Hispanic Caucus News

Declaración del Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano en Reconocimiento del Día del Trabajo

El 2 de septiembre de 2019, celebramos a las familias latinas de trabajadores que pueden rastrear sus raíces hasta los días anteriores al nacimiento de nuestra nación, así como a los hombres y mujeres inmigrantes cuyo ingenio y arduo trabajo han ayudado a convertir nuestra economía en la más grande del mundo.

Con una crisis climática global ya aquí, una Administración alentada por su base de extrema derecha para deportar a veteranos estadounidenses y destrozar familias inmigrantes, y tantos otros asuntos importantes que necesitan nuestra atención urgente, nos detenemos brevemente en este Día del Trabajo para reconocer la enorme contribucion de latinos, como Stuart Mora en Indianápolis y Jessica Dueñas en Louisville, y pasar tiempo con nuestras familias y amigos antes de poner manos a la obra y reiniciar nuestro activismo en nombre de los latinos de Estados Unidos, la columna vertebral de la fuerza laboral de nuestra nación. Estamos orgullosos de los trabajadores estadounidenses de herencia hispana y los saludamos por su participación en todo, desde trabajar horas extras en granjas hasta construir nuevos ferrocarriles y luchar contra la injusticia social en las salas del tribunal.

Al reflexionar sobre este tan querido día de fiesta nacional, el Caucus Hispano reafirma su compromiso de promover y apoyar el desarrollo económico, la atención médica, la educación, la participación cívica y los problemas de derechos civiles de las comunidades y personas latinas que trabajan incansablemente para fortalecer nuestra gran nación.

Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee Statement Recognizing Labor Day

On September 2, 2019, we celebrate the hardworking Latinx families who can trace their roots back to the days before we were a nation as well as the immigrant men and women whose hard work and ingenuity have helped build our economy into the largest in the world.

With a global climate crisis already here, an Administration encouraged by its extremist right-wing base on deporting U.S. veterans and ripping immigrant families apart, and so many other important issues needing our urgent attention, we pause briefly on this Labor Day to recognize the enormous contributions by Latinos – like Stuart Mora in Indianapolis and Jessica Dueñas in Louisville – and spend time with our friends and families before rolling up our sleeves and restarting our activism on behalf of America’s Latinos – the backbone of our nation’s labor force. We are unapologetically proud of America’s workers of Hispanic heritage and salute them for their involvement in everything from working overtime on farms to building new railroads to fighting social injustice in the court room.

As we reflect on this widely-loved national holiday, the Hispanic Caucus reaffirms its commitment to promoting and supporting economic development, health care, education, civic engagement, and civil rights issues of Latinx communities and individuals who work tirelessly to strengthen our great nation.


Hispanic Caucus Podcast Episodes For August 2019

Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus members spoke to several notable guests during the month of August. We heard from an “undocu-queer” Chicanx artist in Oakland about how he incorporates art into his immigration activism; we chatted with a Latina who was named her state’s 2019 Teacher of the Year for her outstanding methods as an educator; we learned from a Democratic ally in Washington, D.C. about why each state’s attorney general is a critical elected position in fighting the Trump agenda; and we caught up with an amazing professional singer and businesswoman also in California who engaged with us in a bilingual discussion about her experience growing up on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Check out the names below in bold font to see who we spoke to this month.

As a reminder, all of our podcast episodes can be accessed here (or seen with episode summaries here).

ICYMI: We’re also on Apple Podcasts/iTunes! Click here to check us out.


An Engaging Bilingual Discussion With All-Around Super Woman Martha Soledad

The amazing Martha Soledad, an accomplished businesswoman, published author, and professional singer, took some time out to join the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus in our most recent podcast. Like so many other Hispanic Americans, Martha can identify with two cultures, two languages, and fully knows the immigration struggle. In Martha's case, she is U.S.-born but has proud roots all the way from Oakland to Michoacán.

In this episode, we speak to Martha about the absolute need for civic engagement from every available voter. While addressing the unique community of U.S.-born-but-foreign-raised Latinos, we explore this rarely-discussed community within the spectrum of Latinx identity. Our guest also shares her experience of people affected outside our borders and across Latin America. Finally, we discuss the urgency of the next presidential election in the U.S. and Martha encourages us all to not merely talk about “doing something,” but to actually take meaningful action. Have a listen to this episode with Martha Soledad and we guarantee you won't be disappointed. ¡Sube el volumen!

