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DNC features few Latinos, a key 2020 voter demographic | US & Canada News



The Democratic National Convention is meant to energise the party’s base, while drawing in undecided voters or the disgruntled members of the Republican party.

But some observers of the 2020 Democratic convention have noticed a surprising absence of Latino speakers in the prime-time schedule. 

While the convention has so far featured some Latino representation, particularly during segments featuring rank-and-file supporters, a cameo by labour icon Dolores Huerta, as well as within a 17-person keynote speech composed of “rising stars” in the party, the four-day convention was initially only set to feature three Latino officials during its nightly two-hour main event.

Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto spoke on Monday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke on Tuesday, and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is set to speak on Wednesday. 

Noticeably absent when the prime-time schedule was unveiled last week was Julian Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama who delivered the keynote speech during the 2012 convention.

Castro, the only Latino candidate in the Democratic primary season, did speak early in the day on Tuesday at a convention council meeting and part of his 2012 speech was aired in a montage during Tuesday’s main event.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was officially nominated to be the party’s candidate [The Associated Press]

But Castro’s absence as a speaker in prime time, and the fact that Ocasio-Cortez was “marginalised” with a 90-second slot introducing Senator Bernie Sanders, does not send the right message to a voting bloc that has become the largest non-white demographic in the US and is considered to have untapped potential for the Democratic party, Cristina Jimenez, the co-founder of United We Dream Action, an immigrant organising group, told Al Jazeera.

Ocasio-Cortez said on Wednesday that she had been asked by the DNC to second the nomination for Sanders as part of the event – and slammed NBC news for tweeting the speech was one of the shortest, and in it she had not endorsed Biden. The organisation issued a correction, but she called it too late – that “it sparked an enormous amount of hatred and vitriol … to generate hate-clicks from a pre-recorded, routine procedural motion”.

In 2020 there will be 32 million Latino eligible voters, making up about 13.3 percent of all eligible voters in the country, according to the Pew Research Center. The demographic, however, has seen lower rates of registration than others. 

Latinos were also overwhelmingly energised behind Sanders in the Democratic primary. In California, 71 percent of Latino voters under the age of 29 voted for Sanders, while just 5 percent voted for Biden.

“I think if I was in the Joe Biden campaign, I would be thinking about how to speak to Latino voters about the issues that they care about that mobilised them in big numbers during the primary, like healthcare, like stopping deportations, like financial security and jobs, and how COVID is impacting this community,” said Jimenez. “And how to leverage the voices and the influence of political figures within the Democratic Party, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, like Julian Castro and many others who can bring a lot of enthusiasm in the community.” 

“(The speaker lineup) is concerning on a strategic level,” she added.  

Strategically significant

In 2016, Latino voters supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump 66 percent to 28 percent and are considered a solid portion of the Democratic base, although generally less so than Black voters, who voted 89 percent for Clinton. 

US primaries: Biden, Sanders battle for the Hispanic vote

In past elections, Latinos, which are the fastest-growing racial minority in the US, have generally been viewed as being concentrated in solidly Democratic and Republican states, making the demographic less significant in Electoral College strategies, said William Frey, senior fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. 

“I don’t think it’s the case any more,” he told Al Jazeera.

In Arizona, a state considered a battleground in November, he said Latinos will make up about 31.4 percent of eligible voters, a 6.4 percent increase over 2016 and in Florida, Latinos are projected to make up 22.9 percent of eligible voters, up by 3 percentage points from 2016, according to Frey’s analysis of the Current Population Survey from 2016 to 2020.

Latino voters could also make a difference in places like North Carolina and Pennsylvania if the race is close enough, he said.

“I think the party that can capture (Latinos’) attention and their long-term loyalty will have a lot to gain,” Frey said. “There’s no question about that.”

‘We need that fire’

Jeronimo Saldana, a Latino community organiser, said he had faith the Democratic Party was working to include Latinos, but said the convention’s prime-time speakers, and the omission of Castro, has left him feeling “unseen and unheard”.

While he said he was “grateful” to see some representation within the DNC, including host Eva Longoria, he added:  “Folks see the television screen and they don’t see Latinos, they don’t see themselves, they don’t see what Julian (Castro) did as a Latino running for president – that’s important and powerful.

“There has been an assumption that Latinos are going to vote for the Democrats,” he added. “But we need to see ourselves in the party. We need that fire.” 

Castro, for his part, has walked a careful line as the party strives to present a unified front. 

Kamala Harris to speak at Democratic party’s virtual convention

The candidate told MSNBC he was “disappointed” by the lack of Latino speakers in the initial schedule, but later told NPR he felt the party had responded to his diversity concerns. He has in recent days repeatedly praised the Biden/Harris ticket for its Latino outreach. 

However, in an interview with Axios, Castro said the campaign must “make sure that they are doing everything they can to reach out to a community that already has one of the lowest rates of voting, that needs to be brought into the fold”. 

