Ahhh, I can't wait for all these old hardline obsessive fuckers to die off...it is a new Miami, and thank goodness!!
By Tim Elfrink
By Kyle Munzenrieder
By Kyle Munzenrieder
By S. Pajot
By Tim Elfrink
By Tim Elfrink
By Kyle Munzenrieder
A square "on air" sign lights up inside the studio of La Poderosa 670 AM, located at SW Third Street and 27th Avenue in the heart of Little Havana. Clad in a tan guayabera and matching slacks, Jorge Rodríguez pushes a button on the phone next to his mike. It's just after 9 a.m., and a woman with a thick Cuban accent is ready to complain about Barack Obama.
"I want to say something about the president of the United States," she cackles in Spanish. "Everyone knows he is not going to do anything for Israel because he is a Muslim. If he gets re-elected, he will certainly open a dialogue with Raúl [Castro]. He hasn't done it yet because the Republicans have held him in check. Down with the president! He's a disgrace!"
A few minutes later, a man calls to ask why Rodríguez and his cohost, an Argentine named Aaron Glantz, didn't challenge her claims.
"Why didn't you tell her: 'No, ma'am, he isn't [a Muslim],' just like John McCain did in 2008?" he asks.
Rodríguez and Glantz glance at each other with incredulous expressions. "Read the president's history sir," Glantz retorts. "¡Sí!" Rodríguez adds matter-of-factly.
So it goes every weekday for an hour and a half as Rodríguez and Glantz open the lines to their right-wing, mostly elderly, overwhelmingly Cuban listeners, who vent about the Castro brothers' latest conspiracies, Obama's socialist agenda, and current political scandals engulfing Miami-Dade.
It's a uniquely Miami slice of conservative chest-beating, and — for better or worse — it's fading along with the older generation of Cubans who tune in.
La Poderosa, in fact, is the last independently owned Cuban talk-radio station in town, and a recent round of corporate rebranding raises questions whether the format can survive. Both of its longtime competitors — Radio Mambí (WAQI, 710 AM) and WQBA (1140 AM) — are owned by media giant Univision, which gutted WQBA in June and has recently imported more moderate, pan-Hispanic voices to Mambí. Smaller stations catering to the exile community have gone silent altogether, like Little Haiti's tiny WNMA (1210 AM), which was recently bought by ESPN Deportes.
There's no mystery why. In recent years, straight news stations such as Colombian-owned Radio Caracol and Venezuelan-tied Actualidad Miami have gained thousands of listeners at the expense of the old Cuban stations, which have lost a full percentage share of the market since 2006. That shift has followed the changing demographic in Miami, where non-Cubans — who were just 40 percent of the Hispanic population in 1997 — today represent close to half.
"It's unbelievable and incomprehensible," Rodríguez says of Univision's recent changes at WQBA. "They are not putting any consideration into what has been created here in Miami. Why change it?"
Some observers say a move toward more moderate Spanish-language radio would be healthy for a town too long obsessed with the lives of two strong-arm brothers on an island a few hundred miles away.
"On Cuban-American radio, you hear things that happened 50 years ago as if it was happening right now," says John De Leon, an ACLU attorney and Miami native. "It's highly nostalgic, but it is not conducive for change and progress in the community."
But anyone who appreciates Miami's unique history should feel a sting of regret if the kind of radio broadcast every day at La Poderosa fades to static; this is a format, after all, that El Exilio has used for 53 years to undermine Castro's revolution and amass political power in South Florida.
These frequencies have hailed alleged terrorists such as Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles as freedom fighters and condoned bombing cars and offices to defy El Exilio's enemies. They've fomented mob rule against those acquiescing to Fidel Castro, especially during the battle to keep Elián González in Miami. And thanks to pressure from the stations, Miami-Dade politicians have been forced to pander to listeners by banning Cuban musicians and ordering boycotts of Cuban-friendly businesses.
Those days might just be gone for good. "It is not like it used to be in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, when it was overwhelmingly Cuban-American," former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo says of the stations' influence. "It doesn't have the same impact anymore."
Emilio Milian stepped out of the WQBA studio and into the parking lot around sunset on April 30, 1976. The then-45-year-old host had just wrapped another show slamming his fellow exiles for condoning terrorism against moderate Cuban-Americans. Milian knew he was a marked man for his views.
He scanned the lot for suspicious characters and warily watched a woman walking his way. She'd found a lost little boy nearby. Milian told her to go into the station to call the police, and then he opened the door to his white Chevy station wagon and got behind the wheel.
When he turned the ignition, the world went white. Eight pounds of explosives wired to the battery blew up, billowing gray smoke and fire into the evening. The car's hood shot a hundred feet into the air. In an instant, Milian's legs were torn to shreds, and shrapnel blew a hole in his abdomen and peppered his face.
A Miami city commissioner, J.L. Plummer, happened to be driving nearby when he heard the blast and rushed to the scene. "His legs were bleeding profusely," Plummer recalls. "I used his belt and mine as tourniquets to slow the bleeding down. He paid one hell of a price for his outspokenness."