“Martha is a spitfire with superwoman energy in her professional life. Her passion for civic engagement is positively contagious.” - caucusita Alison Maciejewski

“With deep roots in the binational community that she loves, Martha connects with people on a personal level, on both sides of the border, in a way few others can.” - caucusito Sam Stone

Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic), Sam Stone (DA Mexico), and Rebecca Lammers (DA United Kingdom). Podcast intro/outro music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).


“¡Defend DACA!” A Brief Chat With Chicanx Artist/Activist

Nicolas González-Medina

If you’ve been to Oakland, California within the last few years, you've likely seen the work by this episode’s podcast guest. This week the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus caught up briefly with the talented Nicolas González-Medina, an artist and long-time political activist. An expert with his paint brush, screen printing and woodwork, Nicolas has his art proudly displayed on buildings, at pro-immigration rallies, on political advertisements, in fashion shows -- you name it.

As a self-identified “undocu-queer” Chicanx artist, Nicolas is an undocumented immigrant who was born in Mexico but arrived in Chicago as a child. He spent his childhood there, his adult life in California, and is just as “American” as his Chicagoan friends who happened to have been born in the U.S. Check out this brief conversation we had with Nicolas to hear first-hand yet another moving story of someone needing the Senate to do the will of the American people and pass the Dream and Promise Act. #SinPapelesSinMiedo

Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic) and Amerika García-Grewal (DA Fiji). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).


Raising The Education Bar With 2019’s Kentucky State Teacher Of The Year Jessica Dueñas

Somewhere on the south side of Louisville, a teacher is providing boys with the knowledge and tools to be America's next generation of leaders. On this week's podcast, Jessica Dueñas, the 2019 Kentucky State Teacher of the Year, chatted with the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus on a variety of topics, including her experience in declining a White House formal ceremony invitation earlier this year based on the Trump Administration’s “values” conflicting with her own set of principles.

It’s no secret that young men of color may encounter negative future life experiences due to ongoing stereotypes, racial profiling, low expectations, and so forth. But she and her school, the W.E.B. DuBois Academy, have raised the bar for having a bold curriculum based on the diversity of the student body such as including minorities’ contributions to our country rather than excluding them (per “traditional” teaching methods). Of Cuban and Costa Rican heritage and unapologetic of pointing out certain politicians’ attacks on public education, Jessica is one Latina educator in the Bluegrass State of which we’re all extremely proud of and grateful for. Have a listen to this insightful discussion and remember to subscribe via Podomatic or iTunes to get notified of new episodes!

Sus comentarios en español comienzan a las 15:22 en la conversación. (Jessica’s Spanish-language remarks begin at 15:22 into the conversation.)

Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Nelleke Bruyn (DA Costa Rica), Greg Dolezal (DA Vietnam), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).


DAGA’s Lizzie Ulmer And Understanding The Critical Role Of Your State's Attorney General

With an incompetent Trump Administration and extremist lawmakers pursuing a far-right agenda, each state's attorney general is the last line of legal defense for the American people. Working hard to get these elected officials into office is Lizzie Ulmer with the Democratic Attorneys General Association, or “DAGA.” Have a listen to Lizzie explain why having Democratic AGs is critical in protecting our democracy from those who seek to do harm to our communities of color, our environment, women’s reproductive rights, and more. Make no mistake - the dozens of court cases by states winning against the Trump Administration over the last two years are directly attributable to the hard work of Democratic AGs.

Lizzie also touched on the diversity of DAGA-supported AGs, including one candidate of color who would be an amazing addition to DAGA if elected. If you’re an American living abroad, we hope you find Lizzie’s commentary just as enlightening as we did and that you learn a bit about a branch of the Democratic Party not often on the front pages. Because every year there are elections for state AGs, requesting your ballot should always be a top priority.

Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic), Lori Smith (DA Mexico), and Angelo Goode (DA Philippines). Podcast intro/outro music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).

Hispanic Caucus Podcast Episodes For July 2019

What an amazing month the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Podcast has had! The folks who joined us really had some terrific and enlightening things to say during our discussions, including a college engineering student in California, a Democratic candidate running for local office in Pennsylvania, a Puebla-based Democrats Abroad Mexico member, and a union activist in Indiana – all wonderful guests who are making significant differences in their communities. Check out the names below in bold font to see who we spoke to in July.

