The real Cuba, the indie scene, the bombshell barfers, and how Cubans made Miami

Letters from the Issue of July 21, 2005

What has always given me pause about some of the letters I read in New Times is how many people begin them with silly phrases like "I never read your publication" or "I don't read the New Times." In Mr. Garcia's case it was "I never read your ultraliberal little newspaper."

Excusing the obvious question of whether these mental giants see the irony of responding to an article that appeared in something they "never read," this reminds me of that old question about a tree falling in the forest and no one hearing it. Does it make a sound? Well, Mr. Garcia, if an article appears in a newspaper and there is no one there to read it, is a letter written in response to it?

But enough about that. The other issues with Mr. Garcia's letter are far more humorous. First, as most of us long-time readers know, New Times is neither liberal nor conservative. The paper has equally bashed people of all persuasions and political parties. If anything, I'd say New Times is anti-politics, no matter what flavor. But since you, Mr. Garcia, "never read" it, you wouldn't understand that.

Second, Mr. Garcia's boastful contention that Cubans made Miami what it is today is hilarious: "You [New Times] cannot forgive us for our help in turning this city of Miami from a small, sleepy town into the big, vibrant city it is now." This is the first time I've heard someone brag about turning a city into a crime-filled, self-absorbed cultural anti-mecca that is the educational laughing stock of the nation. Miami-Dade's public school system is ranked dead last in the U.S. Many of us have been searching for years to find who is responsible for these travesties. It seems if Mr. Garcia is correct, we now have the answer.

A word to the unwise, Mr. Garcia. How about holding off a few generations to see if Miami can crawl out of its current conditions before you start bragging about what you helped it become. Be careful what you take credit for -- it might just stick.

Last, Mr. Garcia, despite the narrow-minded voting habits of certain Miami-Dade residents, the last time I looked, the Republicans have done just as much to get Castro out of power as the Democrats have -- nothing! But don't take my word for it. Just check for yourself, because the last time I looked, he was still in power.

It would seem the Republican brainwashing machine has succeeded in accomplishing at least one goal: dividing the people of Miami-Dade County along ethnic lines. Or wait, didn't you say "we" turned Miami into what it is today? Forgive me. I guess that means you'll have to take credit for all of our ethnic problems as well. My, what big shoulders you now have.

Still feel like bragging? I didn't think you would. I told you, be careful what you brag about because you may end up as the answer to some very interesting questions, and nothing stings like the truth.

J.A. McClendon


Condemning Communism Can Be Hazardous to Hypocrites

Especially when a Cuban praises George Bush: Alfredo Garcia's letter is a classic example of the rhetorical garbage we've been hearing from the conservative right these past several years. You people can never argue the facts. The only response you can come up with to refute any issue is "liberal, liberal, liberal." You can't argue on substance, so you resort to name-calling and slogans, and the only reason it works is because those who agree with this line of thinking are just as ignorant and dumb.

Now, about the Cuban issue. I realize Miami is what it is because of the Cuban people, but that is not necessarily something to brag about. There is nothing great about being the most bankrupt city in the nation. Nothing great about having our elected city officials time and time again indicted for corruption, or the mayor showing up at your doorstep freaking out at odd hours of the night. Nothing great about being the city with the worst public transportation. Those are just some examples; there are many more. There is a reason why the rest of the nation views Miami as a banana republic.

As for Mr. Garcia's praise of President George W. Bush (the Cuban community's anti-Castro "friend"), other than a few tough-guy smack words, what has Bush done for the Cuban people? Oh yeah, right, he restricted people here from traveling to Cuba to see their own families. What good is that doing? I'll bet Castro is crying. It's sad to think that the only justification Miami Cubans like Mr. Garcia can offer for electing Bush is a custody battle between a boy's father and his alcoholic extended family. I would like to think Cubans have more brains than that.

Communism no doubt has a horrible human-rights track record. I'm sure that, aside from fleeing his country rather than fighting one tyrant, Mr. Garcia is also active in fighting communism by boycotting products made in China. And I'm sure he'll be speaking out against our dear president making a visit to Vietnam next year.

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