Milian's brutal attack was a horrific early flash point for a medium that, two decades after Castro's revolution, had become the face of Miami's Cuban struggle. The bombing cast into stark relief the battle between hardliners, who believed El Comandante must be forced out by any means necessary, and more moderate voices — a struggle that continues on the air to this day.
"Radio provided a shield of protection to the people who were committing violence in our community," De Leon says. "Milian was part of a group of people who suffered a great deal because of the excesses of Cuban radio."
The birth of the medium, in some sense, can be traced to Milian's arrival in Miami in 1965. A radio journalist in Cuba who had spent four months writing for the Mexico City daily El Excelsior, Milian landed a gig as a part-time sports announcer at WMIE-AM, one of many stations where exiles had been buying airtime to voice their venom. Milian moved up the ladder and was overseeing news and programming when the station was sold to a group of Cuban-American investors who decided to devote the station full-time to such discussion. They renamed it WQBA — AKA "La Cubanisima" ("The Most Cuban").
Under Milian's leadership, La Cubanisima became one of the top Spanish-language stations in the nation thanks to its strong viewpoints.
"Radio was the first instrument of communication that Cubans in Miami used to fight Castro," says Max Lesnik, a leftist Cuban who's been criticizing extremism on the air for decades. "And they used it effectively."
First-generation Cuban-Americans throughout Miami in the '60s grew up to the sounds of shows such as Radio Reloj, WQBA's morning political show on which exiles discussed the latest news from the island.
"That's how I knew it was time to get ready for school," De Leon says. "My mother and my grandmother would be in the kitchen listening to the latest conspiracy theories being hatched on the air. Every day, there were new updates on the latest alleged Castro agents in Miami."
From the early days, though, that conversation was tinged with extremism.
Milian found out the hard way. Between 1974 and 1976, WQBA's news director had used his hourlong program to denounce acts of violence that had ripped through Miami's Cuban-American community, killing five exile leaders in attacks allegedly led by groups such as Omega 7.
Even though Milian was a fervent anticastrista, the FBI warned him that fellow exiliados were targeting him. He received on-air death threats, and guards had to be stationed at the entrance of La Cubanisima.
It didn't help in the end. Milian miraculously survived the April 30 attack, though he lost both legs in the explosion. A year later, he went back to WQBA, but his then-general manager, Herb Levin, wanted him to tone down his inflammatory on-air arguments.
Levin ordered Milian to avoid direct, live contact with listeners. Milian refused and got canned. In a 1995 Miami New Times piece, Levin said he was concerned about Milian's and the 50 other employees' well-being: "I don't think he understood my position as a licensee, a parent, and an employer to go on the air and blast these terrorists."
In the '80s, Miami's Cuban radio scene grew quickly. In 1983, Milian was tapped as new director for Radio Martí, the brainchild of President Ronald Reagan and iconic exile leader Jorge Mas Canosa. The federally funded station was designed to broadcast news and propaganda in Cuba.
In 1985, Radio Mambí joined the AM dial. The station was created by Amancio Suarez, La Poderosa owner Rodríguez, and Armando Pérez Roura, who remains the news director and flagship voice. Like La Cubanisima and Martí, the founders had idealistic goals.
"I got involved for my country and my people," Rodríguez explains. "I believed we could accomplish a lot by keeping our people in Miami and Cuba well informed on the issues and deliver our message for a free Cuba."
From the earliest days, those stations — joined by then-competitors such as Cadena Azul and WCMQ — didn't just talk about the pressing Cuban issues of the day. They stoked the fires.
In 1982, for instance, Miami police and city officials accused La Cubanisima and another now-defunct station of inciting a riot when exiles clashed with cops during a demonstration in front of an immigration building.
The next year, the stations held on-air fundraising drives for the defense of Orlando Bosch, who was accused of masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cubana Airlines jet in Venezuela, killing 74. The stations loudly proclaimed their support for a Miami City Commission resolution declaring March 25, 1983, "Orlando Bosch Day."
Even actress Jane Fonda wasn't safe. In 1984, Cadena spearheaded a campaign against a scheduled Miami appearance by Fonda at a local Burdines department store. The station branded her a "reddish leftist" and urged listeners to turn in their credit cards in protest. Burdines canceled Fonda's appearances after a bomb threat.
The stations also stoked fights against Communism in Central America. In 1986, Cadena, Mambí, and La Cubanisima got wind of a protest at the Torch of Freedom against the Nicaraguan contras fighting the country's Sandinista Marxist government. Radio hosts called on exiles to respond, and they answered in a big way. According to a Miami Herald report, 2,000 contra supporters descended on Biscayne Boulevard, where they tossed eggs and taunted the outnumbered group of anti-contra protesters with chants of "¡Rusia no, democracia sí!"
