The Great Divide

Correspondence from our readers

Furthermore, will someone please shut up that hysterical, angry, and obviously psychologically challenged Marisleysis. It is an utter embarrassment every time she opens her mouth to lash out at this country, its laws, and its leaders.

Esther Castro

While many Cuban-owned businesses were closed Tuesday, April 25, to protest Elian's "rescue," one such business remained quietly open: Gloria and Emilio Estefan's Bongo's Cuban Café in Orlando. How do I know? I called.

Like so many of the Cuban-exile community leaders, Gloria Estefan has proven to be just another hypocrite who claims to be acting in the "best interests" of Elian. While many Cuban Americans stayed home from work on Tuesday, giving their full support for this cause, the Estefans were lining their pockets with tourists dollars. It's this type of hypocrisy and half-hearted effort that makes me realize why Castro has survived all of these years.

Raul Fernandez

As a Cuban American I am appalled by what this terrible wave of hatred, fanaticism, and political manipulation is doing to our community. Any sensible human being will have to admit that Elian is now far better off with his father and family in a peaceful setting surrounded by trees and serenity than in the circus atmosphere that prevailed during his months in Little Havana, surrounded by the media, hysterical people shouting slogans day and night, politicians, people coming in and out of the house, no privacy at all, being manipulated and shown to the populace like a little animal in a zoo, with distant relatives who smoked in front of him, a hysterical woman and an out-of-control mob, and being dressed like a teenager instead of the child he is, wrapped in tacky golden chains and permanently connected to a cellular phone.

I left Cuba because I was against the manipulation of the media in Cuba, the totalitarian regime, and communism in general. But I can see that the manipulators behind the mob don't give a damn about democracy in Cuba, the welfare of Elian, or his personal well being. It is a shame that every time the media refers to them, they generalize and call "the Cubans" and "el exilio." It's not true. Many, many Cubans do not agree!

There are more than 800,000 Cubans in Miami-Dade County. What percentage went to those demonstrations and took part in that unbearable display of insults, bad taste, hatred, fanaticism, and lack of respect for the president of our country and our attorney general?

I have many Cubans friends who certainly do not agree with those narrow points of view. But unfortunately the lack of freedom of expression in our community, the fear of being fired from a job if you think differently, and the constant lack of respect for other people's opinions have transformed Miami into a dictatorial fascist banana republic.

Luis Rodríguez
Miami Beach

I was born and raised in Miami, and I lived there until I was 26 years old. My parents still live in the same house in which I grew up. My partner and I fled Miami after Cuban exiles blocked I-395 leading to Miami Beach in 1999. At that point it had become obvious to me that the tension of an intensely segregated city would only get worse. I now live in Denver, Colorado.

I must say that there is no healing for many of the nonexile, nonfanatic people of Miami. They are leaving. My parents are making plans to sell the house in which they raised their kids. The line has been crossed. When your local government shows signs of communism, when you're afraid to voice your own opinion in public for fear of retaliation, when 1700 teachers don't show up to work to teach the community's children it's time to call Mayflower and get the hell out of Dodge.

If the exile community wants to rant, they will soon be the only ones remaining to listen. My sympathy goes out to the Haitian community of Miami. I know this whole Elian thing has been a real kick in the teeth for them for obvious reasons. My sympathy also goes out to my brilliant Cuban friends in Miami who have been libelously misrepresented by the masses.

Daniel Burg
formerly of Miami

June 11, 2001: The Miami Herald today reported that a Cuban-American woman who recently traveled to Cuba with her son to visit her parents was killed in an auto accident in Havana this past weekend. The seven-year-old boy, who was in the car with his mother, is in stable condition in a Havana hospital, where he is being treated for unspecified injuries.

June 12, 2001: The Miami Herald today reported that the Cuban-American divorcee who died in an auto accident in Havana this past weekend was Maria Eloisa Delgado, 35, and her seven-year-old surviving son is Hector Sanchez. Delgado's ex-husband and the young boy's father is Virgilio Sanchez-Estrada, a prominent member of the Cuban American National Foundation. The Herald also reported that Delgado's funeral is being held in Cuba at the request of her parents and family.

June 13, 2001: According to the Miami Herald, the funeral for Maria Eloisa Delgado will be held today in Havana, where her elderly parents live. Delgado's son is still being treated at a Havana hospital for the injuries he suffered in the auto accident that took his mother's life.

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