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Hernandez - Miami's prominent are the stars, especially if Gonzalez has decided they hurt the anti-Castro cause. Such is his assessment of the Cuban American National Foundation's Mas Canosa.
Although Mas Canosa is perceived by many as the most hard-line of the anti-Castro leadership, to Gonzalez he's a bumbling, local version of the Cuban dictator, a puppet who has managed to fool the exile community into waiting for his buddies in the U.S. government to free Cuba. "He's strong in the arms, like a bully, but he's soft in the brain," chuckles Gonzalez, poking a finger into his skull as if it were a sponge. Behind every controversy involving Cuban exile politics, Gonzalez sees the hand of the C.A.N.F. leader, whom he accuses of going out of his way to censor La Mogolla, silence the show's supporters, and generally make life miserable for anyone who doesn't agree with the Foundation's view of the world. "Mas Canosa and Fidel are the same thing," says Gonzalez. "They are two equally ambitious oppressors who don't tolerate opinions different from their own."
Mas Canosa doesn't return the favor, declining to comment. Other Mogolla victims, too, are unwilling to give even the slightest impression that they deign to listen to the program:
"I never listen to it," says Sabines, whose lack of hair is a frequent source of amusement for Gonzalez's poison pen. "That man occupies himself speaking bad about other people. Instead of doing something constructive, he is destructive. The best way to deal with that guy is to just ignore him."
"It is an example of the worst in the media," says Miami Mayor Suarez. "I generally don't pay much attention to them but I did threaten with legal action when they said I take Prozac in industrial quantities."
"Hey, in this system, everybody has freedom of expression," says Commissioner De Yurre. "You can take it to the borderline, but I guess if you cross over it, that's something else. Has he done that? I don't know. I don't listen to it." And what about the jokes about his height? De Yurre says he's five-foot-six, adding, "The way I see it, you take what the Lord gives you and run with it and do the best job you can. As an elected official you have to get used to taking that stuff with a grain of salt. You're never going to make everyone happy. If you were promoting Mother's Day, there would be some people who would be against it. Probably the people who listen to that show."
Predictably, Gonzalez has little patience for the criticism directed at him, especially when the allegations include questions about his financial record. "With very few exceptions, all the politicians I know are thieves," he says. "Frankly, if a thief wants to call someone else a thief, that's not new. No thief says in court, `I stole. Forgive me.' All of them say something to justify themselves. The public knows who the thieves here are. After 32 years of exile, I'm poor, without property, without a cent. They are millionaires. Let's see. Let's judge who the thief is. It's assumed being a thief has its benefits. What are my benefits?