Does this go for getting good jobs, as well, or is it just relevant if you are running for public office? I've always wondered if a white guy like myself could get ahead in the MIA.
I have no direct experience in answering your question, since I've yet to enter the business community in Miami, but I'll answer it based on what I've seen.
When I'm downtown in the financial/business districts, you hear a lot of Spanish being spoken by old Hispanic men dressed in very nice business suits. Formal lunch meetings being held in Spanish. In my experience as a Northerner, I'd never seen this before. Spanish is the language of the manual labor community of the North.
That said, I believe it's safe to conclude that many important business positions in Miami are held by Latinos. Will they give a White guy a shot to make it to the top? Yes, maybe; if that white guy is a great worker. Will they give a young, up and coming Cuban that shot? Yes, for sure. Your interviewer might empathize for that young Latino, because she/he remembers how hard it was when she/he first arrived in the States, and wants to give this potential new employee a chance to succeed.
On the contrary to the above thought processes, I've only been warmly welcomed by the locals, but I believe this is mostly due to the fact that a very white, English-looking guy, is speaking Spanish with them, of the Argentine variety. At first they can't seem to figure out just who I am and where I can from, but are all impressed that I learned their language. Do you speak Spanish?
However, I still think you can get ahead down here. I've seen lots of non-Latinos driving expensive cars, wearing nice clothes, and eating at fancy restaurants. Just let it be known that the Cuban Community watches out for its own.
Addendum: My roommate, who is half Cuban, concurs. She said the Cubans are very tightly knit and family oriented. She also said that in some cases, the less smart Cuban employee will get the job over their more intelligent, non-Latino peer. I'll ask my friend who works in Corporate America Miami, and see what she says.
Any other questions?