As a reminder, all of our podcast episodes can be accessed here (or seen with episode summaries here).


Bianca Vasquez And Her Mission To Promote Latinas In Space Exploration

In a galaxy far, far away, there likely awaits a NASA rocket, probe, satellite or rover with Bianca Vasquez's name to be written on it. With her steadfast determination, there's no question that this Latina is dedicated to fulfilling successful missions of scientific research and human exploration in realms far from Earth. This week, this motivated college student from California and - gasp! - "engineering propulsion intern" joined the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast and educated us on her terrific organization - the Society of Women in Space Exploration (SWISE.org) - and how college and university chapters are popping up all over in support of its worthwhile pro-science and pro-women in diversity initiatives. 

Ms. Vasquez also spoke on why having Latinas involved in S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) contributes to a diverse workforce preparing to tackle major issues like climate change and how to best harness the power of green energy. At only 22 years old, Ms. Vasquez is an inspiration to all of us. She's clearly shooting for the stars -- quite possibly in a rocket designed, tested, and built by her own hands! Have a listen to our podcast discussion with this young lady and we're sure you'll be just as impressed about the future of American science and innovation as we are. ¡Sube el volumen! 

"Necesitamos elegir representantes que creen en la importancia de la sciencia para un futuro mejor para nosotros y para nuestros hijos." - Bianca Vasquez (Twitter: @PinkRocketship) 

Sus comentarios en español comienzan a las 20:32 en la conversación. (Ms. Vasquez’s Spanish-language remarks begin at 20:32 into the conversation.) 

Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic) and Amerika García-Grewal (DA Fiji). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).


Under The Electoral Microscope: A Discussion With Sam Stone On Latinx Candidates We Should All Be Aware Of

The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus’ Dee Dee Camhi (she/her/ella) and Michael Ramos (he/him/él) held a terrific discussion about Latinx candidates and upcoming races with one of our all-around knowledgeable caucus colleagues, Dr. Samuel Stone, Esq. When Sam’s not doing bilingual media interviews or teaching university students, he’s doing the tough work of researching candidates and issues. In today’s discussion, Sam took some time to inform us of some Latinx candidates that are likely to grab our attention in preparation for the upcoming 2019 and 2020 elections. In addition to Hispanic Caucus members being aware of Latinx incumbents and Latinx political newcomers, Sam gave his perspective on why all Americans abroad should request their ballot and cast their votes. Good stuff! Before you go celebrate Independence Day, have a listen to this interesting episode to get Sam’s insightful thoughts on Latinx candidates running in current electoral cycles.

“Things are changing. For example, in Philadelphia, there are a number of Latinos running for office… But now, they’re doing more inclusive things such as adding the ‘ñ’ on ballots for candidates’ names because there are so many Hispanic candidates running… and as a country and our Party, we’re seeing great improvements to accommodate Latino candidates.” - Sam Stone

Hispanic Caucus participants in this podcast episode: Dee Dee Camhi (DA Mexico), Nelleke Bruyn (DA Costa Rica), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).


Shaking Up A Local Race: Speaking with Democratic Primary Winner and Latinx City Council Candidate Nicarol Soto

In the eastern part of the Keystone State, there’s a city which historically has had a thriving coal industry, then years later became known as an unwelcoming place for immigrants, and nowadays, ironically, is the home to an increasingly-large Hispanic community -- welcome to the City of Hazleton. With the city currently in debt, minority-owned small businesses seeking to expand economic opportunities, and children limited in participating in youth programs, Nicarol Soto, a Democratic Latina candidate for city council, is ready to roll up her sleeves and move Hazleton forward.

Nicarol joined the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Podcast in a bilingual discussion to explain what she’s fighting for and why she’s running for public office. In this day and age of media attention largely showering candidates for federal public office, the Hispanic Caucus recognizes the need for overseas voters to devote time to learning more about state and local races before our members request their ballots. Nicarol Soto is one such candidate whom all Hazleton voters living abroad should know: she’s bilingual, she’s a mother, she works hard in a job outside of politics, she has a vision for where the city could potentially be, and she’s an inspiration for all young Latinas who want to make a difference in improving our nation through public service.

You know what to do… grab a beverage of your choice, kick back, and crank up the volume!

Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Carlos Colao (DA Spain), Thorin Engeseth (DA Germany), Dee Dee Camhi (DA Mexico), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao.


