Gloria Estefan's Obama fundraiser angers some in Miami

The Miami HeraldApril 15, 2010 

After a visit to Florida's Space Coast to talk about the future of NASA, President Barack Obama heads to Miami Thursday evening for two Democratic fundraisers — including a cocktail reception at the home of Gloria and Emilio Estefan that has irked some in the Cuban-American community.

The president's visit is expected to raise some $2.5 million for the Democratic National Committee. Obama's trip comes shortly after he won passage of health care reform in Congress and as the White House prepares to engage Republicans in a battle over financial reform Democrats say is critical to preventing another financial meltdown.

Despite Republican backlash over the health care overhaul, Democrats believe it will help them at the polls in November — and they took comfort Tuesday when Democratic state Sen. Ted Deutch won the first U.S House race in 2010, replacing retiring Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler in a district that includes parts of Broward and West Palm Beach.

The fundraiser hosted by the Estefans — their first political reception, with $30,400-a-couple tickets — has let down some Republicans who backed the couple during a march they orchestrated in Little Havana last month for Cuba's Damas de Blanco, or Ladies in White, said radio and TV host Ninoska Pérez Castellón of the Cuban Liberty Council.

"They have always said they're nonpartisan, they're neither Republicans or Democrats, and that's exactly what they said the march would be," she said. "When this came out, a lot of people kind of felt, 'Why had they not disclosed this before?'"

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