Airport log 2/21/2003: I drove out of the terminal onto the connecting ramp to Le Jeune Road, kept right, and headed for the Bennigan's on NW 36th Street. I went inside, to the bar, where I was greeted by two middle-age Cuban-American dudes we'll call "Edwin" and "Joaquin." They work for a major airline. We ordered a pitcher of Bud and I shared the negative comments and harrowing experiences passengers coming through MIA had been pelting me with for the past few months. Edwin, a 35-year-old father of four with a bad knee, shrugged and let out a horrendous belch. Joaquin, who just turned 31 last month and has worked at the airport for ten years, laughed and offered this advice for people who don't like MIA: "Que se vayan para la pinga! Nosotros los Cubanos controlamos esto aqui. Si no le gustan, que se vayan![They can go screw themselves! Us Cubans control things around here. If they don't like it, they can leave!]"
It was a rough but honest summation from the ground troops whom you'll have to deal with at MIA, until Angela Gittens's vaunted reforms start to take effect. And who knows what the ETA on that might be?