​Local Labor Leader Stuart Mora ​W​ith Thoughts ​On Immigration, Organizing ​And Voting

The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus recently had a chance to speak with UNITE HERE's Stuart Mora, of Local 23 in Indianapolis, and heard his thoughts on the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the American Dream and Promise Act, how union workers ​and the Marion County Dems ​are preparing for upcoming elections, and why overseas Americans exercising their right to vote will be critical in beating back the misguided ​​agenda of Republicans. As a​ vocal and highly-active​ ​organizer in the Rust Belt ​working directly with ​women, immigrants and ​the service industry, in addition to having previously lived abroad, Stuart's well-rounded experience in ​analyzing today's political ​climate gives an honest assessment of what's needed ​to move our country forward ​and what a collective voice can achieve. Have a listen to this interesting conversation and be sure to share with all Hoosiers living abroad!

"​Like me, when I was living abroad, you know other Americans abroad where you live. We've got to make sure they're registered to vote, and voting." - Stuart Mora

Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic) and Carlos Colao (DA Spain). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao.

Declaración del Caucus Hispano Sobre la Aprobación de Enmiendas a Resoluciones de la Reunión Mundial

El 20 de julio de 2019, los miembros del Comité del Partido Demócrata en el Extranjero (DPCA) se reunieron para debatir y votar sobre varias resoluciones que no pudieron recibir consideración en la reunión mundial de mayo de 2019 en el Distrito Columbia debido a restricciones de tiempo. Una de las medidas aprobadas por los miembros de la DPCA fue una resolución que apoya el “Nuevo Acuerdo Verde” en el Congreso. El Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano de los Demócratas en el Extranjero fue el autor de una enmienda de correcciones técnicas a la resolución que los miembros de la DPCA incluyeron por unanimidad.

El promotor principal de la enmienda, Will Prescott (DA México), declaró: “Me complace que haya habido un gran apoyo entre los miembros con voto global para apoyar esta enmienda que fortalece la resolución Nuevo Acuerdo Verde. No solo el cambio climático es un tema importante para mí y estoy seguro para muchos miembros de nuestro grupo, si no que contar con el respaldo a la enmienda de los líderes mundiales de los Demócratas en el Extranjero es indicativo de que la resolución es la correcta para la aceptación unánime de la membresía global.”

Otra líder del Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano, Alison Maciejewski (DA República Checa), emitió también su opinión: “Alentar a nuestros funcionarios electos a tomar medidas para

salvar el planeta es una obviedad. Con la aparición de los escépticos del clima en contra de la ciencia y la ignorancia voluntaria de los Republicanos en el poder, la raíz de la resolución exige acciones firmes por parte de nuestro Partido para contactar a nuestros miembros del Congreso e instarles a que se comprometan a apoyar H. Res.109 y S. Res. 59 - legislación en apoyo de empleos verdes y de reducción de gases de efecto invernadero.”

El Caucus Hispano espera continuar encontrando formas de fortalecer nuestra Plataforma del Partido en la reunión global de mayo de 2020 programada para llevarse a cabo en Toronto.

El texto completo de la enmienda adoptada por el Caucus Hispano se incluye a continuación.



Patrocinado por el Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano Global de Demócratas en el Extranjero.

Propuesto por Will Prescott, representante con derecho a voto de la DPCA, Demócratas en el Extranjero México

CONSIDERANDO QUE, la resolución de los Demócratas en el Extranjero del 20 de julio de 2019 que respalda el “Nuevo Acuerdo Verde” hace referencia dos veces a una legislación pendiente en la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos, el 116 ° Congreso, titulado “H.R. 109”; y

CONSIDERANDO QUE, la H.R. 109 es en realidad un proyecto de ley relacionado con la inmigración patrocinado por un representante Republicano de Estados Unidos; y

CONSIDERANDO QUE, la resolución de Demócratas en el Extranjero que apoya un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde presumiblemente se refiere a H. Res. 109, una resolución que reconoce el deber del gobierno federal de crear un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde, patrocinado por un representante Demócrata de Estados Unidos; y

CONSIDERANDO QUE, la resolución de Demócratas en el Extranjero que respalda un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde establece que hay 103 copatrocinadores hasta el 15 de abril de 2019 en referencia a las resoluciones del Nuevo Acuerdo Verde del Senado y la Cámara de Representantes; y

