A Nicaraguan who Advises Republicans

A commentator for networks such as CNN, ABC and Telemundo, she worked on the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) that stopped the deportation of thousands of Nicaraguans residing in the US. She has also served as campaign advisor for various US presidential candidates

By Anagilmara Vilchez  (Confidencial)

Ana Navarro
Ana Navarro

HAVANA TIMES – Ana Navarro spends so much time traveling that her home address is Seat 3B, American Airlines.  She says this jokingly, but the statement contains a bit of truth.  At the height of this election season, this Republican strategist and political pundit for channels such as CNN, ABC and Telemundo goes from airplane to airline, crossing the United States in the path of these unpredictable primary elections.

A declared friend of politicians like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and a fierce opponent of Donald Trump’s candidacy (Trump has responded by demanding she be fired from CNN), Navarro’s voice of approval is coveted by both aspiring candidates and elected officials, according to media sources such as the Tampa Bay Times or the Miami News Times.

Broadcast live over the national channels, this Nicaraguan hurls pointed phrases, leads the cross-fire and defends her arguments before any and all comers, be they powerful figures, comedians, or fanatics.  Advisor to Senator John McCain and Governor Jon Huntsman during their respective presidential campaigns, “she’s frank and loves controversy – whatever the topic,” McCain commented to the Tampa Bay Times.

Navarro’s words on Hillary Clinton: “I don’t need Hillary to drown me in estrogen every time she opens her mouth.”  She referred to the choice between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump as a choice between “strep throat and leukemia”.

With nearly 26 thousand followers on Twitter, her responses to the tweets on this social network are clever, packing large enough doses of sarcasm to survive in the cybernetic jungle.  Her tweets cover a little of everything: political commentary, autism, wine, Prince and Beyoncé.

The exile

Ana Navarro Flores was born in Chinandega on December 28, 1971.  “I had a very happy childhood for a few years, until the civil war began,” she confesses.  In 1980 she left for the United States, “thinking as so many exiles do, that it was only for a short time; never thinking that for me it was going to be a life-long change,” she notes.

She’s the youngest of four siblings: 2 sisters and 2 brothers.  They left Nicaragua before the revolution because her father, Augusto “Tuto” Navarro was being persecuted as an opponent of the Somoza regime.  They fled to Honduras and from there to Miami.  She was enrolled in a Catholic school where she wasn’t the only Central American girl who had had to leave her country due to the political instability.  Because of this, she describes the school as “a refugee camp” where the staff worked hard to teach them English.

She was always very decided in her studies.  Her preferences were for thick books and political topics. From the time she was small, she worked as a campaign volunteer, she attended meetings, and went on the radio in support of the counterrevolution in Nicaragua.  Her father was involved as a “Contra”.  “At his side, watching him, I learned to become involved politically.  I grew up very sensitive to the meaning of the political system and to the crises in Latin America,” she recalls.

With that in mind, she majored in Latin American Studies and Political Science at the University of Miami.  After earning her B.A. there, she went on to become a lawyer.

During her law school years, the United States Congress passed a law ending the temporary residency permits for hundreds of Nicaraguans and Central Americans and declaring them “deportable.”

Ana Navarro. Photo: cnn.com
Ana Navarro. Photo: cnn.com

She then formed part of “a legal and legislative effort to stop that law and find solutions to the problem.” The effort was called NACARA – The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act.  There were strikes, masses, vigils to get it approved.  She lobbied, looking for votes.

NACARA was approved in 1997. “Not only did it stop the deportation, but a law was passed granting legal status to certain Nicaraguans and Central Americans.  It’s something that really touches your soul, it was momentous,” Navarro concludes.

In the supermarket line, while getting gas for the car, in the airport, everywhere she goes, Ana Navarro affirms, she is approached by people to tell her that they benefited from NACARA.

From CNN to Harvard

She began on CNN sometime in 2012.  She doesn’t remember the exact day that they hired her, nor when she went on the air for the first time.  However, since she began Ana Navarro is a common sight on the most important television channels in the United States: ABC, Telemundo, and CNN in Spanish.  She was recently asked to participate on “The View”, an Emmy-winning talk show and one of the programs with the largest audiences in the country.

Navarro was recently chosen by the magazine “Ocean Drive” as one of eight women who are changing Miami “for the better.”

Navarro, who’s been a Republican since she had “the use of reason,” began by offering her opinions for free. Later, contracts began to arrive and multiply, like her fame.

She believes that “it’s a little arrogant” to claim that she represents or speaks for anyone else when she’s on television. “I understand the great diversity of thinking that exists in the Latino community in the United States.  We’re not a homogenous group.  I offer my own opinions and speak my truth.  Some share it; others think I’m crazy.  There are times that even my own father disagrees with me.”

