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WASHINGTON -- The Hispanics with the highest profiles in this year s political conventions stand as opposites in a cultural and political split that has divided millions of U.S. Latinos for decades.

Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida introduced Mitt Romney at the GOP s convention last week in Tampa, Fla. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a Mexican-American, delivered the Democrats keynote speech in Charlotte, N.C.

They are often lumped together as Hispanics. But Rubio and Castro are emblematic of acute political distinctions between Cuban-Americans and Mexican-Americans.

Mexican-Americans are the largest Latino group in the U.S. They have different histories in the U.S., have different political priorities and are subjected to distinctions in immigration policy that go easier on Cubans.
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