Habla Carollo

Miami Mayor Joe Carollo has made some outrageous statements recently during dozens of appearances on national television. He's been even more outlandish in Spanish, regularly taking the microphone at Radio Mambí (WAQI-AM 710) to tout his Cubanidad and excoriate enemies including ousted City Manager Donald Warshaw. His comments demonstrate, among other things, that he distrusts the city's police department and the federal government. What follows are translations of several of his appearances.

On May 2 around 9:00 a.m. the mayor appeared on Radio Mambí's En Caliente to speak with host Armando Perez-Roura. "[Warshaw] ... is desperate; he is crazy to see how he can discredit me, how he can destroy me, how he can finish me. If he could he would send a SWAT team to take me away, just like they took Elian. But not in that form. [He would take me] with a bullet in my head. It is an embarrassment that a mayor of a city has to say this, but that is precisely the way I feel."

Carollo then talked for several minutes without interruption. He changed the subject to the morning when the feds seized Elian. There was a hooded driver in the van that took away the boy, he explained. Miami Police Chief William O'Brien may not have reported it, but the man worked for the department's SWAT team. "I am going to tell you guys that I have received numerous telephone calls from police officers [and] their families who are telling me that the man with the hood that was driving the van ... who was next to Assistant Chief of Police [John] Brooks, was also a police officer from Miami. And they have given me his name ... which ... I can't say. If you look at the photo they took of that individual up-close, you will see he is wearing two T-shirts.... How interesting that he had two T-shirts. Could it be because one of the T-shirts was from the SWAT team of the City of Miami? Why was this the only individual who wore a mask?"

Then the police conspiracy deepened. Carollo disclosed that Miami cops stood guard at Watson Island as federal agents loaded Elian into a helicopter, which rushed him off to Homestead Air Reserve Base. "Who was it that gave the orders for numerous City of Miami patrol cars to [gather at] Watson Island when two fishermen saw ... [INS agents] taking the boy to a helicopter. [The fishermen] heard the boy crying ... that he wanted to stay here. They heard him yelling that he wanted to stay.... Look, Armando, what happened here was a demonic affront."

Then the mayor concluded that Warshaw helped the feds in return for favorable treatment. The government presently is probing the former manager's use of two city-issued credit cards. "Look, [Warshaw and O'Brien] have lied to us.... Whoever thinks that Mr. Warshaw and the chief of police, who is wrapped around his finger, didn't know anything would believe Santi Claus is really alive.... Because there is not one police officer in that department who does not know that since the first day [of O'Brien's tenure] Warshaw has given the orders. And I am going to give you my personal opinion. All of this occurred because Mr. Warshaw and O'Brien knew [about the raid]. And it was [Warshaw] who gave the green light so [the feds could enter the Gonzalez home], so they would owe him favors [and might help] with the legal problems that he is facing from the attorney general's investigation. So that the Department of Justice will owe him favors."

Just 36 hours later, Carollo joined host Marta Flores on Mambí's La Noche y Usted. The mayor described the restraining order issued that evening by Judge Philip Bloom that allowed Warshaw to remain in office. He explained how politics and friendship helped Warshaw convince Bloom: "Judge Philip Bloom and his wife [Democratic congressional candidate and state Rep.] Elaine Bloom are intimate friends of Mr. Warshaw. Mrs. Bloom is a great [supporter] of President Clinton. She's been there at all his fundraisers, every time he's here.... You know why, because she wants to run for Congress from North Dade.... The White House and President Clinton, who gave the order to [seize] Elian, have taken a special interest in winning the seat of Congressman Clay Shaw [which Bloom is running for], so that the Democrats will have a majority. See how far this thing has gone? Without a doubt this was a part of the process. [Elaine Bloom] planned to [win] this seat in Congress.... But listen, what happened tonight never has happened in the United States. It's a total disgrace. It's shocking. But rather than call it shocking, people are trying to hide it. They're accusing me of crimes."

Next Carollo challenges Bloom to release the sealed evidence on which he based the order: "I am demanding of Judge Bloom, so that all the people of Miami, the whole country, the whole world knows what are the accusations against me so that I can disprove them. I'm not afraid. Put them all out there. What brazenness! This is a democracy!"


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