MIAMI – “I’ve been working and fighting against the communists since I was 11 years old,” said Emilio Izquierdo, a 71-year-old Cuban-American exile, as he stood outside the legendary Versailles restaurant in the sweltering heat of Little Havana.
For decades, people like Izquierdo have come to this place to see friends, eat authentic Cuban food and talk politics. On Wednesday, as patrons ordered Cuban sandwiches and café con leche, Izquierdo was getting fired up talking about the rise in socialism in the United States — something, he said in an interview with Fox News, he fears will “destroy America.”
The flirtation by Democratic presidential candidates with socialistic policies comes as polling indicates Democrats could have an opening to chip away at the traditionally solid GOP support from the Cuban-American community, particularly with younger voters. But the older generation, in conversations at Versailles, suggested Democrats could be alienating the community by openly embracing socialistic policies, as candidates did for two nights in Miami this week.