Regarding Jacob Bernstein's article "Remains of the Day" (September 18), I agree with Dade County Commissioner Natacha Millan that democracy and freedom prosper in South Florida. But they do so because of the very people she attacks.
While the Cuban American Defense League advocates for a dialogue with the Cuban government, Millan's clan still promotes and provokes hate, intolerance, ignorance. Xiomara Almaguer and Eddie Levy don't need a letter of recognition from these people. They just need to keep working for a better future for Cuba and the United States. That will be their reward. Years from now people will be grateful to them, and when Millan's name comes up, people will say: Who was that cow?
Natacha Millan's August 28 letter to Xiomara Almaguer reeks not only of her customary venom, but of bigotry and anti-Semitism. How dare she term the Castro regime the "worst dictatorship in history." As bad as Castro is, he isn't even been a blip on the radar screen as far as mass murder is concerned. His executioners have murdered, at best, several thousand people. Hitler murdered six million Jews, as well as many others. Cubans who are willing to submit quietly to the regime at least are allowed to live. Millions who were willing to submit to the Nazis to save their lives were nevertheless brutally slaughtered.
This century has teemed with dictatorships that make Castro's killings pale by comparison. Russia's Stalin and China's Mao Zedong are each estimated to have murdered tens of millions. Cambodia's Pol Pot weighs in with perhaps one million. Uganda's Idi Amin -- still living under Saudi protection -- is said to have eaten parts of his victims. Chile's Augusto Pinochet still mockingly and arrogantly refuses to reveal where his thousands of torture and murder victims are buried. Argentine military beasts killed at least 30,000 people, raped children in front of their parents, tortured and killed pregnant women, and threw prisoners out of airplanes. No one will ever know how many were killed in Haiti by Papa Doc Duvalier and his successors.
At the very least, Millan owes an apology to Dade County's Jewish community, and especially to the thousands of Holocaust survivors who live here -- both for her denigration of the Holocaust and for her refusal to recognize the legitimacy of attempts by people like Eddie Levy to provide for Cuba's suffering Jewish community.
Richard H. Rosichan
An Unofficial Welcome for an Unofficial Ambassador
I am writing to inform you of a very grave concern of mine regarding an article written by Robert Andrew Powell in which I was knowingly misquoted ("Diplomatic Impunity," July 24).
Mr. Powell telephoned me at my office to ask for a quote from me about Tony Boada on behalf of Royal Caribbean International, my employer. I explained to Mr. Powell that any comment on behalf of the company needed to come from the vice president of corporate communications, Ms. Lynn Martenstein.
I was then faxed a copy of a press release by Mr. Powell in which my name was used and comments were attributed to me as a representative of Royal Caribbean. I responded to Mr. Powell a short time later that the comments in the press release were not attributable to me and that in speaking with Mr. Tony Boada (the subject of the press release), he also confirmed in writing that the comments were untrue.
Despite this conversation with Mr. Powell, I was surprised to find quotes from that press release in his article. I believe it was extremely irresponsible for him to include information he knowingly had not been able to verify. I understand and strongly support the First Amendment rights of the media, but I believe that along with those rights comes a responsibility to check facts and deliver accurate information.
While I know it is unlikely at this time that this warrants a public retraction, I would appreciate a letter acknowledging your writer's inaccurate reporting. Thank you for your concern.
Editor's note: It is edifying to see others distancing themselves from Tony Boada -- and even more so to see Liberia's erstwhile Ambassador-at-Large and Minister Plenipotentiary with special responsibilities for Maritime Offshore Trade and Finance apparently distancing himself from some of his own assertions.
Ms. Hogan did indeed tell Robert Andrew Powell that the quotations attributed to her in Boada's press release were contrived. She also told Powell that she attended Boada's self-adulatory fete "only as a personal friend." Yet at the party, as Powell noted in his story, Hogan welcomed Boada to Miami "on behalf of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines" and went on to say, "I hope we can continue our close relationship. You have our very best wishes."
Perhaps Ms. Hogan misspoke.