Until recently, the United States did not have a conservative Spanish-speaking national media outlet. That changed last March with the launch of Americano, which wants to become a right-wing beacon for Latinos, a group with growing weight among American voters.
Created in Miami, in the southeast of the country, this vehicle had its first big moment on April 13, when interviewing former Republican President Donald Trump.
“Our commitment is to be a place that helps promote conservative ideology in order to defeat the Democrats,” said bluntly American President Jorge Arrizurieta, a close friend of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
According to him, the market needed a center-right vehicle aimed at the Latin audience, to face competition from other channels, such as Univision, Telemundo and CNN in Spanish, considered by him to be increasingly “left-wing”.
The American channel can be followed by the Sirius XM satellite radio system and the conservative social network GETTR. This summer (winter in Brazil), it will start broadcasting its shows on streaming platforms such as Apple TV.
The objective of this vehicle is to arrive prepared for the midterm elections in November (the so-called “midterms”) in the United States and to be well consolidated for the 2024 presidential race.
In both elections, the Hispanic community will be crucial.
In 2020, Latinos represented around 13.3% of registered voters in the United States, surpassing African Americans (12.5%), according to the Pew Research poll.
Recent polls, including one released by the Wall Street Journal, gave conservatives hope by indicating that Hispanics, traditionally closest to Democrats, were starting to shift to the Republican side.
Battle for the Independents
María Herrera Mellado, who interviewed Trump for Americano, is aware of the role that the vehicle can play in the ideological battle that will be fought in the United States in the coming months.
“It is very important that we fight to save what is left of this country, because the socialist agenda is very advanced”, says this lawyer, who co-hosts a program with José Aristimuño, a former press officer for the Democratic Party.
“We are sure that, with solid arguments, we will drag all the independent nuclei towards conservatism, which will be the ones that will define the next elections”, he declared.
Eduardo Gamarra, professor of Political Science at Florida International University, sees positive signs in this new vehicle, such as the fact that he was hired – he, a Democrat – to conduct a survey of 1,500 Latinos.
Another positive element, according to him, is that the channel has turned to journalists from Telemundo, Univisión, or CNN – a decision “that will give it credibility”.
The professor expresses his concern, however, with the profile of other professionals at the Americano, known for “reproducing misinformation”.
And he guarantees that some Americano programs misrepresented the interpretation of his research, which, in fact, denied a mass movement of Hispanics to the Republican Party.
Democratic strategist Evelyn Pérez-Verdía shares Gamarra’s doubts about the new media.
“There are programs that have a more moderate conservatism. But others are worrying because of the people they bring in, people I would classify as the extreme right”, observes the director of We Are Más, a platform that studies the spread of disinformation in Spanish.
Arrizurieta assures that his vehicle wants to be a space open to the different voices of conservatism, capable of putting aside internal divisions. A space whose future will depend, according to him, on its ability to address all Hispanics in the United States, a very diverse community.
“For our model to be successful, we have to ensure that there is an inclusive representation of what the Western Hemisphere is all about”, defends the president. “We cannot be monolithic.”