Democrats courting Florida's changing Cuban voters

Florida Governor Charlie Crist looks on during a press conference after thanking workers helping Haitian victims of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince transition through the Miami International Airport on February 1, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle, Getty Images)
Florida Governor Charlie Crist looks on during a press conference after thanking workers helping Haitian victims of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince transition through the Miami International Airport on February 1, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle, Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/05 12:01 pm

MIAMI (AP) — As Charlie Crist campaigns for Florida governor, the Democrat is calling for an end to the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.

He's bucking decades of political orthodoxy in the largest swing-voting state.

For years, politicians have been careful about what they say about the issue. That's out of fear of alienating Florida's powerful Cuban-American voters. Many of them fled Fidel Castro's Cuba.

But Democrats, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, see an opening with newer Cuban arrivals and second-generation Cuban-Americans who favor resuming diplomatic relations.

Republicans and some Democrats say the efforts are a betrayal of the Cuban-American community.

Crist's campaign will be the first statewide test of whether the trade restrictions are still a live wire for Florida politicians.

The outcome could help reshape American foreign policy and Florida's political landscape.

 

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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