Latina Socialists Claudia De la Cruz and Karina Garcia are Running for President: Tired of the Status Quo

Photo showcasing Claudia De la Cruz and Karina Garcia, presidential candidates in the 2024 United States elections.

The number of Latina women in American politics is growing with the addition of Claudia De la Cruz and Karina Garcia. The duo is running for President and Vice President of the United States as candidates for the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). De la Cruz and Garcia are running on an audacious anti-capitalism platform for the 2024 Presidential Elections. Their candidacies are a bold departure from the mainstream, as their stated goal is to dismantle capitalism and usher in a fairer, more equitable society based on socialist principles.

In a recent interview with “Refinery 29,” De la Cruz and Garcia discuss their political career and what life experiences eventually led them to embrace their current political and economic views. Both De la Cruz and Garcia come from working-class backgrounds and have been shaped by their experiences growing up in marginalized communities. De la Cruz, raised in the South Bronx by Dominican immigrants, was exposed to liberation theology and socialist ideas at a young age, while Garcia, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, became aware of the injustices of capitalism through her activism against sweatshop labor.

In working with the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), Garcia understood that the problem was a systemic one. She noticed that no matter how many brands invested in being ethical and sustainable, there would always be others doing the opposite for the sake of the bottom line. “The logic of capitalism doesn't allow for ‘good capitalist companies’ because there is the endless, unlimited drive for creating profit. That’s what got me into anti-capitalist politics,” she told “Refinery 29.”

De la Cruz and Garcia’s decision to run for office is motivated by a deep dissatisfaction with the political landscape as it is now. They highlight the failure of both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party to address issues like poverty, immigration, foreign policy, student debt, and the climate crisis.

Rather than aligning themselves with established parties, De la Cruz and Garcia advocate for a radical alternative that will serve their communities. Together, they seek to build their own party to ignite a movement independent of capitalist systems, with the ultimate goal of dismantling capitalism entirely.

Their platform includes seizing control of the 100 largest corporations in the U.S. and turning them into public property, as well as prioritizing international solidarity and collaboration in foreign policy. The concept of government nationalizing private industry isn’t a new one, and foreign countries with established democracies, like Canada and Germany, have nationalized private corporations as recently as 2022.

They argue that the capitalist system prioritizes the interests of the wealthy elite at the expense of the working class, both domestically and globally, and they view their campaign as a crucial step towards building a broader socialist movement in the country.

They acknowledge their almost non-existent chances of victory given the way socialism is perceived in the U.S., and the structural barriers that favor a two-party system. At this point, it’s unclear how many state ballots they would even appear on as presidential candidates.

However, they believe that voting for the lesser of two evils perpetuates a flawed political system, and they advocate for concrete solutions that address the root causes of societal problems. “Anti-socialist sentiment has become like a second religion in the U.S., [and this happened] precisely because socialism speaks to working-class people because it places working-class people's needs at the forefront and [because] we see the capitalist system that we live up under, that has been imposed on us as a dictatorship of billionaires who plays a political class, to advance ruling class interest rather than ours,” asserted De la Cruz in the “Refinery 29” interview.

They believe that by challenging capitalist ideology's dominance in American politics and providing an alternative that resonates with millions who want to dismantle systems of oppression, De la Cruz and Garcia are paving the way for a more transformative vision of society—one that prioritizes the needs of the many over the interests of the few.

De la Cruz expressed this sentiment clearly in the “Refinery 29” interview, saying, “We don't want to deal with the symptoms of capitalism. We need to deal with the actual illness, and the biggest illness that we are dealing with globally is a capitalist system. We need to be able to create another structure. Voting for the lesser of two evils is not a strategy we should continue to entertain.”

De la Cruz and Garcia acknowledge that they’re not the first socialists to run for President and Vice President in a fervently capitalist country, but they’re committed to seeing their ideals put into practice and showing Americans a different perspective by presenting the possibility of a third party, and the options that it can bring to the table for all.

photograph of a Latina woman in front of the facade of a laundromat in the U.S.

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