That Cold War spirit hardly tempered in the '90s, even with the advent of glasnost and perestroika in Russia. After all, the Castros remained in power despite being isolated. In fact, Cadena, Mambí, and La Cubanisima ratcheted up El Exilio's hardline stance. Rodríguez's La Poderosa also began beating the drums of libertad o la muerte.
In 1997, for instance, Luis Diaz Albertini — general director of the company that owned Mambí and La Cubanisima — made the cardinal sin of playing songs by Los Van Van, a Cuban band that has not broken with Castro.
La Poderosa asked listeners if Los Van Van should be allowed to be heard in Miami. In 45 minutes, 70 people called to say they were against the group, while only one supported it. Diaz Albertini, who told the Miami Herald that he had received numerous death threats, was forced to resign. Miami police had to clear out the offices of Tropical 98.3 following a fake bomb threat tied to Los Van Van.
Two years later, La Poderosa and Mambí commentators again used their power to pressure Miami officials to cancel Los Van Van's debut at the city-owned James L. Knight Center. During an appearance on La Poderosa, then-Mayor Joe Carollo called Los Van Van "the official Communist band of Fidel Castro."
Los Van Van promoter Debbie Ohanian remembers being called a jinetera (Cuban slang for prostitute) and a Communist by people calling into the stations. "Carollo dubbed me 'Havana Debbie,'" she says. "If it wasn't for the mayor and the city commissioners going on the air riling people up, it would not have been a big deal."
When the performance went on anyway at the Miami Arena, the stations mobilized the exile community. More than 2,000 showed up, greeting concertgoers by spitting at them and throwing eggs, rocks, and bottles. A journalist covering the mayhem was pelted with a D battery, and five people were arrested.
Less than a month later came the cataclysmic event that most defined modern Cuban radio in Miami: the rescue of Elián González, the 5-year-old who lost his mother at sea during a perilous 90-mile raft trip to Florida.
During the five-month saga, which culminated in federal agents storming the house of González's relatives, the four stations waged a 24/7 campaign to keep the boy in Miami.
Radio Mambí raised thousands of dollars to pay for legal fees and used its 50,000 watts of power to mobilize hundreds of Cubans into the streets to block traffic in downtown Miami. Lourdes Montaner, a host at the station, christened Elián a messiah. "He is a chosen boy," she rapped with biblical zeal. "Dolphins escorted him to safety."
La Poderosa raised $60,000 in two months and bought billboards across the country denouncing then-Attorney General Janet Reno.
Meanwhile, De Leon received death threats because of the ACLU's position that González should be reunited with his father in Cuba. "I was called a Communist and all sorts of insults," he says. "You develop a thick skin because it is just a part of the way things are."
To hardliners, the episode showed the power of organizing through the airwaves. To moderates such as De Leon, it showed the dangers of mob mentalities.
"Whether it is Pérez-Roura or Rush Limbaugh, hate feeds on itself," De Leon says. "Radio is so powerful because you have thousands of people listening to it."
Jorge Rodríguez saunters into his office holding a sheet of paper with the latest ratings from Arbitron. A tall man with wispy brown hair flecked with gray at the top, he analyzes the sheet through a pair of tinted, gold-rimmed eyeglasses.
"In the 19 years I have owned this station, I've never seen numbers like this," he says in a deep Cuban accent. "It's incredible."
The numbers show that in May, June, and July, La Poderosa garnered listeners from rival stations Mambí and WQBA. Although Mambí remains the leading Spanish talk station in town, Rodríguez's station is gaining on them for a simple reason: For the first time in decades, neither competitor is exclusively spouting right-wing Cuban opinions like La Poderosa.
In June, Univision completely revamped WQBA to fit into a national radio network meant to appeal to a broad spectrum of Hispanics, called Univision America. Aside from a morning program hosted by longtime correspondent Bernadette Pardo, a majority of WQBA's programming is being imported from stations in Chicago, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Los Angeles.
The changes have filtered to Mambí as well, where popular Dominican-born voice Oscar Haza moved from WQBA to cohost En Caliente (In the Hot Seat) with Ninoska Pérez Castellón and Pérez Roura. Haza is considered a more moderate commentator, while his new studio mates are part of the old Exilio guard. Carlos Pérez, a fiery host at the station since 1985, recently fled to Poderosa.
Univision spokeswoman Veronica Potes declined to comment for this story — and turned down requests to speak to Pérez Roura — but experts say the company's strategy at WQBA and Mambí point to the fact that Spanish-language media is moving toward the middle, leaving less room for colorful Cuban chatter.
"By syndicating programming from more than one station, Univision can knock on more doors to get advertising dollars," says Joe Ferrer, a media consultant and former Spanish-language host. "You are no longer limited to an older Cuban-American audience."
One would think that shift might make Rodríguez happy, especially with his recent ratings jump. But the grizzled hardliner laments that Cuban-American radio is losing its heft.
Rodríguez is a true anticastrista. His two stations (he also owns Cadena Azul, which focuses on sports, religious, and other apolitical programming) operate under the same roof, located on the second floor of a seven-story Little Havana building. The walls are decorated with paintings by Posada Carriles, a 2001 poster commemorating the Cuban American National Foundation, an image of dissident Orlando Tamayo Zapata under the words "Assassinated by Castro," and other anti-Castro propaganda.