She appreciates the fact that young Hispanic women have come up to her to tell her “how much it means to them to see a Hispanic woman on television.  There are very few of us in the United States media world.  The political world here lacks diversity, lacks sufficient Hispanic voices and faces,” she emphasizes.

In the autumn of 2013, Navarro was asked to give classes at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. There, she met with a group of Hispanic students at their request. They were “students from very humble backgrounds, perhaps sons and daughters of gardeners, children of domestic workers, but they had been extraordinary students and with enormous effort and sacrifice they had come to study at Harvard,” she explains.

“It was one of the first times in my life that I realized how much influence I had, and how much it could mean, especially to the young who are trying to open a path in life, to see other people of the same nationality or the same culture who have achieved some degree of success in their lives.”

The price of criticizing Trump

When she shoots off opinions regarding Donald Trump, the magnate and his followers respond in unison.  In November 2015, they demanded that CNN fire her.  The demand is still gathering signatures.  The now-confirmed Republican candidate stated in his Twitter account: “CNN should listen.  Ana Navarro has no talent, no personality on television and works for [the former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush] – a total conflict of interest.”

Those were the words with which this man that the establishment hasn’t managed to rein in backed the petition.  It’s neither the first nor the last time that they’ve gone for her.  Navarro calls it “an occupational hazard.”

”I can’t support a candidate – even if he becomes my party’s candidate – who comes out with the hideous remarks that he’s made against women, against Hispanics, against immigrants; for me it’s simply impossible, it would mean selling out my principles and I’m not disposed to do that,” she asserts.

Donald Trump as president is a possibility she doesn’t even like to think about. “I don’t consider that Donald Trump is capable as a person, as a human being, of being president,” but “in the last ten months I’ve learned not to underestimate Donald Trump and not to overestimate Hillary Clinton, who’s a supremely weak candidate with many deficiencies,” she points out.

A dig through her Twitter account is enough to uncover innumerable astute, random, or acid commentaries:  “If he could only let go of the Shakespearean drama and the pregnant pauses, maybe someday I’d be able to listen to (Ted) Cruz without an allergic reaction. Maybe.” “I called Trump infantile this morning in @NewDay.  As a result, his followers have called me a “hypocrite,” a “c*nt”” and “an illegal” goes another of her tweets.

Navarro assures us that she doesn’t pause to digest what they’re saying about her, although –she confesses – it’s the first time in all of her political life that she’s heard, “the words, the insults, the terrible things that these people say, not only to me, but to people like me, every day.”

To be out there live on the air and touching on controversial issues, “you have to have the thick skin of a seal and not let the water penetrate,” she declares.  Instead of paying for therapy, she buys shoes.  She says she owns more than the average person, but fewer than Imelda Marcos, widow of the Philippine ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos, whose collection included around a thousand pair.

Married and residing in Coral Gables, this friend of Willy Chirino and of Gloria and Emilio Estefan goes for wine, cosmopolitan cities and the books of Gabo (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and Jorge Amado.  She speaks English, Portuguese, and a little French.  She enjoys cooking and it’s personally difficult for her to visit Nicaragua, a country she hasn’t traveled to in more than a decade.

“Between the death of my brother (in 2002) and the election of Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua has become a place of conflicting feelings for me and one that has brought me great pain.  I can’t reconcile with the idea that Daniel Ortega has once again become the president of Nicaragua. It’s incomprehensible to me,” she confesses.

There are no surplus hours in the day for Navarro, only too few. She’s always busy and in action. She counts every drop of time she gives, and it’s anguishing to her to be disconnected from the Internet, as happens every time she gets into an airplane. The idea that a breaking news item might escape her is unbearable. She must be on the air.  She must let go with a tweet…


12 thoughts on “A Nicaraguan who Advises Republicans

  • September 24, 2019 at 5:24 pm
    Permalink

    A small timer compared to Castro? What have you been smoking? Pinochet murdered thousands of innocent people over 17 years. The Castro regime executed (without trial) about one thousand former Batista criminals who murdered innocent Cubans. Cuba would be a democracy today if the Americans hadn’t pushed them into the arms of the communists.

  • April 29, 2018 at 4:55 pm
    Permalink

    She might be a registered Republican, but she’s really a Democrat…just listen to her views and comments, they’re totally liberal!!!

  • August 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm
    Permalink

    Would you Frank Arata similarly ship the Trump(f) ass back to Germany?

