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"So if they get picked up 150 yards off the coast, they get sent back to Cuba. But if they reach the beach, they get to stay in the United States."

"That's it exactly."
"How many made it to the beach so far?
"Two."
"And how many were picked up in the water?"
"Four."
"That's gonna piss off a few people in Miami."
(HOURS LATER)
"Hey, Julio, bring me another Diet Coke."
"Here, Fidel. What did I miss?"

"They still got the MacArthur Causeway shut down. They've surrounded the police station in Surfside. And there are reports that people are starting to block off a highway in Hialeah."

"Why don't they just call out the police to disperse them? Lob in some tear gas. Fire a bunch of rubber bullets into the crowd. Something."

"I'm not sure. In the beginning I thought that was exactly what they would do. I figured the cops would be just as stupid as those fools on the Coast Guard cutters. But the police are showing restraint. Damn it, why aren't the police making the situation worse? We could have had a full-scale riot out there. Where's Rudy Giuliani when you need him?"

"Americans and their silly right to protest."
"At least there'll be a backlash in Miami by the gringos against the Cubans for protesting."

"I thought all Americans supported the right to protest. It's in their Constitution."

"Nah. Americans are fickle. They support the right to protest as long as it doesn't inconvenience anyone. Besides, a lot of Americans are arrogant enough to think that only people born in the United States have the right to protest."

"America, love it or leave it."
"Exactly."
"You know, Fidel, that's sort of our motto here, as well."
"America, love it or leave it?"
"No, I meant, Cuba, love it or leave it."

"Cuba, love it or leave it in a tiny raft! I like that! We should get bumper stickers printed up."

"Say, what's going on?"
"Looks like they've announced that they're not going to repatriate those four Cubans they picked up in the water. The protesters won. Which is exactly why I'm not a big fan of protests."

"Heck, this isn't fun anymore."
"Wanna watch the rest of Titanic with me?"
"Sure."

"You know, it's a good thing the Coast Guard wasn't around to rescue the survivors of the Titanic. They probably would have turned their fire hoses on the life boats and then maced Leo while he was in the water."

"Good one, Fidel. Good one."

jim_defede@miaminewtimes.com

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