CONSIDERANDO QUE, hay un total de 106 copatrocinadores de las resoluciones del Nuevo Acuerdo Verde en el Senado y la Cámara de Representantes hasta el 13 de julio de 2019,

SE RESUELVE, que la resolución de Demócratas en el Extranjero que respalda un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde reemplazará todas las referencias de “H.R. 109” con “H.Res. 109”; y

SE RESUELVE ADEMÁS, que la resolución de los Demócratas en el Extranjero que respalda un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde reemplazará “15 de abril de 2019” con “13 de julio de 2019” y “103 copatrocinadores” con “106 copatrocinadores”

Hispanic Caucus Statement on Passage of Amendment at Global Meeting on Resolutions

On July 20, 2019, the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) members met to debate and vote on several resolutions which were unable to receive consideration at the May 2019 global meeting in the District of Columbia due to time restrictions. One of the measures DPCA members passed was a resolution supporting the “Green New Deal” in Congress. The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus’ steering committee authored a technical-corrections amendment to the resolution which DPCA members unanimously included.

The amendment’s primary sponsor, Will Prescott (DA Mexico), stated, “I’m pleased there was strong support among the global voting membership to support this amendment which strengthens the Green New Deal resolution. Not only is climate change a top issue for me and I’m sure for many members of our caucus, but to have the amendment backing of Democrats Abroad’s global leaders is indicative of getting the resolution just right to the global membership’s unanimous acceptance.”

Another leader on the Hispanic Caucus’ steering committee, Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic), provided an additional opinion: “Encouraging our elected officials to take action to
save the planet is a no-brainer. With the emergence of anti-science climate skeptics and willful ignorance from Republicans in office, the underlying resolution calls for strong actions by our Party to contact our members of Congress and urge them to sign on to H. Res. 109 and S. Res. 59 – pro-green jobs, pro-reducing greenhouse gases pieces of legislation.”

The Hispanic Caucus looks forward to continuing to find ways of strengthening our Party Platform at the May 2020 global meeting set for Toronto.

The full text of the adopted Hispanic Caucus amendment is below.


Sponsored by Democrats Abroad Global Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee.
Proposed by Will Prescott, DPCA Voting Representative, Democrats Abroad Mexico

WHEREAS, the July 20, 2019 Democrats Abroad resolution supporting the “Green New Deal” twice makes reference to a piece of legislation pending in the United State House of Representatives, 116th Congress, stated as “H.R. 109”; and

WHEREAS, H.R. 109 is actually an immigration-related bill sponsored by a Republican U.S. representative; and

WHEREAS, the Democrats Abroad resolution supporting a Green New Deal presumably is meant to refer to H. Res. 109, a resolution recognizing the duty of the federal government to create a Green New Deal, sponsored by a Democratic U.S. representative; and

WHEREAS, the Democrats Abroad resolution supporting a Green New Deal states there are 103 cosponsors as of April 15, 2019 in reference to both the Senate and House of Representatives’ Green New Deal resolutions; and

WHEREAS, there are 106 total cosponsors to the Green New Deal resolutions in the Senate and House of Representatives as of July 13, 2019,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Democrats Abroad resolution supporting a Green New Deal shall replace all references of “H.R. 109” with “H. Res. 109”; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Democrats Abroad resolution supporting a Green New Deal shall replace “April 15, 2019” with “July 13, 2019,” and “103 cosponsors” with “106 cosponsors.”

Statement from the Hispanic Caucus Chair and Vice Chair on Acosta Resignation

In response to the July 12, 2019 resignation announcement of U.S. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, who negotiated an incredibly lenient 2008 plea deal involving former Trump confidant and wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the Democrats Abroad (DA) Hispanic Caucus' current leadership offered the following comments:

"Yet again, this scandal-plagued administration is having to spend more time finding political nominees with ethics than actually governing our country. Given Mr. Acosta's controversial nomination when he squeaked by the Senate, he should have never been confirmed by Republicans in the first place. As the only Latino in the Trump Cabinet, it's disappointing to see such a terrible job performance from him both as Labor secretary and in his former role in the U.S. Attorney's office," stated caucus chair Michael Ramos (DA Australia).

The caucus' vice chair, José Miguel Madrigal (DA Costa Rica), added his thoughts. "Donald Trump only added to the swamp by nominating Alex Acosta. Unfortunately for both of them, our caucus and the American people saw right through Acosta's unprofessional behavior and demanded him to step down. The Hispanic Caucus hopes that the next Labor secretary nominee is serious about leading the American workforce, including addressing ongoing workplace injuries and fatalities among U.S. Latino employees."