Owning a station has never been about money, he says. "The most important thing for me is freedom for my country," Rodríguez asserts. "I feel frustrated that it hasn't happened, but I don't feel defeated."
Born in the Santos Suarez neighborhood of Havana, Rodríguez fought against Fulgencio Batista's dictatorship when he was 16. As a young man, he believed in Fidel. But shortly after Castro took power in 1959, Rodríguez became disillusioned. One day, a year after the revolution, he recalls, he made the mistake of speaking out: "I said, 'The Communists have done nothing for the revolution, and now they want to take everything.'"
He was incarcerated and interrogated by Cuban police for three days. When he was released, Rodríguez decided to flee. In September 1961, he was granted political asylum in Miami.
The former revolutionary — who has three daughters from his first marriage and two sons with his current wife, Ana Vidal Rodríguez — joined an anti-Castro group called Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo. But after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, Rodríguez abandoned El Exilio's CIA-sanctioned clandestine war effort. He went to work for TV-set-maker Curtis Mathes, where he became an industrial engineer and rose up the ranks to vice president.
In 1970, when Westinghouse purchased Mathes, Rodríguez left to start his own firm that made clocks, clock radios, and other electronics. The company, called Juliette, reached $70 million in sales in 1973, when Rodríguez sold his interest because of differences with his partner. He opened another electronics firm that went public in 1983.
Yet Rodríguez yearned for a way to bring freedom to his countrymen on the island. So in 1985, he used his business acumen to spark a Cuban resistance by investing in Miami's Cuban airwaves as a cofounder of Radio Mambí. Three years later, he sold his interest in Mambí to his partner Suarez after a disagreement.
Rodríguez didn't bow out of the communications game, though. In 1989, he founded Telemiami, a cable TV station that echoes his conservative agenda on the radio. He also bought Cadena Azul. Then, along with two investors, he purchased WWFE in 1993 from Milian for $2.7 million. Milian's company had been forced into bankruptcy and his station was on the verge of being shuttered. Rodríguez changed the name from Radio Fe to La Poderosa.
He says he made the move not to make money, but because his competitors had lost their revolutionary zeal. "Media outlets exist to educate the public," he says. "At the time, there was a lot of misinformation and lack of objectivity going on."
Ever since he dived into the world of Cuban radio, Rodríguez has lived firsthand the battle over how far to go on-air.
In 1998, for instance, radio host Tomás García-Fuste claimed Rodríguez canceled his morning show because he refused to promote a rally at the Orange Bowl against a proposed human rights ordinance for gays organized by a Christian church. Rodríguez, who was opposed to the measure, actually interrupted García-Fuste 's show to encourage listeners to attend the anti-gay event.
(Rodríguez, though, claims he dropped García-Fuste because he refused do his show inside La Poderosa's studio, preferring to air from Telemiami.)
Then, in 2001, Rodríguez kicked Alberto Milian, Emilio's son, off the WWFE program that his father started, called Habla el Pueblo (The Town Speaks). Alberto told the Miami Herald that Rodríguez silenced him because he was denouncing politicians such as then-county Commissioner Miriam Alonso and then-Miami city Commissioner Angel Gonzalez. Liz Balmaseda, then a Herald columnist, wrote that Rodríguez was "stuck in 1976" and that he helped fuel all the "political cliches of [a] Cuban exile Miami."
Rodríguez counters that Milian's cancellation was a programming decision that was not influenced by politics.
Three years later, though, Rodríguez was back in the news when journalist Roberto Rodríguez Tejera resigned as La Poderosa's programming director and general manager. On April 14, 2004, Rodríguez Tejera and a cohost criticized President George W. Bush following the release of the 9/11 investigative report. Rodríguez stormed into the studio to defend Dubya, Rodríguez Tejera says.
"He wouldn't let my cohost talk," he says. "He told us if we didn't like it, we could leave. When I tried to intervene, Jorge disrespected me as well."
La Poderosa's owner says Rodríguez Tejera left of his own accord and denies censoring his views.
Either way, it's clear that the kind of boisterous, opinionated management Rodríguez favors has fallen out of practice at his chief competitors, which began moving into corporate ownership in 2004.
That's when Univision bought Hispanic Broadcasting Corp., which owned both WQBA and Mambí. Soon after, the network began to change both stations. For example, Univision cut off the practice of commentators getting paid by political campaigns; accepting money from any candidate was prohibited and grounds for firing.
Radio and TV Martí, the U.S. government-funded stations that broadcast news exclusively to Cuba, have also been adrift recently. For the past decade, members of Congress have criticized it as a drain on taxpayers. Last year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report concluding that the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Martí, had failed to provide sufficient information to Congress about its cost and audience in Cuba. Still, the station survived last year's budget with $30 million in appropriations.
Whatever the reasons, it's clear that both WQBA and Mambí have been losing listeners over the past decade.
