Time For Politics in Miami Cafes!
Even before the sun peeks through the skyline, espresso machines in Miami coffee shops whir with activity. Sleepy-eyed men and women stand patiently around the takeout window, or ventanita, waiting for tiny cups of Cuban coffee that are slowly poured on the other side of the counter.
Politics, cafecito, and healthy debate are at the heart of every famous and ordinary “ventanita.” Shocked by this? Better get used to this cultural phenomenon that makes Miami headlines, as Cuban coffee becomes a staple in South Floridians’ everyday life.
Coffee with a Side of Politics
Along with the experience of sipping the world famous cafecito cubano or Cuban coffee, there is also another cultural phenomenon associated with it – Cafecito also entails healthy political debates among customers.
When South Floridians walk up to their favorite ventanita, they will probably find themselves engaging in discussions on local or international politics.
Opinions abound in the ventanitas. Opposing views and arguments are common, and there is never a dull moment. Although arguments can get heated, coffee drinkers are usually on the go, making it almost impossible for these debates to escalate.
Discussions Between People from Different Backgrounds and Cultures
These ubiquitous ventanitas are the go-to spot for conversation and discussions of yesterday’s news, today’s politics, and tomorrow’s local events.
As more and more people begin to call South Florida home, there is a growing community of Hispanic immigrants who have come to Miami due to political issues in their home countries. Now Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and those of other nationalities join the well-established 1.3 million Cubans living in exile.
This dynamic is reshaping Miami’s political discussions and is rapidly fostering debates featuring differing points of view.
As the L.A. Times reported: At Miami cafes, Cuban Americans and other Hispanics come for strong coffee and political talk.
Hotspots of Political Debate
Any day of the week at any cafe, you will be able to find an older man standing alone reading a Spanish-language newspaper while another man stands there scrolling on his cell phone.
Strike up a political conversation with either one of them, and it’s like plunking a quarter into a jukebox that will bring the place to life.
Fox News reports a well-known fact, the iconic restaurant Versailles is the heart of Little Havana. For decades, it has been a political hotspot in Miami and a crucial place for politicians to visit when trying to court Cuban-Americans voters.
Firefighters, police officers, local politicians, nurses, office workers, and handymen. They all visit the ventanitas and engage in conversation that’s usually about… you guessed it, politics.
Cuban Coffee Culture in Miami – More Than Just Strong Coffee!
Sipping a cafecito in 90-degree weather is not just for the sake of taking a break or grabbing a quick snack. Cafecito is more than just a beverage, it’s a way of life. It’s a reason to share with people you know and (why not) with those you don’t know.
The traditional expression – Let’s have a Cafecito – is an invitation that very few people will turn down.
Let’s have one!
*Cover photo from Jshyun | Flickr.com