Letters from the Issue of December 27, 2001

Embrace the Nightmare: And while we're at it, let's pray for really,really bad weather

By the way I am a black Cuban American myself. People like me should be doubly concerned. And I am.

Romano A. López

Grammys: Free Weekly Strangely Silent
Can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e? I was surprised to see that your newspaper did not criticize the Latin Grammys for leaving Miami in the face of protest. I thought New Times was in the vanguard of tolerance for people expressing their opinions. Yet you constantly criticize the Cuban community for your perception of their intolerance of dissenting views.

Apparently you believe the exile community should be tolerant of other peoples' views, but not that others should be tolerant of exiles' views. Cuban musicians from the island should be allowed to come here to express their ideas, and Cuban exiles should be tolerant of that. Fine, I agree. By the same token exiles should be allowed to protest and use the Latin Grammys as a forum to express their views of Cuba. These protests were planned not as mass chaos but as organized and peaceful. The protest area was more than 100 yards away. It would have taken a young Dan Marino with a hurricane wind behind him to throw something and have it land on a Cuban musician at the American Airlines Arena.

Since you focused on criticizing the exile community instead of the Grammys for pulling out of Miami, it seems you're not so concerned with free expression but more concerned with attempting to criticize anything Cuban exiles do, right or wrong. This media attack on the exile community is nothing new. Because Cuban Americans are the most economically and educationally successful Hispanic group, and have even higher economic and educational achievements than mainstream Anglo America, you believe it is okay to attack us with the support of non-Cubans.

At some point that is going to get old, and you'll focus on something else. But the disturbing thing is that young Cubans growing up here, not knowing all the facts, are beginning to believe your nonsense and succumbing to the endless attacks on exiles. I guess the media subscribe to the divide-and-conquer theory.

If you believe Cubans are one-sided in terms of their political views, consider the following:•Cubans vote Republican at a rate of 60 to 80 percent

•Blacks vote for Democrats at a rate of more than 90 percent

•Jews vote for Democrats at a rate of 70 to more than 80 percent

•All non-Cuban Hispanics vote for Democrats at a rate of more than 75 percent

•Southern Baptists vote Republican at a rate of more than 75 percent

Let's not even get into other one-sided groups, such as trade unions. There are more examples. It seems to me that Cubans are more politically balanced. But I guess New Times is not really interested in the facts.

In terms of protesting, Cuban protests are mild compared to protests that have taken place historically in this grand country. The United States has had a long tradition of violent protests resulting in millions in damages and deaths -- not just by minorities but also by mainstream Americans. But let's not confuse anyone with the facts.

Angel Garcia

Grammys: Viejos Run Amok
Glowering geezers pose alarming threat: Quick, call the Pentagon! America has a new super fighting force. Better than the Marines. More ferocious than the Navy SEALs. More feared than Delta Force. Who are these terrifying fighting machines? Elderly Cuban protesters!

Yes, the same people who frightened the Clinton administration into paralysis and forced the U.S. government to conduct an Entebbe-style raid to snatch the child and avoid a direct confrontation with them are now striking fear in the hearts of cultural promoters.

All over the county, arts impresarios are living in fear that amphibious landing craft filled with well-trained elderly Cuban protesters might be deployed to stand in front of their recital halls, chanting terrifying slogans and hoisting lethal hand-painted signs. It's enough to make deep-pocketed arts patrons quake.

Maybe our government could use these crack troops in some of the world's troubled hot spots to quell revolutions and repel invasions.

Seth Gordon
Coconut Grove

Grammys: Incoming!
Which naturally led to outgoing: Who can be surprised that the Latin Grammys hauled ass out of town when the word protesters was used. I am sure the Grammy powers that be remembered the debacle at the Miami Arena during a similar event in which concertgoers were pelted with missiles.

And who could forget the traffic blockades our leaders did nothing to stop, and the Elian riot (yes, riot) that served to let the rest of the country know the citizens of Miami-Dade County seem to be an intolerant and fractious bunch of loonies.

Unless the Cuban population learns that we all have the same rights, this town will continue to be a Republic of Banana.

Jim Cocca

Grammys: Miami Isn't Ready for Prime Time
So sayeth the prophet Ohanian: A great deal of work, money, and prestige was invested by countless individuals and organizations to bring the Latin Grammys to Miami. Now the announcement has been made to pull the plug on the event. Who can blame them? Who wants to host or attend a celebration in such an angry neighborhood? There are lots of other places to have a party where you can be a lot more appreciated and enjoy the moment without having to run a gauntlet of hatred. Los Angeles is such a place. Unfortunately Miami is not.

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