The Great Divide

Correspondence from our readers

Mark E. Carswell
Miami Lakes

Thanks for the public service of "The Burden of a Violent History." Until the lid recently came off the pot of the frenzied, frustrated Cuban hard-line community, few people were willing to talk (much less rant) about it in public. A generation or more has not been privy to much of the information regarding the past necessary to form an opinion, much less an understanding of how we got where we are today. This history reminder is indispensable to the possibility of there being any progress away from the brink of mindless chaos.

My impression of New Times, I must say, has gone up and down over the years. But recently, and most certainly with the publication of this article, I have come to see it as a real newspaper -- in fact the only one with credentials in town.

The final entry on the list, however, was missing. April 28, 2000, parking lot of Miami New Times: Jim Mullin gets trampled by totally nonviolent crowd seen visiting the offices of the much-beloved Miami New Times.

Alan Kobrin
Miami

I thank Jim Mullin for his reality check on the "nonviolent" streak of the Cuban anti-Castro mob, a mob that preaches democracy and chants "freedom, freedom" but has no clue what these words mean. Over the years I have personally seen this anti-Castro mob brutally attack anyone who opposes its views. So much for democracy.

It is also sad to see how my city has buckled to the pressures of this undemocratic minority and enacted into law the suppression of free speech when it comes to Cuban artists who have not disavowed their homeland. So much for freedom.

Furthermore it is sad to see my country buckle to the mob law that held a six-year-old child hostage, a prisoner inside an agitated circle of Castro-haters. Kidnapping would be the word used anywhere else in the world to describe what happened here.

If those Miamians like myself, who see beyond the shroud of hypocritical rhetoric that this dangerous mob spouts, were to march on behalf of reason, our numbers would set the record straight as to how Miamians feel. As for me, I invite you all to run for office -- Colombians, Peruvians, African Americans, good-old Americans. Anybody! I will not vote for another Cuban politician for as long as I remember these days of insanity.

J.A. Murcia
Miami

I find it personally offensive as a taxpaying, voting resident of both Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami that two mayors have become involved in a federal matter. Mayor Penelas and Mayor Carollo have superseded the authority granted them by the Florida Constitution and limited by the United States Constitution.

Rather than spending countless hours standing in front of one home in Little Havana giving their opinions on federal matters, they should have walked a few blocks from the Gonzalez house. There they would have seen roads, schools, and health care that are inadequate, graffiti that is rampant, and iron bars on windows because the police are insufficiently funded.

Since the two mayors appear to have an abundance of time on their hands, they might consider taking a ride on the county's Metrorail to the northern parts of the county and city, and walk through Liberty City, Brownsville, Opa-locka, and Little Haiti, where there are just a few problems, such as crime, education, housing, and employment. Then later they could take a bus to the southern part of the county and city, where housing shortages are commonplace, transportation is limited, unemployment is prevalent, job opportunities are scarce, and unemployment offices are closing because of insufficient funding.I implore the mayors to get back to their jobs and allow the federal employees and elected officials to do their jobs. The City of Miami and Miami-Dade County have many problems that should be addressed by these mayors, since that is within their authority. I hope the citizens of Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami realize that when election time comes, city and county elections only affect city and county issues.

Edgar Belaval
Miami

I'm writing just to let you know that not all Cubans are as hysterical, ignorant, and irresponsible as Alex Penelas was when he gave his March 29 press conference and made those indelible, destructive comments. Thank you, New Times, for giving a voice to us, the beleaguered people of Miami who have no other forum for addressing the negative impact raging exiles are having on our city.

Why can't Cuban exiles resolve their issues peacefully, sensibly, and according to law like everyone else? And why do our public officials continually succumb to these radical demands at the expense of the welfare of the rest of the community? We've never seen Alex Penelas or Joe Carollo as passionate about issues such as providing better schools or affordable health care or safeguarding our Everglades or not raising our taxes or any of the other myriad things that affect all of us here in Miami, not just the Cuban interests.

Clearly something is wrong, and clearly many people contributed toward voting these officials into power. It is incumbent upon us now to vote them out.

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