He added that Latinos are generally “invisible” or an “afterthought” in political parties and American society as a whole, while warning that Democrats could see a slide in Latino support “that will benefit the Republicans in the years to come” if the demographic is not made “a robust part of this coalition going forward”.

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Year of the Overcomer-Prophet Elvis Mbonye



The eagerly awaited first fellowship of controversial Prophet Elvis Mbonye left viewers shocked as he declined to issue his now famous prophecies citing a refusal to settle for the new normal. In an on online service watched by thousands, the Prophet said him prophesying would “ be a concession to gathering online, rather than physically” further stating that it is not the will of God that church should meet online!

The Covid-19 SOPs given by the government and Ministry of Health have heavily impacted gatherings and as a result, ministries with large congregations have resorted to online services. The prophet however insists that this is a ploy to diminish the influence of the Kingdom of God.

He however proceeded to give the Prophetic Word of the year , saying “This is the year of the Overcomers” amidst cheers from those present. He also stated that this would not be a “gloomy” year, probably meaning that this would be a good year. Given that many of his prophecies have actually come to pass, should we pay more attention to him? We eagerly await the prophecies this year.

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Kabuleta blasts Media over “COFIT” reporting in new rant.



Presidential hopeful Joseph Kiiza Kabuleta has expressed dissatisfaction with the media over what he says was”alarmist reporting” over the Covid-19 pandemic which he calls “COFIT” a term we believe is a wordplay between covid and profit, a view held by many that claims that the disease was exaggerated to maximize funding and corruption. Kabuleta has come to be known for his straight shooting style and admirable command of facts and policy, even being touted as the “smartest candidate” in the is the full statement:


By Joseph Kabuleta

“Don’t look at where you fell, but where you slipped”

We know where the media fell. They fell when they were caught in the crossfire between opposition politicians and trigger-happy security hitmen; when they were unfairly targeted as they went about their noble duty of covering this explosive elective season. Sadly, some journalists are nursing wounds; others weren’t so lucky.
But it’s important for us to understand where they slipped.

If someone is sitting by the roadside sipping on his brew and he sees a gang of people sprinting past him, as if for their lives, it’s understandable if he impulsively joins without asking questions. But if after nine months he is still sprinting, and has still not asked any questions, then there’s something terribly wrong with him.

When we first went into lockdown in March, it was probably the best course of action because we didn’t know the full extent of the Cofit threat. But in the first 90 days, it was clear to all and sundry that it was never going to rank among Uganda’s top health challenges. And that’s not my opinion.

The Daily Monitor on July 15th quoted Dr Baterana Byarugaba, the Mulago Hospital Executive Director, describing the Cofit strain in the country as a mild form of flu which does not require hospital admission since it can be treated at home or in lower health facilities.
“l told Ugandans right from the beginning that the type of coronavirus we expect in Uganda is the mild one. It can be treated at health centre II, III, IV or the district hospital,” the top Medic said.

I read the story with glorious delight supposing that finally common sense, (or should I say science sense) would inform our decisions as a nation. But it’s difficult to know where science stops and politics starts. It’s become clear over the months that Cofit is not just a virus that causes respiratory problems, it’s a lot more than that; it’s a weapon in the hands of politicians that gives them power beyond their wildest dreams. In America, for instance, Democrat Congressman Jim Clyburn said Cofit is a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our (leftist) vision” while actress and activist Jane Fonda said that Cofit was “God’s gift to the left.”

Our media could have taken the side of poor Ugandans by showing the immense suffering and death from preventable sicknesses that resulted from the harsh Cofit measures; they could have highlighted the plight of businesses permanently closed and workers rendered redundant and sent back to villages. They could have wondered why truck drivers were testing negative in Kenya and positive in Uganda, or wondered why Cofit deaths only started after Prophet Museveni showed us a macabre lineup of coffins in his address, or why every celebrity who dies since then is ruled as Cofit (no autopsy required)

They could have told us that according to Worldometer, Cofit has a 0.28% mortality rate (or a 99.72 survival rate) and that it doesn’t rank anywhere in the Top 10 of Uganda’s health challenges; they could have told us that a child dies of malaria every two minutes (and Uganda accounts for 3% of the world’s malaria fatalities), which means that more Ugandans die from mosquitoes in ten days than Cofit has (allegedly) killed in the nine months it’s been on our lips.

Ugandans (especially of my age) have lived through real pandemics. As a young man growing up in the early 90s, nobody had to remind me that AIDS was real. Goodness me, I knew it was! And I didn’t need police to force me to wear protection, I knew the consequences. The fact that we are constantly being reminded that ‘Cofit is real’ tells a story of its own.

The media could have asked why Uganda, with one of the lowest Cofit cases or deaths, still holds on to a 9:00pm curfew when Kenya moved to 11:00pm in September, as did South Africa and several countries. The media could have told us that Malawi, Burundi, Tanzania and, recently, Ghana all held successful elections with full blown campaigns in 2020, and we aren’t hearing people dropping dead from Cofit in any of those countries. May be they should have tried to find out if people are dropping dead in Tanzania which altogether ignored all Cofit measures and went on to acquire middle-income status while Ugandans were still in lockdown.