In the fall 2001 Arbitron report, La Poderosa came in 28th, while Mambí was sixth out of 35 local stations. La Cubanisima was 22nd. According to Arbitron's June 2012 report, Mambí has dropped to 15th, while La Poderosa has risen to 25th. Between June and July, WQBA lost 23,900 weekly listeners in the wake of Univision's rebranding.
Rodríguez believes his station, whose numbers remained steady during that period, picked up many of the WQBA defectors. "Many listeners are upset over the changes," he says. "I believe people want a radio station that reflects the current reality of the community."
Inside a dusty back office of a storefront on West Flagler Street, Max Lesnik is preparing for his one-hour program on his website, Radio-Miami.com. The room is equipped with three desktop computers manned by a trio of radio engineers. The walls are the yang to the anti-Castro décor at La Poderosa: a photo of a beaming pre-cancer-stricken Hugo Chávez, a black-and-white image of Fidel, and a charcoal drawing of Che Guevara.
Lesnik walks into a closet that has been converted into a recording room. There is space only for a chair and a microphone. Until last year, he broadcast his one-hour show at a Little Haiti station called Union Radio. But when ESPN Deportes bought its signal, Lesnik decided the best way to reach his audience was to upload his broadcast online.
"I don't know what ratings we are getting because I don't have the money to pay to keep track of it," Lesnik says.
The aging lefty activist is not the only radio voice who's turned to the Internet as Spanish radio becomes increasingly moderate and professional. Firebrands from both sides of the debate over Castro have turned to the web in recent years in search of their lost listeners.
Take for instance activist Dionisio de la Torre, who posts interviews to YouTube that he conducts with other anti-Castro experts and former political prisoners from the living room of his spacious two-story home in West Miami-Dade. He also burns CDs of his one-on-one interviews that he mails to dissidents back on the island.
Even online crusaders such as de la Torre and Lesnik admit that without outlets like La Poderosa keeping the flames of El Exilio sentiment hot, Miami's political scene wouldn't be the same.
"What is going to happen when the people of Radio Mambí retire or pass away?" de la Torre asks. "Will it continue the same way? I don't think so. The market has changed too much."
Rodríguez, at least, remains a true believer. There will always be a place for right-wing Cuban radio in the Magic City, he says.
Part of his optimism comes from his family: His 26-year-old son, Jorge Jr., joined La Poderosa in 2008 as the station's vice president and pledges to keep the fight for a new generation. With his floppy brown hair and disheveled T-shirt and jeans, Junior looks more like a gamer than a radio exec. But he's been learning the business since he was a teenager and plans to continue railing against Castro.
"When I was 13, I spent the summer transferring thousands of CDs into a digital archive," he says. In 2001, when he was 15, he covered exiles protesting the second Miami appearance of Los Van Van at the Latin Grammys show. "I remember watching a group of people chase some guy up a pole. He had yelled something like, 'Viva Fidel.'"
Four years ago, he graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in political science and went to work at his father's stations, where he has modernized production systems and websites. Recently, he and his dad tweaked La Poderosa's afternoon programming to include news from the station's correspondents in countries including Venezuela, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Colombia.
Rodríguez Jr. believes Cuban radio still has the power to galvanize the community. For instance, La Poderosa rallied people to protest at the Marlins' new ballpark shortly after the team's manager, Ozzie Guillen, made comments praising Fidel.
"What works in Houston is not going to work in Miami," Junior reasons. "In this city, people like to call in and voice their opinion. Listener participation is a big deal."
He is also quick to point out that many experts in local radio didn't think his father could survive after losing commentators such as García-Fuste, Milian, and Rodríguez Tejera after taking over the station in the '90s. La Poderosa — and all the GOP-loving, Castro-hating rhetoric it embodies — won't disappear anytime soon, he promises.
"The only place you're going to hear that from now on is here," he says. "It's not just about the ratings [for us]. It's about sentiment."
Ahhh, I can't wait for all these old hardline obsessive fuckers to die off...it is a new Miami, and thank goodness!!
All I can say is thank God for the death of exile radio. I grew up in Miami circa 1970's through 1980's and during that time I can tell you that it was hard to distinguish between Cuba's communist radio and Miami's stations, which were a trinity of Fascism. The very same intolerance, hatred and fear of freedom of speech which you could hear from Havana radio you would also hear in Miami. It became evident to me that most of these exiles, while always quoting Marti, were in fact undemocratic to the core. In essence, they're problem with Castro was more about his nationalization of Cuban industry and veering over to the communist camp. Had Castro committed to being a right wing dictator, possibly they would have had no problem at all with him.