  • August 11, 2017 at 7:08 am
    Permalink

    she is an independent voice who does not drink the party loyalty kool aid. Good for her.

  • August 11, 2017 at 7:06 am
    Permalink

    I strongly opposed Pinochet, who gave way to a plebiscite, after 17 years, and democracy was restored. Pinochet was a small timer compared to Castro. Videla and company also gave way to fledgling civilian rule, a few years later. By the way, do you know who appointed Pinochet to his position in the Chilean military before Pinochet assumed dictatorial power in Chile? Allende!!!

  • August 11, 2017 at 7:03 am
    Permalink

    What is your feeling about Castro, Chavez and Maduro? did you enjoy the many times the Sandinistas suspended the opposition press? I opposed Somoza and then opposed the Sandinistas, and looked to people like Violeta Chamorro to find a middle way. No apologies from me on that. Some elements of the Contras were brutal, some were not. I opposed the brutal ones, supported the Chamorro types. Hard choices.

  • July 23, 2017 at 2:01 am
    Permalink

    She is a Judas traitor to Conservatism…a globalist sellout.

  • July 17, 2017 at 8:00 pm
    Permalink

    You are too wonderful! Love your sense of humor! Get it ALL!

  • November 27, 2016 at 4:48 pm
    Permalink

    The problem with the political right is their absolute propagandistic hypocrisy when they criticize “unjustices” of the political left, but fail to take responsibility for the barbarism of those they support. The “Contras” were just as brutal as the Vietcong in Vietnam, sneaking into villages at night, pulling out young men and forcing them to join their cause all while killing women and children in their wake, as they moved out. Navaro’s father was linked to the Contras … who ultimately failed … and got the Reagan Administration caught in a traitorous abnegation of the U.S. Consitution for ideological reasons. Navaro may claim an epiphany of “reason,” but it’s like an irrational rationalization for defending the indefensible … which, after 30 years, has harmed our country, perhaps beyond reparation. I truly despise people like Ana Navaro whose “truth” is one drenched in crimes and blood and harm to the American political system.

  • June 8, 2016 at 4:51 pm
    Permalink

    Beginning in the Eisenhower-Nixon administration in 1952-53, right-wing elements in the higher echelons of the U. S. government began supporting right-wing/U.S. friendly dictatorships such as Batista in Cuba, the Somoza family in Nicaragua, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, etc., and in 1953 the U. S. began overthrowing democratically elected presidents to install U.S.-friendly governments. Deep into the 1970s right-wingers in the Nixon and Bush presidencies exacerbated this trend by, among other egregious acts, overthrowing the democratically elected Allende government in Chile and installing for 17 brutal and bloody years the murderous but U.S.-friendly Pinochet dictatorship. While Moses and other propagandists will try to quelch such facts by calling anyone who mentions them some vile anti-American names, as a passionate pro-American and pro-democracy advocate I believe that the Nixon-Bush-Kissinger crowd should be held accountable for the damage they have done to the image of the U. S. democracy and the U. S. itself. A reflection of that fact is that even today…in countries such as Chile and Argentina…there are trials underway to finally punish the leftover perpetrators of atrocities. Indeed, the father of Chile’s current two-term President, Michelle Bachelet, remembers vividly that her own father was a victim of the Pinochet murders. An offshoot of the U.S.-friendly dictatorships is a basic fact that their remnants, once they defect to the U. S., have advantages not available to everyday Americans. Ana Navara from Nicaragua, Maria Cardona from Colombia, etc., are examples of unchallenged and ubiquitous television pundits who discovered that embraces from, for example, the Bush dynasty, quickly elevated them to a political/pundit pedestal that certainly must have surprised them. Yet, via political correctness, etc., the biased nature of such pundits persists because it is politically incorrect to question them. Navarro, for example, blatantly supported Jeb Bush’s presidential candidacy even above her dear friend Marco Rubio’s. Such right-wing addictions drove me and millions of others out of the Republican Party and probably account for the amazing support Trump and Sanders have amassed. Of course, disciples of Senator McCarthy will accuse critics of Batista, Somoza, Pinochet, Videla, etc. — and their lingering influences on U. S. politics — all kinds of names. Yet, Mr. McCarthy and his disciples would have trouble justifying such historic things as the death of Salvador Allende to pave the way for Dictator Pinochet. Mr. Kissinger, for example, has a safe and lucrative haven without criticism in the U. S. but there are Latin American nations who have vowed to arrest him and, like Chile, have at least asked him to testify in ongoing trails.

  • June 8, 2016 at 11:15 am
    Permalink

    Despite her being a Republican, I like her and enjoy her commentaries on CNN.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *