Commentary: Gloria, Emilio Estefan strike sour note with Cuban-Americans

The Miami HeraldApril 15, 2010 

If Gloria Estefan decides to sing a tune while hosting President Barack Obama at her home Thursday, she may want to consider her 1989 hit Cuts Both Ways.

'Cause you and I are dangerous

We want too much and life ain't that way

Don't ask for more

Don't be a fool

Haven't we already broken every rule

The Estefans may have broken more than a rule when they decided to host a cocktail reception for the president during his visit to South Florida on Thursday. Estefan, along with husband Emilio, also broke a bond that had united them with Miami's Cuban community, whose members largely oppose the president's agenda.

The Estefans, for their part, have implied that they're simply using the opportunity to increase awareness about the Cuban people's plight. What's more, they note that they believe in supporting good candidates regardless of party.

They would have a convincing argument except for one very important detail: The event isn't merely a conversation about Cuba with the president while sipping a cortadito. Nor is it designed to raise funds for a particular cause or candidate they support.

They are hosting a $30,400-a-couple fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee, and, by extension, helping to fund the entire Democratic Party agenda. It's a proactive, partisan stance that goes well beyond, say, deciding to sing at a presidential inauguration or accepting a presidential appointment to oversee a nonpartisan cause.

Mention the Estefans and many no longer conjure up images of freedom and catchy tunes. Now -- rightly or wrongly -- many associate the name with Obamacare, abortion, powerful unions, creation of a welfare state.

The event also means the Estefans are helping to promote Democratic Party candidates, regardless of whether a particular candidate espouses ideas they would support. In other words, the decision to hold the fundraiser is the opposite of their stated belief of being nonpartisan when it comes to choosing our leaders.

To read the complete column, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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