Letters from the Issue of December 5, 2002

Latin rock star strikes back!

Bucks for Blood

The business was cash money for donors and it was tainted: I would like to compliment Eric Alan Barton for his detailed story about the finances and competition between South Florida's two blood banks ("Blood Money," November 28). If he should write another article, he might be interested in the comparable history of John Elliott Blood Bank.

In 1978, when I was vice president of the Dade County Medical Association, our public-health committee brought it to the attention of the board that the John Elliott Blood Bank had built small buildings near various army camps, offering ten dollars for the donation of blood. Obviously ten dollars, which bought more in those days than it does now, was a considerable deterrent to a donor advising the technicians about any history of hepatitis, et cetera.

We wrote a letter advising against this practice, but there was no response. It so happened that I was a member of the Public Health Trust at that time. The trust also communicated with the blood bank but to no avail. Subsequently two blood-bank board members appeared before the Public Health Trust board, very insistent that it would be impossible to obtain blood on a voluntary basis. I distinctly remember one of them saying that blacks, Jews, and Hispanics would not give blood. (I could go into more detail as to the labels my inner ear heard.) They never explained why they were so insistent on continuing this practice. They may have believed what they were saying, or money may have been involved.

Eventually we advised that Jackson Memorial Hospital would establish its own blood bank. They capitulated, going to a voluntary system.

Warren Lindau, M.D.

Pinecrest

Humble Latin Grammy Winner Offers Gracious Correction

Flattered despite error, he extends intimate invitation to writer: Hi. This is "Hialeah's own ridiculously overhyped Jorge Moreno." Just wanted to add my two cents to Brett Suckol's November 28 "Kulchur" column ("Resurgent Rock").

1. If he had done some research, he'd know that I've lived in Palm Springs North, Coral Gables, the Beach, and currently Miami Springs, but never Hialeah -- though I am more than proud to be its poster boy.

2. I'm quite flattered that I have reached such a point of popularity that I can be dissed as "overhyped" in the same sentence with Juanes and Maná.

3. Blow me, you jealous comemierda, and leave the real music writing to Celeste Delgado.

Thank you and believe the hype. If you print this, please include that I will be performing at Café Nostalgia on December 21 and Oxygen Lounge in Coconut Grove on New Year's Eve, December 31. Thanks again and Merry Fuckyou.

Jorge Moreno

Miami

Cinema Floridismo

When we shut down a causeway, just remember who's making money: I read Celeste Fraser Delgado's article about the film starring rapper Trina. I wanted to clarify the comment made regarding The Fast and the Furious 2 bringing in out-of-towners and only using Miami as a backdrop ("Trina's Screen Test," November 21). I can't speak for Bad Boys 2, but more than 70 percent of the cast and crew working on The Fast and the Furious 2 are from Florida. We have also hired about 3000 locals to be extras in the film.

When there are two or three major films shooting in town, there are not enough locals available to only hire Floridians, and therefore we have to bring in some of the crew from other areas.

Tammy Sandler, unit publicist

The Fast and the Furious 2

Miami Beach

Bash This Cuban

For once my friends and I would applaud: A common phrase is used to refer to the act of attacking Cuba. That phrase is "Cuba-bashing," and I'm sure New Times knows of it. In Miami there is also a phrase some people associate with New Times. The phrase is "Miami-Cuban-bashing." I've argued with friends about the assumption that New Times bashes Cuban exiles, because many of the people the newspaper bashes well deserve it.

That's why I was somewhat disappointed when I read, in Mike Clary's article about Florida International University ("FIU, Too! All Right?" November 21), that the person who appeared at the Biscayne Bay campus was, as he wrote, "a Cuban revolutionary on a U.S. book tour." Five lines later, instead of taking advantage of the space he still had available, he only added the name of that controversial lecturer: Victor Dreke Cruz.

I think he should have stated (I'm really sure he knew) that Dreke is a high-ranking officer in the Cuban Army, an agent of repression who historically tortured and offended many political prisoners, some of whom were present the day of Dreke's appearance at FIU.

For the average reader, Dreke might simply be a member of the Communist Party, a venerable ideologist, the director of a revolutionary think tank, or whatever they may assume the university usually invites. Mr. Clary could have been more informative about who really is and was the infamous Dreke, which also could have explained the reactions of some protesters on campus.

The rest of the story about politics at FIU was very professional. I'd be happy if next time New Times included more such information. That would give me more reasons to defend the paper and argue against its attackers, who believe there is substance to the accusation of "Miami-Cuban-bashing."

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