war so you can be free…All you care about is how many people you can be rude to. You people that do not respect others you need to go back where ever you are from. It my USA and you will respect it or die being rude…God is always watching the rude ….You never give to a homeless or a charity because your so cought up in being rude to everyone and anyone…Some say they pray to God are you rude to him too. God is not a rude God…Who is teaching you to be rude. You came for my freedom and you have it. What more do you want? you came to my county so you can treat me rude. This sounds stupid…The bad if I went to your country and was like some of you rude to everyone they would kick me out or have me removed.. But thats why your here and not there because we have freedom.. If not you would be going back ! ! !

  7. Clay Renoit says:

    there is other states that don’t put up with people like you being rude. Thats why your not making a go of it there. Your trying here in Miami because there is so meny of the same and so by being rude to everyone you think your getting by with something…There is more weathy whites because they did not get there weath from being rude to people. All my wealthy years no hispanic or cuban never made me weathy…You never done nothing for me. So when I moved here to south Miami I brought 1000’s of new jobs. Everyone that was hired is rude and it tells me where there mind is…None of them want to learn how to be weathy. They all think that running over people is the way. NOPE So after the end of the year I will pull-out my company and go where I am liked. Someone lied when who ever told them there in a dog-eat-dog world…Thats not the way to the top. &hit, spit,rude,hate…other states will not let this happen. thats why there not there. Miami is the only trash pool that lets this happen….They think its funny…

  8. Just...??? says:

    Poor Kittokat..nothing about history…. Understand,when people don’t read..Sad.;^(((((…….But about Kennedy’s many-many-many respectful americans,agree with me.. Love Reagan & the Fathers of this Country… Kittokat Love & Hug…God Bless,You!! (Not to: liberals,socialists,communists & others doing Bad to this Wonderful Country,USA) Check: The Fourth Floor(1963) Earl.E. Smith.. ex-ambassador,in Cuba 1957-59….)

    1. kittothekat says:

      Dear Mr. Ambassador. 🙂 Highly unlikely as you cannot write nor spell.

      I have yet to meet one American that feels that the Kennedy’s did wrong regarding the Cuban issue.

      The ignorant person is you sir with all due respect.

      And it is: kittothekat nor kittokat.

      You are not who you pose to be as you cannot articulate your position worth a hoot….. You are no ambasador….

      1. Love USA says:

        Same here,about Kennedy’s hahahahaha..see poor kittothekat,can’t read,either…

  9. Just...?? says:

    Atention “kittothecat”…….Book: “The Fourth Floor” (edited 1963) Author: Earl E. Smith…..ex-ambassador,in Cuba 1957-59….& check,The Fourth Floor,meant?…. I’m Not Ambassador,just History’s Reader…LOL..hahaha!!

    1. kittothekat says:

      Judging by how you write sir, I am surprised that you can read… It is obvious that you don’t even make sense.

      1. Just..?????? says:

        hahahahahahahahahahaha… kittothekat…hahahahahaha….Didn’t understand,was a “BOOK”..hahahahahaha..Bye!! LOL..

  10. Charm says:

    You have to be rude and ignorant to be sorrounded by rude and ignorant people, and then believe all are the same. Fortunately I’m originally Cuban and had the opportunity of being raised in Cuba and 2 other North American countries, thank God, among the finest people of varied descent. I feel sorry for you that never had that oportunity. Your frustration contiributes to your negativity. Perhaps I don’t speak English without an accent, but I can make myself understood in 4 more languages and enjoy other cultures. Ignorance and lack of kindness is the mother of your complaints.

    1. kittothekat says:

      Dear Charm, I think you are very well aware that I am not a rude nor ignorant person and that as a matter of fact I am educated and live in an extremely nice upper middle class neighborhood. My neighborhood was like a paradise until about three years ago when a large influx of mostly Cubans came in and now it is like a war zone just in the streets and parking lots. Just their yelling at the stores in their effort to communicate with each other is shocking. I was thinking that perhaps there were deaf…. If you were trying to imply, in defense of your people in front of others on this site, that I lived in some sort of ghetto or Calle Ocho, you are wrong. I think that others know that…..

      I however apologize for my generalization of the Cuban community. There is an about a 10% of very educated and mannerly Cubans living here and I am happy to say that I am friends with a few of them, My mother having been one…

      You seem to possibly be educated and I can see why you blindly attack me in defense of your countrymen. You are absolutely right that my frustration contributes to my negativity. I am frustrated because I am Latin/Hispanic decent and I was raised in an affluent American and Jewish neighborhood where I never felt prejudice and my being Spanish was a beautiful thing. Then they came. Loud, pushy, rude and arrogant, not all but most. Mam, you will never be able to convince me nor any other American otherwise…..

      If you think that the fact that you were raised in two other North American countries and that you speak four languages makes our local situation go away. Wrong! You are the one that perhaps does not go out into the predominantly Cuban areas and sees exactly what every American in Miami is speaking about.

      As I am neither Ignorant, much to the contrary and am known as being one of the kindest humans that people have met, your statement rolls off my back and know it is stated only out of your own frustration and ignorance as to what is really going on in this city.

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