Otherwise Kathy Thanks You
I very much enjoyed Kathy Glasgow's entertaining and informative story about the coterie of Cuban boxers who now call Miami their home ("Freedom Fighters," September 19). It was another example of what makes this such an interesting city and what makes New Times such a valuable part of life here.

But one thing about the story bothered me. Nowhere did it explain how it is that these boxers almost never seem to have any trouble with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. They don't get packed off to Krome, they don't get sent back to a third country, they aren't shipped down to Guantanamo Naval Base, and they certainly are not dragged back to Cuba. They are like international celebrities. Of course they are welcomed here.

But what about those poor souls who risk life and limb by taking to the sea on flimsy rafts? They aren't privileged like the boxers, who get to travel outside Cuba and can easily "defect" to an embassy. Why aren't the rafters also considered "defectors"?

This imbalance is patently unfair and it annoys me greatly. Not that I have a problem with the boxers. I don't. It's just that the United States should treat all Cubans equally when it comes to their desire to seek true freedom in our country.

Otherwise it was a great article.
Thomas Elrod
Coconut Grove

Rose's Big Stink
Elise Ackerman's article about Cuban cigars ("Big Stink," September 19) was interesting. A friend of mine just returned from Cuba and his only box of cigars was seized by U.S. Customs. A French tourist brought in six and they were not seized, so it's irregular how this is done. The true "big stink" is the embargo and the Helms-Burton Law.

Rose Hadbafnick

Why Gabe, You Dancing Fool You!
In reference to the excellent article "Never a Last Tango" by Judy Cantor (September 12): I have never patronized Gaucho's Cafe, but perhaps I will at some future time. I was surprised to read that Rudolph Valentino used to perform at Bustanoby's Domino Room in Manhattan. That was before my time, of course. However, in reference to the tango and Argentina's claim to it, I have my doubts.

Years ago there was a film called Flying Down to Rio, in which I believe Dolores Del Rio starred. The dance in that film was the carioca, which was very tangoish. But as Ms. Cantor states, traditionalists keep the faith at Gaucho's Cafe. Yes, I'll have to get to Gaucho's soon.

Gabriel M. Powell
Miami Beach

A Pink Slip for Yellow Agents
I am writing in response to Elise Ackerman's fine article "Agents of Deception" (September 12). Congress has a lot to learn. Because the task force sent to Miami (and other Immigration and Naturalization Service centers) was the "brainchild" of House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the dirt reported by Ackerman hurts his reputation.

Although he is considered a good, loyal American, his valiant efforts to reform INS have tainted him with that organization's bad blood. As Ackerman noted, INS officials lower down the chain of command tried to doctor the worsening conditions at Miami International Airport and at the Krome Detention Center by presenting to the visiting congressional delegation a rosy picture that all is well here with the INS.

The Justice Department's inspector general, in his later investigation, discovered that the deception practiced by the lower echelon of INS officials didn't have to happen. But those officials were sweating bullets, afraid of losing their jobs or being demoted or transferred if they were honest and straightforward.

The INS officials directly involved in the scam should all be fired, since apparently they don't have morals or scruples.

Robert Stewart Denchfield
Miami Beach

That's Our Floyd -- Straight Up, No Chaser
I received the issue and loved the mention in "Reverb" by John Floyd (July 4). Street Street really appreciates the support New Times has given us even though we're an independent record label. Also I read the synopsis of Lollapalooza (July 25) and was glad to see that you are aware of what's going on around us. It appears that John Floyd truly has the eyes of a journalist, and straight-up. Until we talk again, keep the peace and keep the "Reverb" happening.

Robert Roundtree, marketing director
Street Street Music
Boca Raton

Owing to a typographical error, last week's letter from Linda Harrington, daughter of aviation pioneer Jean Rich, contained an incorrect fax number. Harrington had solicited employees of Rich International Airways to contact her. They may do so at this (correct) fax number: 305-664-8947.


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