When the Subject Is Castro, Bid Farewell to Rationality
As usual it is New Times that provides us with two excellent pieces about how the Cuban issue is treated: Jacob Bernstein's article describing how Bernardo Benes's life was destroyed by so-called Cuban patriots ("Twice Exiled," November 12) and Jim DeFede's column on the sad history of TV Marti and wasted taxpayer money ("A Legacy of Reason," November 12).
If we Cubans had more common sense, we would pray for more Bernardo Beneses and fewer Radio and TV Martis. But then again, common sense is lacking when it comes to the Cuban issue. There is just passion, no reasoning.
Adolf Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, Fidel Castro -- What's the Dif?
Regarding Jacob Bernstein's article "Twice Exiled" and Jim DeFede's column "A Legacy of Reason," Bernardo Benes and Colorado Rep. David Skaggs are everything but the heroes or victims New Times makes them out to be.
Representative Skaggs attacks Radio Marti and TV Marti while hiding behind the veil (a thin one at that) of controlling government spending. That is preposterous, especially from a congressman -- Republican or Democrat. Doubters may refer to the national debt as evidence. Perhaps affected by the higher elevations of his home state, Mr. Skaggs suggests that the United States should approach Cuba in a nicer fashion in order not to alienate Fidel Castro any further.
The truth is that much like Mr. Benes and Max Lesnik before him, Mr. Skaggs seeks to make a name for himself at the expense of millions of human beings who suffer daily under Castro's rule. If dialogue and compromise with Castro are the solution to the Cuban people's woes, then perhaps someone should have had a dialogue with Hitler to see if he would have changed his ways, or maybe slow down the rate at which he imprisoned and murdered Jews.
Or perhaps authorities should have had a dialogue and a compromise with Jeffrey Dahmer so that he might have cut down his culinary indulgences in human flesh to, let's say, two victims per year.
The bottom line is that there can be no dialogue and no compromise with those who have no respect for freedom or human life.
Pity the Prisoners but Let Them Rot
Jacob Bernstein's article was nothing more than a way to flatter Bernardo Benes for his unsuccessful effort to bend the strong will of the Cuban community in exile.
As Castro has done with other heads of state (including dictators such as Gen. Omar Torrijos), religious leaders, et cetera, he showed his "generosity" by turning over to Mr. Benes some of the dictator's political prisoners. As you may realize, there is no reason to be grateful to the tyrant or messengers like Benes for such so-called favors, then or now.
As Mr. Bernstein should know, there is a revolving door in Cuba whereby any citizen can be jailed without due process. There is no system of law on that enslaved island.
The greatest failure of Mr. Benes is that he still does not understand that rather than seeking the release of prisoners or developing business between the United States and Cuba, he should engage in the mission of trying to get rid of that tyrannical regime.
By the way, Mr. Bernstein should be aware that Antonio de la Guardia, who appeared in his article, was executed as part of Maj. Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa's kangaroo trial because he forgot that he was a mere servant of an implacable chieftain.
Roger R. Hernandez
Editor's note: Owing to a reporting error in "Twice Exiled," Howard Kleinberg's position at the defunct Miami News was incorrectly stated. Mr. Kleinberg served as editor of the Miami News.
South Florida's Congressional Delegation: What a Riot!
I am appalled and incensed after reading Jim DeFede's "Legacy of Reason"! The very idea that these elected officials (Carrie Meek, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Alcee Hastings, Clay Shaw, Peter Deutsch, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen), elected to take care of the business of the United States, are spending time and taxpayers' money worrying about the politics of an insignificant, worthless, Third World island really raises a lot of questions. Do we not have enough problems to deal with in this country?
If these elected officials are so worried about Cuba, why don't they just pack up their bags and catch the next banana boat sailing for Havana? It is obvious their attention and their priorities are not devoted to the problems of our own country.
One hundred million dollars spent on a program, the end result of which is a television picture of wavy lines? And these elected morons can honestly defend this? Chalk up another one for South Florida politics! The Ringling Brothers could only have wished they had clowns like these.
What's Worse than Sex in the Oval Office?
Of course we know that TV Marti is a waste of money, money that could be put to use in social and educational programs here, or money that we could send to those in need in Honduras and Nicaragua.
But guess who is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee: Bob Livingston, soon to be Speaker of the House. No wonder. If he's not replaced by an honest man, then this scandal will go on.
Are taxpayers informed that their money goes to a system with no real function? For me, this is worse than sex in the Oval Office. It's theft of American dollars, and it's politically motivated.
It May Be a Corrupt Cuban Government, But It's Our Corrupt Cuban Government
Jim DeFede's story on the viability of that money pit called TV Marti, as well as Kathy Glasgow's two stories on another money pit called Radio Marti ("Miami Voice," October 22 and "Miami Voice, Part 2," November 5) failed to point out the real problem with these projects.
They were meant to aid in bringing down a corrupt Cuban government. The problem arose when someone forgot to tell the stations' managers which corrupt Cuban government. It's the one in Miami, stupid.
Newsman Has Nose for Scandal
New Times continues to be the only publication spotlighting the scandalous situation at Radio Marti. And we taxpayers support this!
Jay Mallin, Sr.
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Editor's note: Jay Mallin served as Radio Marti's news director during the station's first six years of operation.
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Free Weekly Remains Vigilant, City Sleeps Soundly
Regarding Ted B. Kissell's "Taking Flight" (November 12), jeez, did we really miss the buzzards coming back? Heads will roll!
That's what happens when reporters spend too much time on Bert Hernandez, voter fraud, misadministration at the airport, and trying to figure out how unsupervised electrical work at a county bus shelter killed a little boy (to say nothing of Hurricane Mitch).
But the city can rest easy. New Times is always there as the watchdog. Or is it bird dog?
Mark Seibel, assistant managing editor/Metro