These stations advocated for separating a child from his father over politics (Elian) in defiance of a bitter history of 14,000 families separated by the communist dictatorship of Cuba (I'm a Peter Pan and I know). In essence, these stations endorsed our imitating the Castros in this regard. In addition, these stations defended the bombing of a civilian airliner carrying youngsters from the Cuban fencing team and the terrorists who did it were and by some, still are, lauded as heroes. In essence, it is O.K. to be cold-blooded murderers just like the Castros. I could go on and on about how Castrolike these stations have been and in the end, they probably did much to prolong Castro's dictatorship by aiding his continued isolation. I'm hopeful of the new Cuban American generations raised to think for themselves and the new generations on the island who recognize that whether you call it Fascism, Communism, Nazism etc. all forms of dictatorship are garbage. Freedom of thought and speech, essential for democracy to endure.
The Cuban that are here, don,t give a dam about go home or going back to Cuba. Well since U.S.A open door to Cuban and etc. Who the hell wanted go back; No passport !!!!!!!!
manrodriguez1964, is not only an idiot! but a racist, and a very ignorant person. He does NOT speak for all Cuban Americans. *
It's shameful!!!!! * I'm a independent voter,and a Cuban American(54), and I say they should all go out of business. * Voting Obama for President.
it's about time.50 years have passed since the bay of pigs and and these old right wing farts are still moaning and bitching about it. The are the only one's that fleed their country and came here to get everything free. People in middle eastern countries and other countries stayed and fought to get their country back.At least the new generation of cuban-americans arn't obsessed with the past and soon the old one's will be gone.And when will the news media stop calling them the exiled community.Its 3 generations ago.ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Let's get it out of the way: Cuban-born, Marielita and I have a brain. That describes me.
While I will agree with the MOST BASIC point that these people make (that the Castros are hateful tyrants) the biggest problem that these commentators have is that they ARE EXACTLY LIKE THE PEOPLE THEY ARE CRITICIZING. You can't complain about someone cutting you off and then go out and do the same thing and expect to be praised for it.
If there is one thing I've learned growing up in this country it is that if we are to be considered the "good guys" then we can't act EXACTLY like the "bad guys".
Firing people and cancelling shows because they disagree with your political point of view (check)...
Cherry picking the good but not talking about the bad or the ugly parts of your views or politicians (check)...
Blowing people up or threatening to kill people because they have a different political viewpoint than you (check)...
Seems to me that there is not a sliver of daylight between these right-wing foaming-at-the-mouth ideologues and the Castro brothers' regime they so want to liberate us from. They aren't liberating us...They are taking us out of ONE viewpoint and subscribing us to a completely opposite and just as intransigent viewpoint with no room for dissent.
The problem is that no matter how much you try to explain to these people using, uh, I don't know, REASON, that they should not behave this way, they will never change. They will never change because they believe that they are right and that their means justify their ends. I can say this because my parents have always been Republicans. No, they are not millionaires, no they are not white of Scandinavian descent nor were they slave owners during the Civil War. They are poor ignorant people who believe everything the Republicans tell them because one time in 1980 Ronald Reagan said "Castro is bad" and Jimmy Carter didn't.
I've tried to explain to them that it was Jimmy Carter who authorized Mariel and that if Reagan had been in power when it happened we would not be living in this country, but to no avail.
One day I finally pinned down my stepfather and asked him why he was so opposed to the Democrats and Barack Obama. He answered in a huff that it was because "Obama had not done anything to free Cuba". Imagine that!
So I gave up. I realized that you can't educate a populace that wants to remain ignorant. You just have to wait them out. They will all die out eventually and be replaced by some measure of civility.
It is inevitable. Historically things always progress. These people want to stop evolution or go backwards. That is as futile as trying to stop all the waves on the beach.
I, for one, hope that this phase will pass quickly and the country soon forgets the caricature of all Cubans that was imbedded into the national conscience by the few, the proud, the ignorant Cubans that will forever believe that "Esto no pasaba en Cuba" (This never use to happen in Cuba).
@TomasH1 Great Post!
@TomasH1 Great Post! * Thank you!!!!!!!!!
@TomasH1 Eloquent defense of Reason. Your blood must boil when talking to these bozos. As you say, at least you'll outlive them.
They keep the Cold War going because if Cuba were free they'd be just another immigrant group with no political power. A loud immigrant group that everybody else got tired of 30 years ago. If politicians weren't afraid of them, and realized that their views are not the majority view anymore, we might make some progress in dealing with Cuba.
And if the politicians realized that there are a lot of people of Cuban ancestry as reasonable as you, even the U.S. could progress.
Cubans (me included) should not defame other Latin Americans as Tira Flechas, Indios etc.
Why? Our influence in this country, ex CEO's of major corps, two USA senators, countless successful businesses, musicians, Doctors of Medicine, etc speak for itself. I, for one, am not worried about what someone says about us.
YOU KNOW, FOLKS-I SAY THESE THINGS TEASINGLY--BUT I DO SIT ON THE PISTOL-AND KEEP MY GOLD LOCKED UP IN A SAFE--IT MAKES "GOOD FRIENDS"--EVEN BETTER! whahahahahahaha!
FACE DOWN IN THE FLAN WITH THEIR DYING BREATHS---SPILLING THE JEWELS OF CUBAN COFFEE OFF THE TABLES AS THEY DROP....
