Impartial Intolerance

Not long ago it was dangerous to support the appearance of Cuban musicians in Miami; now it's dangerous to oppose them

Miranda says he returned to his office and typed a two-page resignation letter. "I've never been fired before, and I didn't want that on my record," he offers by way of explaining his decision to resign instead of be terminated. In the letter he wrote, "This is indeed a painful decision that I must make, but I am forced to do so. I believe that it is ... a disgraceful affront to our constitutional rights that anyone should attempt to silence or assail someone because of their views and opinions."

Carbonell sent a short note in response that didn't mention the dispute but included a severance check for $1352.47, which Miranda says he refused to accept.

Repeated calls to Carbonell and Toraño were not returned. Vice chairman of the center's board, Sergio Pereira, says his fellow board members are aware of the situation. "The board has been informed Mario resigned and that we have received a letter from his attorney asking for compensation," relates the former county manager. "My understanding is that he resigned under his own volition and that the words forced out never came up."

Mario Miranda protected Jorge Mas Canosa but lost his job when he criticized the exile icon's son
Steve Satterwhite
Mario Miranda protected Jorge Mas Canosa but lost his job when he criticized the exile icon's son

Several days after his resignation, Miranda called Francisco "Pepe" Hernandez, president of CANF. "I'm calling to let you know I got fired because of you guys," Miranda recalls saying.

According to Miranda, Hernandez replied, "We sent Raul over there to stop you from talking, not to get you fired." Hernandez confirms the phone call but denies Miranda's version of its content and insists the foundation was not involved.

CANF executive director Joe Garcia rejects the idea that anyone from his organization would retaliate against Miranda, noting that others on the CANF board of directors have publicly criticized the Latin Grammys coming to Miami. "If in our own house we have disagreements," Garcia says. "Why would we go to another agency to take punitive actions against someone?"

Miranda, who continues to pay regular visits to Mas Canosa's gravesite, raises a question of his own regarding current CANF leadership. "If they did this to me after everything I've done for the family," he says, "imagine what they would do to the people of Cuba."

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