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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 October 2004, 20:55 GMT 21:55 UK
Latino voters: Geraldo Alonso
We asked eight BBC News Website readers from the Latino community in the US to share their views with us ahead of the presidential election. Latinos are a key target group for both Democrats and Republicans in the election on 2 November.

Jose Bahamonde:
Miami, Florida

Geraldo Alonso:
San Antonio, Texas

Leslie Ramos:
New York, New York

Mario G Corzo:
N Bergen, New Jersey
Maria Chaboudy:
Houston, Texas

Alfonso Trujillo:
San Diego, California

Julian Gonzalez:
Washington DC

Jesus E Zuniga:
Chicago, Illinois

Geraldo Alonso

Geraldo Alonso
Name: Geraldo Alonso
Age: 54
Lives: San Antonio, Texas
Works: Truck driver
Current voting intention: Republican

I am voting this year to re-elect President George W Bush.

President Bush is a man of moral character and he has the backbone to lead America through these unsettling times dominated by terrorism.

After the attacks of 9/11, he gave all Americans a sense of calm.

He reassured us that we would come out of this tragedy as a stronger and better people.

If it were not for his efforts, al-Qaeda would have been victorious in trying to destroy America.

This election is one of the most important that I will ever participate in, because our fate lies in the balance.

President Bush is not afraid to act even if the polls say he is unpopular. He will act with unilateral force if the rest of the world chooses not to help him keep the American people safe.

Our panel: Where they live

His top priority after all is to keep all Americans safe.

The number one concern for the Latino community is the same one that all other ethnic communities have faced throughout history - education.

Education is of extreme importance because it offers us an opportunity to have the freedom and liberty we cherish, here in the US.

With education anything is possible. Education provides a means for all people to blend together as one nation under God.

President Bush offers the Latino community, along with all other ethnic communities, better access to higher education.

He has signed legislation that authorises more federal funds. With this education we can all get better jobs that offer higher incomes. This, coupled with tax cuts, allows us to choose where we want to spend our money.

The Latino vote is of no more importance than the vote of any other citizen of this great nation. Will the outcome of this election affect the rest of the world?

Yes, because we are voting for a representative that will defend us all and our way of life.

Your comments:

Relieved to finally see Latino opinions being voiced on the BBC election coverage. They are a crucial part of American society and I have read very little on their thoughts in the mainstream US/international media. Also fascinated to see many of the panellists' concerns about education, which seems to be dwarfed by tax cuts and the war in Iraq. The one thing Americans respond to is confidence. Bush has loads of it. That's why he'll win. Plus, his foreign policy hasn't exactly failed just yet.
Prasad Shetty, Tempe, AZ, USA

Frankly, I'm so amazed, that my only response is that Bush did indeed prevent Al Qaeda from destroying America... by destroying it himself, first. If the Latino community is genuinely satisfied with living amongst the burning ruins of a once-respected nation, then those who vote for Bush are getting exactly what they want. Bush instilled calm? Calm? The reaction to the Patriot act, when people realized what it really meant, was calm?Two wars, resulting in a massive increase in the drugs trade and Middle Eastern terrorism is calm? Please, if that's calm, somebody give me a crisis!
John Smith, Stockport, UK

In his third debate, Bush's answer to nearly every jobs-related question was funding for better education and sending more people to college. Meanwhile, millions of college graduates are currently without work or working underpaying jobs. Millions of families are desperately trying to make ends meet and wondering how they will be able to survive. Tell me, Geraldo, how much education does one need in order to get a decent job? And with rising tuition costs, how can one afford higher education when all they have is an unemployment check?
Alejandro Lopez, Brooklyn, NY

Mr. Alonso is correct in saying that Bush has signed into law education legislation that is funded - but entirely funded. He has failed to fully fund the No Child Left Behind Act. Also, this legislation is not completely benefit Latino children. Standardized testing disregards minorities and leaves them at a disadvantage. Standardized testing, in the end, will not help Latinos get better jobs. We all need to understand the legislation, not just believe what Bush and his administration tells us to believe.
Amanda, Chicago, IL USA

Amanda, I wholeheartedly agree. With the increasing number of independent fact-checking sources and the ubiquity of that information, the Republican party's method of proof by repetition needs to be exposed and questioned by the American people, even die-hard Republicans.
Roger, San Francisco, CA, USA

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