Letters

Yet More SoBe Snobbery
I want to respond to Kirk Semple's article "South Beach Goes Palm Beach" (April 3). The Ocean Drive business people who started this campaign against Carnival Miami South Beach are guilty of plain old snobbiness, if not outright racism. Perhaps they couldn't deal with the fact that for one day the Beach was populated not by wealthy tourists but by local people, the majority of whom happened to be young and Latin.

These business people should realize that they cannot control demographics and that not all special-event performers on South Beach can be on their A list. A word of advice to South Beach businesses: Adapt!

Maria Nieves
Miami

Hispanics Behaving Badly
Kirk Semple failed to identify the two-page, March 6, 1997, letter from the Latin Chamber of Commerce of Miami Beach to the city manager. This letter was consistent with other criticisms of Carnival Miami South Beach that were leveled by residents, business operators, and visitors to Ocean Drive.

The Latin Chamber of Commerce letter states, "[W]e witnessed a series of incidents that left us with a feeling of disappointment and dislike.... The place looked like a zoo, to put it mildly.... Is this the image the Hispanic community in Miami Beach wants to portray to the rest of the world?"

By not referencing the letter (although quoting from it), Mr. Semple implies that the Hispanic community condones that type of behavior. Wrong! On the Beach, none of us -- regardless of ethnic background, religion, or political persuasion -- supports such an event. You do not need to be from Palm Beach to know what is right.

Al Hartkorn, president
1390 Ocean Drive Condominium Association
Miami Beach

Music Worth Boycotting For
Regarding editor Jim Mullin's column "Music to Die For" (March 27): As a Cuban who grew up listening to Elvis, I always hated my own music. But with La Nueva Trova I found out that excellent songs were written by Silvio Rodriguez and Pablo Milanes. After my exile I realized too that salsa is nothing but a bad copy of our son. So with some surprise I started enjoying my roots.

I applaud WRTO's Gino "Latino" Reyes. Everybody must know by now how ignorant and intolerant and powerful the Cuban community is. But if the rest of the Hispanic community (especially Puerto Ricans and Colombians) would boycott WRTO-FM (98.3), WAQI-AM (710), and WQBA-AM (1140), they would be off the air soon.

Awaken! Cubans cannot dictate what you hear. If you want to hear good music, let's play Los Van Van, Silvio, and Pablo. Long live Cuban music! Long live freedom!

Elio Perez
Miami Beach

Fine, We Disagree and Now You Die
I read with nausea Emiliano Antunez's attack on Jim Mullin for criticizing yet another act of terrorism in this community ("Letters," April 3). I don't know what standard Mr. Antunez is using when he compares the Jews' treatment of Nazis or African Americans' treatment of apartheid with the acts of terrorism committed by Cubans against Cubans in this community.

Mr. Antunez, on what planet do you reside? There have been more than 38 documented cases of terrorism in the last several years alone committed against Cuban Americans in this community simply because they have a differing point of view from the most extreme elements in the Cuban community. The radio stations you defend not only support and encourage that kind of attitude, but in one case they were actually cited by the City of Miami police for their involvement in incitement to riot.

You can play the victim all you want, Mr. Antunez, but no one really believes it. No one has said that Cubans with differing points of view should not be allowed to express those views through demonstrations or any other peaceful means. It is intolerance backed by violence or the threat of violence that has characterized the fanaticism of the people you defend.

The problem is precisely that people like you do not understand that there is a difference between disagreeing with someone and threatening to kill that person. Threatening to kill someone or to blow up a building is a crime. It is against the law. It is un-American. It is morally indefensible. When the fanaticism reaches the point of trying to stop music from being played on a radio station by a combination of physical and economic violence, then you deserve the moniker "batty lunatic." You are ridiculed because you should be.

Ira Kurzban
Miami

Semple Muddies the Waters
Kirk Semple's article on the dredging of the Miami River ("Goo Grief," March 20) demonstrates a conspicuous lack of the due diligence that is necessary to adequately understand such a complex subject. No surprise that the end product does such a disservice to New Times readers.

Mr. Semple's conclusion -- that only the two biggest shipping companies on the river would benefit from its cleanup -- is not well-founded, nor is it supported by the complement of organizations, agencies, and individuals that is working toward the river cleanup. In a cultural milieu where consensus is very difficult to achieve, all involved with the Miami River have agreed that it needs to be dredged for both commercial and environmental reasons.

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