Letters to the Editor

Letters from the issue of February 24, 2000

Goon Over Miami Part 2
Clubland king Chris Paciello ain't exactly a Mafia don. But it sure seemed he was headed that way.
By Tristram Korten

Chris Paciello, Presumed Guilty
I hope you don't think you're doing anybody any favors by publishing Tristram Korten's second article on Chris Paciello ("Goon Over Miami, Part 2" February 17) -- not with Korten's twist on the facts anyway. The writing of it, not Paciello's "misconduct," is the real injustice. Korten does a very dangerous thing: He presumes guilt without questioning. Here are some questions that go to motive and should be considered in determining whether Paciello had the requisite state of mind necessary to commit all the supposed terrible crimes he did:

•If Paciello was doing so well, why did he need information on rival club owners? Here Korten contradicts himself.

•Why should Paciello have been so concerned with potential underage drinkers when his clubs are frequented by plenty of people of legal drinking age?

•Korten states that "with friends like this, Paciello must have thought he could reign over South Beach for years." What is this? Guilt by association? To my knowledge an accomplice must either physically or mentally contribute to the crime. It's not about who you know or even about when you're present.

•Korten shows blatant disregard for the victims of so-called eyewitness testimony (historically blacks, and more recently those falsely accused by the Los Angeles Police Department) by making reference to "South Beach observers who declined to be named" claiming that Paciello dined with Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico at Joia.

I have trouble understanding where Korten is going with all this. But I can tell you where I'm going: The law is getting notoriously close to imputing guilt by either who one knows or by what one is seen doing. That should have been the issue, not Paciello's supposed malice or evil mind. Wake up, New Times, or you too may soon be stripped of your rights.

Manny Losada

Editor's note: Owing to reporting errors, several facts were misstated in "Goon Over Miami, Part 2." The restaurant where police say Chris Paciello met Alphonse Persico was misidentified. Formerly known as Shooters in North Miami Beach, it has since become Dox on the Bay. The location of Al Capone's home also was incorrect. In 1922 Capone purchased a house on Palm Island, not Star Island. In addition Liquid nightclub is located at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Española Way. The Internet address of New York journalist Jerry Capeci's Website is ganglandnews.com. New Times regrets the errors.

Leave the Driving to CANF
By Jim DeFede

Jorge Mas Santos: Daddy Would Be Proud
I felt compelled to comment on Jim DeFede's article "Leave the Driving to CANF" (February 17), which I found to be both judgmental and vindictive. Although I do not know Jorge Mas Santos personally, I have had the opportunity to meet him and hear him speak, and I think a few things should be taken into account.

If it is true that, as Mr. DeFede put it, Jorge Mas Santos is an American-born rich boy who has had everything handed to him by his father, then what does he have to gain by continuing to fight for the causes of his father? He should kick back and take a permanent vacation. And yet he is fighting for Elian. Could it possibly be, that after losing his own father, Jorge Mas Santos's heart goes out to this poor boy? Could it be he knows that if this boy is returned to Cuba, he will have no chance for freedom?

Let's not forget that Elian's loving father is a pimp whose official job is to hire prostitutes for tourists. And those sweet grandmothers? They are in need of therapy, to say the least. Fidel Castro, who ordered the murder of innocent Brothers to the Rescue pilots, is a wretched man. Let us not forget the boat full of women and children he ordered his army to shoot and sink. That is reality.

I applaud Jorge Mas Santos for having the courage to stand up and fight for what he believes in, even when the American people are against it. Congratulations, Jorge Mas Santos. I think your father would be proud.

Lisa Lorenzo
via the Internet

Jorge Mas Santos: The Devil Incarnate
I want to thank Jim DeFede from the bottom of my belly, whence issued forth a major belly laugh of relief after I read his great article on the devil himself: Jorge Mas Santos! I had no idea that in Miami there is a newspaper and a journalist who does not fear nor is corrupted by the Cuban American National Foundation, and who is willing to courageously, and rather humorously, report the ugly truth in this matter. (I learned of the article from the New York Times's "Cuba and Custody Forum," in which I am an active participant.)

It is time the American public learned these facts. We need to publicize the New Times Website more widely. Thank you for doing so much to help this country get back on the right track.

John Miller
via the Internet

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