Belief in equality fuels ‘hard decision’

Ruben Jimenez at The Biltmore Hotel in Coconut Grove, Fla.Photo by Bailey Murray

Businessman sees education as key

Business partners Ruben Jimenez and Carlos Delgado chuckled as they strolled together past the fountain. Their body language was the same – one hand resting in the pocket of neatly pressed slacks, the other clutching a dark leather notebook.

“Education and health care are the most important issues to me because they will help our next generation,” said Jimenez, a 56-year-old accountant from Bogotá, Colombia. “I graduated with two master’s degrees from the University of Miami, and I left with $170,000 in debt. Now I have a house with a mortgage, too.”

Jimenez considered himself moderate, having voted both republican and democratic in the past. The 2012 election was a hard decision, he said, but in the end it came down to “choosing between the lesser evils.” Jimenez said, “Obama is protecting our jobs and giving us health care. This is what we need for our children in the future.”

Freedom and equality are also important issues to Jimenez.

” I believe that people should be able to do what they want with their bodies,” he said. “Abortion or gay rights, the government shouldn’t be able to control what we choose to do with our bodies.”

“He could be gay!” said Jimenez, pointing a finger at his business partner. They both laugh for a moment before regaining their composure.  “He’s not, but who’s to say that he shouldn’t have the same rights or opportunities as someone like me just because he’s gay?”

Jimenez wants to see a better America and a bright future for his children because he is thankful to be here.

“All I can say is, God bless America. It’s the only country where you can be free.”

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