I rarely agree with the commentary on these shows, but these programs are uniquely Miami and our city would be worse off if we lose it. We have already lost so many things that made Miami special among American cities.
i can only be happy this is happening. they're the assholes who hold this city back and make us the laughingstock of the nation. this colombian definitely won't miss them!!!!
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@jdrumi @miami1 You SOB, more offensive is having these trolls criticizing Cubans in general, I truly doubt you're a Cuban, don't you read all the comments that are being made to Cuban Americans, be it the Politicians or Cubans in general, you're just another indio with the old inferiority complex who lives and breeds Topix while bashing and criticizing Cubans, but I enjoy humiliating these MF's, and a far as you residing in Dade for the past 47 years, good for you, knock yourself out, I've been living in the states since 1960 and have lived up north where it was a totally different world just like Miami back in the 60's and 70's, if you know what I mean.
@manrodriguez1964 @miami1 Manrodriguez, shut the fuck up and stop putting cubans so high up on a pedestal... "Indio tiro flecha"? Y tu que eres estupido? Una niña que no pudo con Castro, y se fue del miedo para Miami a hablar mierda de otras razas? STFU que mal hay en ser de decendientes indios??? Ojala podria verte en la calle para dar te una cachetada puta...
whatever dude, you are old, what legacy do you have? when you leave this world nobody will remember or miss you. I pity, PITY YOU. You do an amazing disservice to all Cubans. TO ALL OF THEM. You are gonna give yourself cancer with that hatred growing inside of you. This will be my last post yo you, because obviously, you like the cancer i mentioned, cannot be stopped or reason with. Have a good life. tomorrow when you get ready to run "your business" whether fictional or real, profitable or not, look at yourself in the mirror. Then see your wrinkles and your gray hairs and your receding hairline. And listen to the sound of your life ticking away. Cause you are getting older everyday and you never gonna be 24 again like I am right now, enjoying every minute of life. 8) good night
@floggingfernie @mickeytardust @ChetterWho am I voting for? What do you care, you think one or the other is going to make a big difference in your life, keep dreaming if you think like the normal Goe, I've been in business for 28 years and not once have I seen or felt any difference of who has been on the seat.as President, the only huge problem i do see is the over population of immigrants coming into the country, not only in the U.S. but world wide. Our water reserves are depleting in an enormous rate and the world population is just too out of control which today we are already experiencing human clashing of one group with another and so on.
@floggingfernie @mickeytardust @Chetter Indio you couldn't afford me even if you asked your daddy to buy me out, does your mommy know you're in the internet day in and day out criticizing an elite group of people that, not only have been the most successful of all Hispanics in the U.S, be it economically and professionally, I must think that some Cuban kicked the living crap out of you and now you're all wind up about it, or is it total envy not only because we're successful and white, but then it's probably both right indito. Someone has to be burning in hatred and envy towards a group of people in order to spend day in and day out bashing the crap out of a group who in fact are and have been more successful then yours.
@Chetter You couldn't f@#@ a hole in the wall, let me know indio tira flechaaaaaaaaaaa,
@Chetter Indio It's not a matter of wanting to be anglo, I'm a Caucasian which you're definitely not.
@floggingfernie @mickeytardust @Chetter You're 24 years of age, a typical mojon who thinks they have the world grabbed by it's ball, the typical know it all jack asses that can't be told otherwise cause you punks think you know it all. Humiliate? Ha ha ha ha, humiliate me, ha!!!!!! You smell like the mojon from Topix, what's one of your forum names Cherokee. Indio maricoooooooon, hehe hehehe.
@Chetter Let me know punk and i''l be there waiting.
dude i could give three shits who or what you think i am. I dont go by labels or care three shits what other people say. I just like to humiliate people like the 50 year old guy that has nothing better to do with his time. Keep looking back pops, cause your best days are behind you. Just for giggles? I'm gonna say I'm an Indio from Venezuela and wait for your hilariously racist response
PS: Your welcome for paying your social security
@Chetter Indio why don't you say it in my face, but then you're to of a fag to confront me. Don't forget the dog shit.
floggingfernie is clearly un indio and so is Chetter. Irish blood hahhaha
We, the white men, tried to make your people civilized, but there's just no way with these natives... "The white man's burden" is truly a great one. And yes, I did just reference Kipling, ya biaatch!
@manrodriguez1964 The only truth you know is Fidel's dick in your mouth... Pussy Bitch
@Chetter i'll keep taliking the truth, Indito don't forget about the job offer, I'll buy you lunch and dinner.
@manrodriguez1964 Keep talking shit, little dick having pussy bitch... Were you molested as a child? Get help...
@Chetter Indio acuerdate que mi gente lo sacaron de tus tierras, te dimo ropa, educacion el idioma Castellano, y muchas otras cosas mas. Acuerdate que me hace falta para que recojas la mierda de perro.
