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Eva Longoria will host Latino inaugural salute to Obama

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In a statement, the former "Desperate Housewives" star said the inaugural events will foster more Latino engagement in Washington.

"Latinos played a critical role in this year's elections and helped tip the scales in President Obama's victory. But we are not waiting another four years to make an impact on our country's future," she said. "What better way to establish our presence at these inaugural celebrations than by showcasing the beauty and diversity of our culture at the nation's premier performing arts center."

The Latino inaugural gathering is driven in part by organizers of The Futuro Fund, which helped mobilize Latino support for the Obama-Biden re-election campaign. Millions of Hispanic voters turned out with 71 percent support for Obama. Republican candidate Mitt Romney's 27 percent Hispanic support was less than any presidential candidate in 16 years, drawing calls for Republicans to rethink their approach to Latinos.

Andres Lopez, a San Juan, Puerto Rico attorney and activist who was a national chairman of the election effort, said Latinos represent the nation's future.

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