Hispanic Caucus Podcast Episodes For June 2019

June was a busy month for the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Podcast! We had terrific discussions with several notable Latinx guests: a Berkeley professor, a late-night comedy host, a Red Cross executive, and a foreign affairs in expert in U.S.-Latin American relations. All of the guests offered insightful commentary, and if you’re ready to check ‘em out, feel free to stream or download these episodes at your convenience.

***All of our podcast episodes can be found here at our newly re-designed site.


June 2, 2019 (Guest: Cristina Mora)

You've heard her several times on NPR, and now, the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus was pleased to have G. Cristina Mora, Ph.D., as a guest on our podcast to discuss a range of issues under her expertise. Dr. Mora spoke on Latinos and the potential impacts of next year's census, how we came to use the term "Hispanics," and provided details about her book chronicling Hispanic Americans' rise in political and economic power stemming from years of activism and a push by the media. Check out our conversation with Dr. Mora - and afterward, we're confident you'll agree that the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast once again provides not only a quality educational lesson for all, but legitimate reasons to vote!

Sus comentarios en español comienzan a las 21:02 en la conversación. (Dr. Mora’s Spanish-language remarks begin at 21:02 into the conversation.)

"Siempre, siempre, siempre es importante votar dondequiera que estés - cada voto cuenta." -- G. Cristina Mora, Ph.D. (Twitter: @GCristinaMora)

DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Lori Smith (DA Mexico), Thomas López (DA Australia), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).

June 14, 2019 (Guest: Ernie Bustamante)

We all know it's hard to be an activist 24-7 in pushing for societal change and demanding sound policies of our home country. Helping folks relax after a long day is Ernie Bustamante, a Boricua-Chicano mestizo, highly-accomplished Los Angeles-based writer and late-night comedy host who's giving the American public some much-needed social/political laughter to keep all of us sane during the chaotic Trump era. Ernie joined the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast in discussing his series "Border Patrol," how 2020 presidential candidates each have an effective personal story to tell voters, how the late-night talk show scene recently lacked a Latino presence, and how he eventually decided, "¡Basta - necesitamos más de nosotros!"

Ernie is a great example of a Latinx activist who's highly educated and paying close attention to politics. If any of our members happen to visit the LA area, make sure to check out his free live show at the UCB Theatre (Upright Citizens Brigade's "Inner Sanctum"), located at 5419 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 90027. You can also check out Ernie and his show on Twitter: @votebustamante and @TheLatinoVote. Have a listen to this episode y por favor compártalo con amigos!

DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic), Greg Dolezal (DA Vietnam), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).

June 21, 2019 (Guest: Jarrett Barrios)

Joining our podcast episode this week was a Latinx superstar who's made a positive difference in every community he's ever lived. Jarrett Barrios, former state legislator on the east coast and now leading the Red Cross on the west coast, is no stranger to working on behalf of the American people. As a nonpartisan guest, he joined the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast and not only let us know how laser-focused he's been on emergency preparedness and response, but also gave us a fascinating brief history lesson on the Red Cross' international origins. In addition, Jarrett and his team of Red Cross volunteers continue to strive in assisting Latino communities with Spanish-language outreach and welcoming all those affected by natural or human-caused disasters to seek safety in their shelters. Good stuff!

After listening to this insightful conversation, your homework shall consist of: 1) subscribing to our podcast by clicking the "Follow"/iTunes button, 2) following Jarrett (@JarrettBarrios) on Twitter, and 3) sharing this podcast with other Americans living abroad!

(Fun fact: Latinos are more likely to have an O-positive blood type, thereby indicating they are extremely valuable for blood donations due to the universality of O blood and making it the highest in demand. It's important to remember that Latino blood donors make powerful contributions to patients in the emergency room!)

DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Lori Smith (DA Mexico), Amerika García-Grewal (DA Fiji), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).

