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  • Fourteen states, with over 1,300 delegates, were up for grabs on Tuesday's elections.

    Fourteen states, with over 1,300 delegates, were up for grabs on Tuesday's elections. | Photo: EFE

Published 3 March 2020
Opinion

Political analysts spoke with teleSUR about the impact of the primary election on Latin American peoples.

"The battle is not just between candidates for the presidency, it really is about the soul and essence of the democratic party," Professor of Venezuelan History at Pomona College in California Miguel Tinker Salas told teleSUR as voters took to the polls on Super Tuesday's Democratic primaries. 

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What is at stake, said the academic in an interview with teleSUR, is whether the Democratic Party will be "capable of forging a new coalition that can represent the important changes in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and generation occurring in the country, or if it will remain the establishment party that has represented Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and the great financial sectors."

However, the academic does not believe that any U.S. election alone can alter the power dynamic between the region and the United States - Latin American's fate is "in the hands of Latin Americans" in his opinion. For many experts, foreign policy has become a deciding factor for the 2020 elections. 

"That said, we can only hope from Washington to respect the right to self-determination of Latin American peoples."

Other aspects of U.S. policy that could change and alleviate some of the issues the region is confronted with, regard "immigration, the so-called war on drugs and the neoliberal economic policy," he concluded.

His fellow professor at Pomona Suyapa Portillo Villeda, who specializes in the impact of U.S. policies on migration in Central America, also told teleSUR that the primary election will have consequences on border issues, including the arrests and disappearances of Central American children in secret prisons.

"What is expected is immigration reform," she said. Senator Bernie Sanders is the preferred candidate among Hispanic voters, who accounted for three in 10 Democratic primary voters, according to exit polls. 

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She added that the Latin and Central American communities living in the United States that could not vote was for the most part supporting Bernie Sanders "for his humanist discourse about health and immigration" and his promise to overturn the unfair policies implemented by President Donald Trump.

According to the Honduran activists she has been in contact with, the U.S. Presidency matters especially since the 2009 coup "orchestrated by the administration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden."

"For instance, Trump and (Honduran President) Juan Orlando Hernandez are political allies despite Trump's anti-immigration discourse: Hernandez opened Honduras' embassy in Jerusalem on Trump's request."

Although Trump cut off humanitarian aid to Honduras as a punishment for not closing properly the borders, Portillo affirms that military and technical aid continues.

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