The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


While there is a strong recorded correlation between religiosity and Republican Party affiliation, Cuban Americans report low religiosity but strong support for the GOP (58% of Cuban Americans are affiliated with the GOP). This is only one way in which this community is an outlier: Cuban Americans do not behave like other Hispanics; do not vote like other religious groups; are more liberal than the average Republican voter; and have not experienced the religious revival often observed in citizens of former communist regimes. These particularities suggest that Cuban Americans’ reaction is very specific to the combination of their experiences in the U.S. and in Cuba, including the island’s feeble religious history. This article explores the ways in which Cuban American support for the GOP is divorced from religiosity, and proposes that Cuban American affiliation with the Republican Party is instead motivated by a strong rejection of socialism, support for “law and order” policies in the U.S., and a desire to use America’s foreign policy to produce change in Cuba.