@manrodriguez1964 Pobrecita, como se siente tener la pinga en reversa y tu boca en los huevos de tu meastro Fidel? Keep talking shit, you can't handle the truth. You can't handle the fact that your skirt has already been pulled up and everybody who reads this article will come off thinking "manrodriguez1964 es tremenda putita, imaginese la pobre mujer que lo partio por el culo..." You are such a piece off shit ... Pray to god you don't get stepped on...
manrodriguez1964 es un cubano resentido sin huevos que sueña con la pinga de Fidel... Pobrecita
@manrodriguez1964 @miami1 I am actually a white male with family that resides in Colombia of Irish Blood.. As an American I am appalled by your racist elitist remarks and wish you would refrain from them if you don't want any trouble. I would love to see you in person and give you a piece of my mind, but scum like you don't deserve that type of attention.. You're better off in your small group of circle jerk closet case neo-cons, lathered in the excretions of your self hate... You are the worst of any human being because your method of measuring people is so primitive, it belongs in the same place you fantasize of being: In a disease infested colonial village in the 1400's in Spain getting raped by the King you worship so much...
@manrodriguez1964 @Chetter @miami1 por que no dejais de hablar mierda y haz algo por la libertad de tu Pais. Que mucha mierda hablas tio. Eres en indio igual que todos y no hay ningun problema con ser indio tienes problema de estima personal. You have major self-esteem issues buddy. Y eres un poco patetico "por lo menos tu pais es libre" Bueno haz algo so tonto. Lo que te dije de cuba no te lo dije de desrepeto. Ustedes son Victimas perpetuas. Refugiados para siempre deberias tener un poco de humilidad. If i said you guys been fucked in the ass for 200 years (the spanish empire, then the mobsters, then batista, then the castros), i meant to say you guys are victims. But you guys are victims by choice. And i can understand the position of "Look i rather be fucked in the ass than shot in the head", but the fact remains people like you dont do anything for Cuba's "libertad". Look this country has tons of refugees. They all get to the country and try to live and forget. People like you dont, they hang on to this hate, but dont do anything about it. I mean if you really wanted "libertad" it doesnt take much effort to smuggle crates of Ak-47 and take havana within a week. But nothing gets done. Maybe it should sink into your thick head that nobody really cares about that island. Just like nobody cares about Haiti. It has never crossed your mind that they use your feelings for political and economical purposes?
@manrodriguez1964 @miami1 You see, you give cubans a bad name. Dejame explicarte Halgo bobo. Los Cubanos Natales eran igual de indios que los de sur america. La unica differencia buddy is that the ones in south america at least put up a fight. Which ironically enough sounds familiar. Cuba is the only country that failed at a revolutionary attempt and blamed another country for it. Let it go. The Kennedys screwed you over.... by the 1960s the united states had screwed a lot of people over... you should have seen that coming. With that said. Let the free market decide the fate of the radio stations
@jdrumi @portablefernie @miami1 I am totally aware and 110% sure what I'm talking about indito, and as far as being ignorant,paranoid,racist and a moron, that is what you and your kind have and are showing in these forums when it come to criticizing Cubans, Cubans who have been the most successful of all Hispanics living in the U.S., we're only a measly 4% of the Hispanic population and carry 50% of the wealth between Hispanics.
Eres un idiota racista de alto nivel. Por esta razon la majoria de los hispano parlientes a traves del mundo hablan mal de los miameros cubanos, falsos latinos con deseos de ser Europeos o Blancitos Americanos. Eres un Caribeno importado de otro pais y no lo que crees que eres. Sigue besando el culo de no se quien te han quitado la razon. Racista y Traidor.
@portablefernie @miami1 Indio negrito dejame explicarte tu y tu indigenas no le pueden amararle a los cubanos los zapatos, ustedes son un fracaso y envidioso enconrtra los Cubanos. Olvidate de lo de kennnedy o lo que paso hace tantos anos, la verdad es que los Cubanos son los mas productivos economicamente entre todos los Hispanos en los Estados Unidos y te digo Hispano por respeto por que ni eres Hispano ni Latino, estudia los origines de lo que son eso terminos reales, tu lo mas que eres es o indigena nativo o decendiente Africano o indio, acuerdate cara de mono que Rodriguez es poco en la radio Cubana, look up Pablo Raul Alarcon and his son Spanish Broadcasting system, do you think the Cuban interest is done with, ha ha haha ha ha ah ah ha ha.
@manrodriguez1964 @MiamiNative @miami1 I'm a gringo, speak 4 languages fluently, including Spanish. I don't hate Cubans at all, in fact I'm married to one, and she is embarrassed more often then not by her own people's behavior. And last, since you are not used to dealing with facts, here's one: Cuban isn't a race. Hispanic is, but Cubans think they are the center of the universe anyway, so why wouldn't you think that?
Thanks for trying though.
@miami1 Well, this Colombian has benefited alot from their business... I have had less than fortunate experiences with my own kind... nonetheless this isn't a racial matter, it's a matter of appreciation, and I appreciate our diverse community. Miami wouldn't be the same without our Cuban brethren ;)
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