June 25, 2019 (Guest: Jana Nelson)

This week the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus welcomed polyglot and foreign affairs expert Jana Nelson (Twitter: @anajanaina) as a special guest on our podcast. Jana has considerable experience as a congressional staff member, professional researcher, and working in diplomacy at the State Department. Among her many areas of specialized knowledge, Jana spoke with us about the various services provided by U.S. embassies and consulates which are available to U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad. The Hispanic Caucus was lucky to secure some of Jana's time and get her input on what an ambassador does and what the purpose of an embassy is, the role of Congress as it relates to U.S. embassies and consulates, why it's important for Americans abroad to vote, and several other important items. Please check out Jana's insightful commentary!

DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Amerika García-Grewal (DA Fiji), Luis Ore (DA Peru), Melanie García (DA Dominican Republic), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).

Acuerdos Comerciales y Arancelarios de Trump: Desastroso para los Estadounidenses en el Extranjero, Impacto Local y Global

Por: Bernardo Javalquinto, Ph.D.

Prácticamente todas las naciones que comenzaron como una colonia y obtuvieron su independencia se han beneficiado al tener una economía abierta, en oposición a aquellas que optan por políticas comerciales cerradas y “proteccionistas.”  Existe una gran cantidad de evidencia que demuestra que las economías cerradas crean una serie de problemas que afectan negativamente a sus ciudadanos, y muchos desconocen que el daño no solo es aplicable a los ricos y poderosos, sino que se extiende a sus ciudadanos de la clase trabajadora a nivel local. En el caso de la Administración Trump, cada día que pasa nos acerca más a una economía cerrada, y los estadounidenses que viven en el extranjero están viendo de primera mano el daño global que está haciendo EE. UU. amenazando con nuevos aranceles y luchando por demandas comerciales unilaterales.

Seamos claros: una amplia gama de respetados economistas está de acuerdo en que los aranceles de Trump perjudicarán a la mayoría de los estadounidenses.  Estados Unidos era, y sigue siendo, interdependiente de la economía global. A pesar de la crisis financiera de la Era de la Depresión, esta nos dejó grandes enseñanzas sobre economía, mercados, comercio y aranceles. Estados Unidos tradicionalmente ha crecido al ser una de las naciones industrializadas más prósperas, pero ahora se arriesga a dejar de ser económicamente competitiva y nos recuerda las amenazas provocadas durante la Depresión.

Increíblemente, las políticas del Presidente revierten el largo y lento giro de Estados Unidos hacia una economía más abierta.  Los economistas, el Partido Demócrata y el pueblo estadounidense se dan cuenta plenamente de lo que está haciendo actualmente la Administración Trump en materia de comercio y aranceles.  El Sr. Trump cree saberlo todo sobre negocios, pero está claro que su experiencia en los negocios ha dado lugar a políticas que benefician al 1 por ciento con los más altos ingresos y a Wall Street, y no a los trabajadores y las familias de clase media.

Aun más, a medida que la Administración de Trump nos empuja  hacia una economía cerrada, sus políticas comerciales inevitablemente continuarán afectando otros asuntos como la migración.  La administración ya está elevando indirectamente el costo de los bienes y servicios a través de los aranceles pero la economía básica nos dice que cuando los precios comienzan a subir, la inflación sigue su ejemplo.  Esto es significativo porque el poder adquisitivo del pueblo estadounidense disminuye hoy en día debido al hecho de que los precios son más altos para los bienes y servicios importados.  Dado que economistas, académicos y otros que entienden lo que está sucediendo actualmente en la Administración de Trump nos han advertido de una desaceleración económica, es imperativo que actuemos ahora para evitar la tensión emocional de las familias de Estados Unidos que tienen que salir adelante ante peores acuerdos comerciales y arancelarios.  Las economías proteccionistas no permiten una competencia económica justa para mantener un equilibrio en los precios; esto solo crea una economía extremadamente nacionalista que no puede competir con otras economías de libre mercado para ser más eficiente, más innovadora y mantener un crecimiento sostenible a largo plazo..

No nos sorprende que esté ausente en el manual comercial de la administración un plan de ayuda para los estadounidenses de bajos ingresos al ser afectados por los agresivos nuevos aranceles que indudablemente desalentarán aún más la cooperación internacional. Mientras tanto la administración continúa negociando acuerdos comerciales a puerta cerrada a favor de las corporaciones estadounidenses, y a su vez, los lideres de los sindicatos de los trabajadores estadounidenses esperan pacientemente a ver la menor evidencia de que la administración planea seriamente en este siglo 21 incluir protección a los trabajadores.

