CERNUDA: A VOICE IN THE DARK
I felt a great sense of belonging reading Mike Clary's interview with Ramon Cernuda ("The Art of Exile," July 29). I am an American-born Cuban (my parents are from Cuba) and espouse the same views as Mr. Cernuda. Although I am not actively involved in the Cuban cause, I voice my opinions often and am also labeled a communist.
The schism in our exile community is growing stronger as more people openly express their views regarding dialogue and the necessary changes that must occur in Cuba -- through the voices from within the country. It's ironic that 90 percent of the Cubans in Miami are here because of the freedoms this country offers. They speak against the local, state, and federal governments and go to sleep at night in their comfortable beds without fears of interrogation. They label anyone who is ideologically left of Ronald Reagan a communist and spread the word in the community because it is their right. They mingle around the cafe stands and predict Fidel's fall from power and Mas Canosa's rise to the Casa Blanca and know they are not being watched.
However, let one fellow Cuban stray from the Cuban American National Foundation's philosophy and those rights don't exist. Freedom of speech is supplanted with name-bashing, and an immediate campaign to destroy that person's character emerges. Rights are revoked as people are dangerously placed on a political hit list. By stating we believe that the Torricelli bill will only make conditions harsher for our people and not affect the political elite, we are seen as traitors. Miami exiles will not tolerate that. I, too, have been warned.
Mr. Cernuda has many Cuban-Americans on his side. I applaud him for his stand on the Cuban museum and will support its right to remain open. I appreciate his efforts to work with the dissidents in Cuba. He is a beacon to those in Cuba who need to hear from an outside friend, not from a big brother who has lived away from home for three decades and pretends to know what is best for the one who stayed behind. Many thanks to him for his brave disregard of bodily harm and strong convictions toward a unified and democratic Cuba (not an extension of the U.S., as in the past).
Once the freedom-starving people in Cuba learn that there are many who think like Mr. Cernuda in Miami, they'll realize that not all of us have ulterior motives in wanting Fidel to step down. We hope the regime will allow the intellectual voices of freedom in Cuba to take over, and by doing that, afford me the opportunity to discover the "lost pearl" my parents so fervently talked to me about.
Miriam Frances Abety
CERNUDA: BRAT TO THE FUTURE
While young, studying at Candler College in Havana, I shared a classroom with Ramon Cernuda. A spoiled brat he was.
Fortunately age and this lesson of living in exile has turned him into a well-adjusted human being with a more honest, clear, human vision and attitude toward Cuba. We need more Cernudas and fewer Mas Canosas.
MARCHING ORDERS FROMTHE BIG A
Regarding Greg Baker's report on the WDNA syndrome ("The Silence of the Amps," July 8) and Kathy Bledsoe's letter last week, I would like to commend New Times for printing it.
Let me put this in a way everyone will understand: Your only true-cool, public access, community radio station has been stolen from right under people's noses! I once said over the air that this is a city of followers, not leaders. And now look what we have. Nothing.
Where are all the people who supported us while we were growing, up until our zenith in April 1990? If people don't get off their asses, it's lost forever. Understand? Forever. Is that what people want? They should call or write Greg Baker and he will put them in touch with us. By the way, we have created the world's first digital satellite alternative radio network. Catch it if you can.
The intensity never stops.
Steve "Big A" Alvin
STILL HARD TO BELIEVE
We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Jim DeFede and New Times for printing Andrew's story ("Justice Undone, Parts 1 -- 4."). It helped put things in perspective for us. We felt as if we were going crazy and just couldn't accept our son's death. There was something wrong, and Jim DeFede didn't let it get swept under the rug.
It is hard to believe that Andrew is gone. He was (and continues to be) a bright star in our lives. It's hard to believe he was killed by a police officer. It's hard to believe he was trying to run them over. It's hard to believe all three boys had the same story after being immediately separated two blocks from the shooting. It's hard to believe Officer Laura Russell waited five weeks to give her side of the story. It's hard to believe she didn't notify all that a shot had been fired into the windshield of a car. It's hard to believe paramedics were canceled because of this. It's hard to believe she invoked the Fifth Amendment before the boys' trial. (What does she have to hide?) It's hard to believe two boys are going to jail because somebody else pulled a trigger that night.
In the early-morning hours of February 1, 1992, a lot of people did something wrong and made a mistake. Only the boys in the van have been punished for them.
I know there are a lot of people who have written to New Times and us personally (anonymously, of course) who believe the boys deserved what they got. They are all entitled to their opinions. Obviously they do not have teen-age children, and we do not expect them to understand.
What we did expect was a fair justice system, a fair prosecutor and judge. What we would have preferred is if Officer Russell did not shoot at a van that was backing away, aim at our son, and kill him. I'm sure Jim DeFede has given a few people some sleepless nights.
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We hope that Janet Reno will take a closer look and see the injustice and find the truth and look at the Russells as objectively as any other citizens. We are trying to supply the facts Ms. Reno has asked us to present.
Thanks to our wonderful family and friends and reporters like Jim DeFede, the support and love and strength has given us a reason to go on. And for Andrew, as well as ourselves, we will continue to fight to see the truth brought out, to clear his name, and hope something like this never happens to anyone else's son.
Andrea and Joseph Morello