FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2019
Today, Maria Elvira Salazar announced her candidacy against Donna Shalala for Florida’s 27th Congressional District which includes the city of Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, West Miami, Pinecrest, Key Biscayne, South Miami, North Bay Village, Cutler Bay, and Palmetto Bay.
A five-time Emmy Award winning and nationally and locally-recognized journalist, Maria Elvira Salazar has interviewed a wide range of social and political leaders including President Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro, Álvaro Uribe, Augusto Pinochet, Nicolás Maduro, and most recently Juan Guiadó. She has seen firsthand the atrocities of socialist regimes, covering the frontlines of the Salvadoran Civil War, unflinchingly interviewing Latin America’s most feared dictators, and uncovering the truth hidden by these governments as a journalism pioneer and a national and local news anchor.
“The desire to bring socialism to this country by extreme Washington liberals isn’t just wrong; it’s dangerous,” said Salazar. “The romanticism of socialist principles by the left is not simply rhetoric to those in our community. Families here, like my own, risked everything to flee oppressive socialist regimes in pursuit of the freedom and the American Dream. As extreme liberals in Washington spew dangerous socialist and hateful anti-Semitic rhetoric, Donna Shalala stays silent. Silence in the face of oppression is complicity. I am running for Congress to give a voice to our community who know full well the dangers of socialism; the voice of freedom.”
Born in Little Havana to parents who fled Cuba with just five dollars in their pocket, the pursuit of freedom and the American Dream was instilled into Maria Elvira Salazar at an early age. While being raised in Miami and Puerto Rico, Salazar listened as her parents told stories of the oppressive communist regime from which they escaped. Becoming American citizens at the Freedom Tower, Salazar’s parents wanted a better life for their family.
That pursuit of freedom and the American Dream shaped Maria Elvira Salazar’s early life and career, and it continues to drive her today. Salazar graduated from the University of Miami and later from Harvard University which she paid for herself. She began a career in journalism, covering local stories for Univision.
A rising star in the field of journalism, Salazar’s career took her all over the world. She became the anchor for CNN Español, the first time a major news network had a broadcast fully in Spanish. Later, working again for Univision Salazar covered the Salvadoran Civil War being embedded on the frontlines.
Using contacts she made in El Salvador, Salazar began reporting in Cuba. In Cuba, she witnessed the atrocities of the Castro communist government but could not just stand by. Through her reporting she became a leading voice against Fidel Castro, pointing out the actions of the government and its devasting effects on the people of Cuba. Eventually, Salazar became too vocal for the likes of Castro and the Cuban government.
It was her persistence and passion to uncover the truth in defense of freedom that led to the interview of a lifetime. After years in pursuit and a direct confrontation with him in New York, Salazar was granted an interview with Fidel Castro.
Salazar would go on to be a national news anchorwoman at Telemundo and have a long run with her own top-rated show on Mega TV. Winning five Emmy Awards, she was recognized for her passion for freedom and uncovering the oppressive communist and socialist regimes in Latin America especially in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
The mother of college-aged daughters, Salazar resides in Miami with her husband. She is currently a regular guest on various local and national news programs.
Watch Maria Elvira Salazar’s decision to join the fight for freedom: Video Link
Coming to terms with leaving behind everything you have work for your entire life and starting anew with only five dollars in your pocket is not a big price to pay when freedom is at stake.
This is the story of many exiles including my Cuban parents who came to this great country empty handed sixty years ago.
Puerto Rico welcomed us, then Little Havana became our home.
I grew up hearing about the horrors and injustices of the socialist Castro regime which instilled in me a deep faith in and a desire to pursue the American Dream.
My career as a journalist has taken me all over the world in particular Latin America.
I have confronted dictators with questions they did not want to hear and much less wanted to answer.
Despite the dangers to my own life I covered the wars in Central America because as a journalist I was committed to making the truth known.
My experiences in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras convinced me that I needed a deeper understanding of the political forces at play in that region, forces that until today continue to haunt our Cuban and Central American brethren.
With my own savings I enrolled in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard to gain that understanding.
Armed with that knowledge, today I can speak with authority problems and solutions for Cuba, for Venezuela, and Central America.
After Harvard, I went back to journalism, my first love, and became the national news anchor for various Spanish television networks.
Then back in South Florida I decided to have my own television show where the voices of my community, Miami, could be heard.
Voices that Donna Shalala callously continues to ignore.
In Washington, some politicians of both parties behave like corrupt banana republic dictators and Shalala is a founding member of that club.
While some members of her party peddle the same radical, socialist agenda that has ruined the countries from which many of us escaped, Shalala remains disturbingly silent.
Silence in the face of oppression is complicity.
And when members of her party in Congress spew anti-Semitic rhetoric against Israel, our great American ally, not a word from Shalala.
We must not be silent. We must not remain on the sidelines while many on the left want to implement in this country the failed socialist system that brought misery, oppression, and exile to many of our countries.
I am running for Congress to serve and protect the freedoms and values that have made the United States the most extraordinary country in the history of the world.
For that reason, I will not be invisible, I will not remain on the sidelines, and I will not be silent.
I will fight to preserve and protect the freedom for which my parents were willing to give up everything.