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By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
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For the moment, at least, La Mogolla is off the air, after a recent dispute between Gonzalez and his show's star, famed veteran Cuban comedian and impersonator Tito Hernandez. In its most recent incarnation, broadcast at 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday on WWFE-AM 670 "Radio Fe," radio broadcaster Orlando Ramos was the straight man to Hernandez, who reeled off the sometimes nasal and whiny, other times booming and satirically authoritative, always side-splittingly funny voices of the show's wacko characters.
On top of the day's breaking news is correspondent Jose Candelario Seispatines ("Six Skates"), the reporter with a pronunciation problem that conveniently asserts itself whenever there's an opportunity to slip in a wicked pun. (In one script he calls Carlos Arboleya, vice chairman of Barnett Bank, "Mortadella," as in baloney.) Up in the air for the "Political Traffic Report" is Dieguito Temblequera and his nervous, quavering voice. Perfecto Exquisito is the social columnist, Professor Carlos Parques Sterling forecasts the "Political Weather," and Chan Li Po is an investigative reporter who, in order to be inconspicuous, disguises himself as his quarry. (While investigating the Miami Herald, he dressed as a newspaper.) The flirtatious Chunguita "Lengua Lisa" (literally "Smooth Tongue") supplies the "gossip - whoops! - the rumor of the day."
And now we go to the "Political Traffic Report," with Dieguito Temblequera!
SOUND: Traffic Theme
TEMBLEQUERA: Lift me up, chico. All right, here in the helicopter Mogolla II, observing the political traffic for the listeners of El Noticiero de la Mogolla. Okay. The traffic is extremely congested on the Ileana Ros Expressway, although the Anglo drivers don't want to use it due to the problem with the Orlando Bosch Bridge, the same bridge that has been treated so unjustly by the authorities. But the situation is that if the Ileana Ros Expressway doesn't lead to a solution to the problems of the Orlando Bosch Bridge, the Cuban voters will be disgusted, and if it does, the Anglos will be incensed. So the Ileana Ros Expressway has tremendous problems.
The electoral roadways have very little traffic because there's still some time before election day and the candidates are slow. There is some movement on the Lawton Chiles Expressway in the area near the intersection with the Nelson Turnpike. What a quarrel there, caballeros! Because Nelson says that he doesn't care about either Lawton Chiles or Lawton Batista. Okay. On Barbara Carey Road vehicles are moving smoothly after Don Luis Sabines [president of Camacol, the Latin Chamber of Commerce] endorsed her. The same as what happened with Dawkins! This Sabines should start a Camacol in Liberty City and another in Overtown. Heh, heh, heh. Okay. That's all for the political traffic at this moment. And remember, if you drive, don't honk the horn at the person in front of you, and if you do honk, do it with much care. This is your traffic reporter Dieguito Temblequera speaking. Until the next one. Take me down, Carlitos! Careful, chico! Slowly, please!
La Mogolla did not spring to life overnight. It evolved slowly, the result of its creator's more than 40 years of poking and prodding at politicos. Born in 1928 in Guanabacoa, near Havana, Gonzalez, who has a seventh- grade education, began writing political humor while still in his teens. By 1954 he was writing scripts for Cuba's most famous comedy show, Garrido y Pinero, and for the political satire show Frente a la Calle on CMQ radio and TV, where he linguistically lambasted the government of dictator Fulgencio Batista.
In 1959, a few months after Castro took power, Gonzalez purchased the daily newspaper Diario Nacional in Havana, and began his controversial career as a newspaper publisher. Within a month Fidel silenced the publication's dissident voice; Gonzalez later spent several months in jail for conspiring against the government.
Gonzalez finally left Cuba in February of 1961, moving first to Jamaica and then to Colombia, where he wrote for the Cadena Caracol radio chain. The next year Gonzalez moved again, to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he continued to write. In 1967 he began a run as the writer and producer of the television satire Se Alquilan Habitaciones (Rooms for Rent) on WAPA-TV in San Juan. He re-entered the newspaper field in late 1978, purchasing the San Juan daily El Imparcial, which folded within months under a cloud of controversy. In 1979 Gonzalez moved to Miami.
From 1981 to 1982 the satirist wrote for La Silla Caliente (The Hot Chair) on WQBA-AM 1140 "La Cubanisima." Another newspaper project, El Mundo, began in August of 1982 but came to an abrupt end less than a year later, when the doors of the paper were sealed with a red-and-white sticker affixed by the IRS, which said it was owed $55,486 in back taxes. Gonzalez moved to the Dominican Republic and then back to Puerto Rico, continuing to write political satire. He came back to Miami and opened Diario Libre, another daily, in 1987. Less than a year later, that paper failed, too. Next Gonzalez surfaced as commentator for WSUA-AM 1260 "Radio Suave," before moving to Cadena Azul as a writer and commentator. Between scripts and newspapers, he has written more than 30 politically satirical plays and several times has produced them in rented Little Havana theaters.