Para resumir, esta administración está creando políticas en Twitter a las 3 a.m. y no teniendo una discusión seria con el pueblo estadounidense para explicar las razones de los aranceles agresivos que perjudicarán a los estadounidenses tanto en el país como en el extranjero.  Esta administración sigue sin ser transparente al presentar sus planes comerciales a pesar de que el Sr. Trump afirma tener habilidades de negociación “sin precedents”.  Y mientras que la retórica de esta administración afirma promover la protección de los trabajadores estadounidenses, la evidencia demuestra que los únicos que interesan al presidente son los donantes de su campaña.

Por estas razones, invito a todos los ciudadanos de EE. UU. a reflexionar sobre el daño que nuestro país está experimentando con las políticas comerciales y arancelarias de Donald Trump, a menos que, por supuesto, los ciudadanos de Estados Unidos deseen experimentar otra desaceleración económica.


El Dr. Bernardo Javalquinto es economista, miembro del Comité de Dirección del Caucus Hispano de Demócratas en el Extranjero y Presidente de Demócratas en el Extranjero de Chile.

Trump’s Trade and Tariffs Deals: Disastrous for Americans Abroad, Local and Global Impact

By: Bernardo Javalquinto, Ph.D.

Virtually every nation which began as a colony and gained independence has benefitted from having an open economy, as opposed to those opting for closed, “protectionist” trade policies. There is a mountain of evidence demonstrating that closed economies carry a number of problems which negatively affect their citizens, and many are unaware that the damage is not only applicable to the wealthy and powerful but rather extends to its working-class citizenry on a local level. In the case of the Trump Administration, every day that passes takes us one step closer to a closed economy, and Americans living abroad are seeing first-hand the global damage being done by the U.S. threatening new tariffs and striving for unilateral trade demands.

Let’s be clear: a wide range of respected economists agree that Trump’s tariffs will hurt most Americans. The United States was – and still is – interdependent with the global economy. Despite the financial crisis of the Depression era, it taught us many lessons about economics, markets, trade, and tariffs. The United States has traditionally thrived in being one of the most prosperous industrialized nations but now risks remaining economically competitive and reminds us of the threats brought on by the Depression era.

Incredibly, the President’s policies reverse America’s long, slow shift towards a more open economy. Economists, the Democratic Party, and the American people fully realize what the Trump Administration is currently doing on trade and tariffs. Mr. Trump believes he is all-knowledgeable on business deals, but it is clear his business experience has led to policies which are beneficial to the top 1 percent of income earners and Wall Street, and not the workers and families of Main Street.

Furthermore, as the Trump Administration pushes us further toward a closed economy, its trade policies will inevitably continue to affect other issues such as migration. The administration is already indirectly raising the cost of goods and services through tariffs, but basic economics tells us that when prices start to rise, inflation follows suit. This is significant because the purchasing power of the American people is decreased nowadays due to the fact that prices are higher for imported goods and services. As economists, academics, and others who understand what is currently happening by the Trump Administration have warned us of an economic slowdown, it is imperative that we act now to avoid the emotional strain of America’s families having to somehow get by on worse trade deals and tariffs. Protectionist economies do not allow for fair economic competition to maintain a balance in prices; it only creates an extremely nationalist economy that is not able to compete with other free-market economies to become more efficient, more innovative, and maintain sustainable growth over time.

Not surprisingly, absent from the administration’s trade playbook is how it intends on helping the lowest-earning Americans from being affected by teasing new tariffs which would undoubtedly further discourage international cooperation. Meanwhile, the administration continues to negotiate trade deals behind closed doors on behalf of corporate America while America’s labor leaders are patiently waiting to see any shred of evidence where the administration is serious about including 21st-century worker protections.

To summarize, this administration is creating 3:00 A.M. policies on Twitter and not having a serious discussion with the American people in explaining the rationale for aggressive tariffs which will hurt Americans both domestically and abroad. This administration continues to not be transparent in detailing trade plans despite Mr. Trump claiming to have “unprecedented” negotiating skills. And while this administration’s rhetoric is about promoting the protection of American workers, evidence shows that the only stakeholders who have the president’s ear are his campaign donors.

For these reasons, I would invite every U.S. citizen to think about the damage that our country is experiencing with Donald Trump’s trade and tariff policies, unless, of course, America’s citizens are yearning to experience another economic slowdown.


Dr. Bernardo Javalquinto is an economist, a member of the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee, and the Chair of Democrats Abroad Chile.