By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
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Five minutes later, Whittington claims, driver David Cruz stopped the bus and walked to the back. The transit man allegedly yelled, "Okay, pick up this shit or get off my bus!" When Whittington protested that the woman was passing out her literature, Cruz allegedly screamed, "Because she is not a Nazi passing out bullshit Nazi propaganda!"
Whittington said he was so shocked he just stared at Cruz in disbelief. Whittington also accuses the bus driver of saying, "I'm going to get a cop to get your Nazi, racist ass off my bus!"
At North Miami Avenue and 13th Street, Cruz flagged down a Miami Police officer, who escorted Whittington off the Metrobus. An angry Whittington called Miami-Dade Transit's complaint line. According to the agency's incident report, Cruz denied mistreating Whittington and insisted that Nuclear Skull's founder was passing out "Nazi/racist propaganda." The transit agency did not discipline Cruz.
Some people might think Whittington is looking for an opportunity to plug his band or that he's just plain lawsuit-happy. But he asserts that is not the case. "If I wanted to do that, I'd go to Churchill's and dance like a monkey onstage for 50 cents," he says. "I just wanted an apology."
The Changing Tide
Carlos Quenedit, a former dancer with the National Ballet of Cuba, crossed the Mexican border in late April, arriving in South Florida last Friday to begin rehearsing with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, a company created to cradle the talents of exiled dancers.
Quenedit is the fourth recent defector to grace local stages this year ("Fly Like a Swan," April 10). "They come seeking the freedom to express themselves and develop their careers," says Pedro Pablo Peña, the troupe's co-artistic director. "They're choosing to do a grand jeté into a world of truth."
The 22-year-old defected from the renowned Cuban company a year ago and has been performing with the Ballet of Monterrey in Mexico, Peña says. Word of Quenedit's border crossing quickly spread in the close-knit dance world.
The Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami soon invited Quenedit to make his U.S. debut at the Manuel Artime Theater in Little Havana this weekend. Quenedit will join the three other recently exiled Cuban stars in The Best of the Classical Repertoire.
Since defecting from the Cuban company in December, dancers Taras Domitro, Hayna Gutiérrez, and Miguel Angel Blanco have been training and living with the company's co-artistic director, Magaly Suárez, who is also Domitro's mother. Quenedit will stay there too. — Janine Zeitlin