And she wants Tancredo's ear: Regarding "Immigrant Song" (January 18) by José Davila: I am Pitbull's mother. I live in Kendall, and I just want you to know I've been in the United States since 1962, and his father came here in 1961. My son was conceived here. None of us arrived during the boatlift. His father and I organized three boats to go to Cuba and pick up people. We brought 547 refugees here. I was pregnant at the time, but I was already living in the United States. I graduated from Miami Senior High and Miami-Dade Community College.
With regard to comments about the controversy generated by U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo: I have yet to see anyone respond in a clear-headed, positive manner. What I have seen in everyone's response is an attitude of defiance and hate. This, I am afraid, only feeds the problem and does nothing to promote Miami or its citizens as either open-minded or kind-hearted. What we should do is create an American Heritage Week in Miami and invite other states to bring their culture and goods to our city. I think by doing this, Miamians could become acculturated to the true American culture; likewise other states could enjoy our amenities.
Telling Mr. Tancredo to shove something up his behind won't solve anything. We need to get the chip off of our shoulders and start thinking outside the box if the rest of the nation is going to take us seriously.
Alysha Angela Acosta
Carlos, you tell 'em: In reference to Francisco Alvarado's "A Question of Mayoral Might" (January 18): In reality the trend exhibited in the executive-mayor vote is based on the yet-to-be-seen capacity of Mayor Carlos Alvarez to govern under the new rules. Some people continue to go to the extreme of questioning his personal and professional integrity, though no one can come up with any information to support this character assassination. It is irresponsible and agenda-driven.
I am tired, like many in our county, of having a group of professional politicians/commissioners enriching themselves, their loyal friends, and developers. There has been scandal after scandal, with no one being held responsible.
I know of no intelligent person who would be willing to work and die for a $6000 annual salary! No one. Then why do politicians spend millions of dollars on campaigns to win/retain their seats on the county commission?
Has any commissioner accepted responsibility for Miami International Airport's one-billion-dollar North Terminal cost overrun or the unexpected cash needed for construction of the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts?
It is incredible that every time the news media ask to meet with any of these public servants, they don't show their faces or return telephone calls.
Everything in life has its limits. I have reached mine.
Vincente T. Rodriguez
Mr. Suarez da big shot!: About a week or two ago, Carlos Suarez De Jesus, the art critic for Miami New Times, called to interview me for his article "Café con Retché" (January 18). He was doing a piece about the arts scene in Little Havana, where I just opened my gallery, Zu Galeria Fine Arts. I drove him to the gallery, and he came in with a hint of arrogance. I realized then and there that I needed to brace myself for the worst. However, I never expected so much vulgarity, viciousness, and downright rudeness.
The part of his review that most infuriated me is where he called my art racist. He referred to a series of little black girls by Cuban artist Manolo Rodriguez. These are based solely on the artist's daughter, whom he has not seen in eight years. Mr. Suarez plants hate where there is none. If the sweet faces of these little girls are racist to him, then he has a major problem. The wording he used to critique these paintings, "leering pickaninny," obviously shows his own racism and lack of humanity.
And as for the statement "unless he polishes his act and rethinks some of the racist imagery on display, he might find those fossils next door to be the only protection he has": Protection from what? From whom?
As for the "fossils" next door, they are decent men and very helpful neighbors who have been fighting for what they believe in for quite a long time. For that I applaud them. What have you fought for, Mr. Suarez? What is it you believe in that lets you rip people apart in your so-called art critiques?
For those who want to see for yourselves the wonderful paintings of Manolo Rodriguez and all of the other artists, please stop by.
Zu Galeria Fine Arts
And, oh yeah, dignidad: Regarding "Waiting for Him to Go" (January 4) by Our Woman in Havana: Whatever your name is, I want to thank you for going to Cuba, my homeland, and conveying the testimonies of my people struggling to bring about a free Cuba a Cuba where Cubans are really owners of their own destiny and not puppets of Castro's regimen. I am a young Cuban medical doctor, from Santiago de Cuba, who left the island six years ago. But Cuba is more than present in my heart and soul. Men like Carlos Otero, Dr. Darsy Ferrer, Dr. Oscar Elias Biset, et cetera, are the reason why Cuba still has hope. They represent our dignity and desire to be a full, free, and independent republic. Free from outside and inside special interests. Viva Cuba libre! Patria y libertad!
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The Metro article "Munny Shot" (January 25) incorrectly stated the date of the "For Love of Munny" show at Bear and Bird Gallery inside Tate's, 4566 N. University Dr., Lauderhill. Opening night is February 3 at 7:00. The show will close March 10.