They could have told us about the asymptomatic Cofit patients who were filmed dancing the night away in hospital wards, or of people suffering from other diseases who dare not go to hospital because they fear to be given a fake Cofit label and held for two weeks against their will.

The media could have told us that Cofit deaths across the world have been grossly inflated. Minnesota lawmakers say Cofit deaths could have been inflated by 40% after examining death certificates (according to The Washington Examiner) while Fox News reported that in Colorado 45% of Cofit corpses “were also found to have bullet wounds”.

They could have told us that 22 European countries, all of which had tens of thousands of Cofit deaths, opened their schools in the fall, and there has not been any reported spikes in cases as a result. They could have told us that more people have been killed by security men enforcing Cofit measures than by the virus itself.

Well, they could have…but they didn’t. And that’s where they slipped.

Instead they chose to go down the path of alarmist reporting and in so doing became, inadvertently or otherwise, enablers of Uganda’s trillion-shilling Cofit enterprise. Like Squealer in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the media used flowery language to drum up fear by keeping people’s eyes transfixed on swelling numbers while the thieves carried their loot and stashed it away, and loan money was distributed among family members or used in regime prolongation.

The recent joint television news bulletin, and the adverts that followed, were the peak of hysterical reporting. “Zuukuka Tusaanawo” (wake up, we are perishing) screamed an advert featuring top media personalities. What a load of……(fill in appropriate word).

Remember, all the tyranny we have witnessed in this season has been done in the name of Cofit, and such sensationalist reporting justifies it; it gives dictators like Museveni the perfect pseudo-moralistic cover to unleash their most despotic fantasies while actually pretending that it’s for the good of the people. Unfortunately, the terror has now spread to the very media people whose hyperbole enabled it in the first place. There is such a thing as the law of cause and consequence, after all.

Instead of the media walking out of pressers and threatening to boycott government functions, let them threaten to stop all Cofit reporting. Museveni himself would come running with chocolate in hand.

If the president extended curfew by just two hours, for instance, he will have put as many as 200,000 Ugandans back to work especially in the hotel, restaurant and entertainment industries; but he doesn’t care, and sadly neither do many middleclass Ugandans who suppose that it’s their moral obligation as responsible citizens of the Global Village to fret over Cofit just because their ‘fellow citizens’ in Europe and America are doing so. Of course they can afford to do that because their corporate jobs have, for the most part, insulated them from the devastation of the government-instituted Cofit measures. They can enjoy working at home, beer in hand, as they listen to CNN and BBC and still expect the full complement of their salaries at the month end, and that makes them feel every bit like ‘their brothers’ overseas.

Such aspirational conformists are more likely to be offended by my stance on Cofit because they haven’t traversed crook and creek of this country and seen the damage reigned on this fragile society; not by the virus, but by the measures supposedly instituted to mitigate it.

You see, perhaps the most enduring damage this regime has done to our society is creating a three-part hierarchy of class and needs. At the zenith are a handful of connected ‘1986 generation’ and their families who feel entitled to all power and wealth. Beneath is a small (and shrinking) middleclass, and at the bottom of the pyramid is a mass of peasants. Every society, to various degrees, is ordered in the same fashion, but what makes Uganda unique is that the megalomaniacs at the top don’t give a nickel about the plight of the middleclass and the middleclass in turn don’t care a bit about the quandary of the peasant. The charlatans at the top will impose punitive taxes on the middleclass, then dip into NSSF coffers at a whim to share out their savings, and no one can stop them.

And the middleclass Ugandan, armed with his medical insurance, and safe in the knowledge that his wife is unlikely to die in child birth (20 Ugandans do EVERY DAY), and his children are very unlikely to die of malaria (20 do EVERY DAY), or from malnutrition (thousands do every year), will go around trumpeting Cofit because it’s more relevant to his status than malnutrition or malaria.

I could just as easily go down that path. I could also close my eyes to mothers failing to get breast milk because they can only afford half a meal a day (black tea with a piece of cassava), and the malnourished babies that emerge as a result; I could close my eyes to the teenage girls that were given out in marriage because schools closed, or those given out to meet family needs; I could ignore the fact that our president is opening 5-star markets in cities which have 1-star referral hospitals; I could also choose to look the other way and enjoy my middleclass lifestyle, but as an aspiring leader, I cannot.

As a leader, my aspiration is to remove the privileged/entitled class, to expand the middleclass (and their income), and to shrink the peasantry; but mostly to blur the lines that separate each category.
It doesn’t bode well for our country if the average Corporate Ugandan knows more about racism in America than about extreme poverty in Teso or Busoga because that disqualifies him/her from the solution to those local problems.

And finally, I have come to the realization that the biggest pandemic afflicting our country is poverty and the virus that causes it is called M7-1986. Vaccination against it is January 14

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



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