Letters from the Issue of February 20, 2002

Love and Hate and Argentina

I may be a female Cuban American, but I sure sound like a pistol-packin' redneck:I was thoroughly disgusted by Javier Andrade's article about the February 8 soccer match between the Argentine and U.S. national teams ("Argentina 1; U.S. 0," February 13). Mr. Andrade began the article by mentioning all the wrongdoings the U.S. ever committed against Argentina, subsequently stating that Argentineans have a love/hate relationship with this country.

Aren't the Argentineans who attended that Orange Bowl event living in this country they have a so-called love/hate relationship with? Isn't it this great country that provided those transplanted Argentineans the chance to wear their colors and cheer on their team? Last time I checked, Argentina was still on the map. If it is so sorely missed by these fútbol supporters, they can always entertain the notion of cheering their team in their own country rather than root against the country that was kind enough to adopt them.

And by the way, I am sure it would please New Times readers to envision me as a gun-toting white man when I am in fact a Cuban-American woman who loves this country and the opportunities it grants the people lucky enough to live here.

Alina Delgado-Linares

Miami

Don't Cry for Me

Argentina was my birthplace, but America is my proud home: Just a brief note to balance the comments from the ungrateful Argentineans who proudly displayed the Argentine colors at the Orange Bowl, thereby showing utter contempt for the country that generously offers them an opportunity to survive and advance.

More than three decades ago I emigrated from Argentina to the U.S. It was a turning point in my life because it gave me opportunities that would have never been available in Argentina to someone from a modest background such as mine. Through hard work (not connections or affirmative action) I attended Georgetown University and Oxford University and was subsequently hired by a number of top corporations. Clearly, had it not been for this exceptional country, very few, if any, accomplishments would have occurred.

Thus I can only imagine the shock and disappointment of many Americans who witnessed this type of display. At a minimum the American flag should have been as prominent as the Argentine colors. That would have shown respect for this noble country. Can anybody conceive of 25,000 Americans flying the American flag in an Argentine stadium? They would have been "barbecued."

For future events my suggestion to any immigrant is this: Americans tolerate and accept your feelings of pride about your country of origin, but they will not tolerate (nor should they be expected to) disrespectful and ungrateful demonstrations against their country. Their welcome mat will quickly turn into a suggestion for you to go back home on the first available flight. In fact, I would be glad to pay for your ticket.

Enrique Bargioni

Miami

Neutrality Questioned in Cuba Debate

Free weekly advised to compensate for pro-Castro ideologues: In response to Kirk Nielsen's story about Rodolfo Frometa and Comandos F-4 ("Frometal Jacket," February 6), I understand his desire for journalistic neutrality. If in reading his article, however, I had a scale with pro-Castro on one side and anti-Castro on the other, I would say it tipped toward the pro-Castro side.

He begins with a little rhetorical quiz and ends his story cutesily with the quiz turned on its head. You see how the words "little" and "cutesily" imply that I didn't like the quiz? In a similar way, when he calls anti-Castro activists "terrorists" and writes things such as "Tony Blair or that tyrant Fidel Castro," "freedom or at least a free-market economy," and "Miami-Dade's legions of excitable anti-Castro voters," Nielsen makes plain his feelings -- the added words turn a plain sentence into a jibe. Perhaps he feels he is balancing extreme anti-Castro feelings in other publications. That's fine, but in the interest of journalistic neutrality, I suggest New Times also have at least one writer on its staff who believes Castro is an evil dictator on par with Hitler, Stalin, or Pol Pot, and is an enemy of the United States -- instead of only viewpoints such as Nielsen's.

Freedom fighters who fight for the liberation of Cuba are no more terrorists than freedom fighters in Europe who fought against Nazi occupation, American pilots who volunteered to defend China against Japanese imperialism, and revolutionary patriots who fought against colonial oppression. There is nothing I would love better than a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba without a single shot being fired. But just as the Declaration of Independence didn't lead the British to just say, "Okay, we'll leave," I suspect that peaceful opposition will not lead Castro to say, "Okay, I'm retiring, elections start today." Unfortunately, at some point or another violence might be necessary for a change in Cuba. At that point we might need "terrorists" such as F-4. Then again I could be wrong. After all, the Soviet Union collapsed without that kind of violence.

By the way, don't consider this to be hate mail from an "excitable" Cuban. I value and respect Kirk Nielsen's opinions and his work. Journalistic freedom is incredibly important in a free country and a right Cubans will hopefully hold in the near future.

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