What the World Needs Now Is More Gonzalitos
Bravo New Times and Judy Cantor! Now I have something to read without worrying about its content being pro-Castro or anti-Castro. And bravo to Gonzalo Rubalcaba ("The Quiet Cuban," October 9) for his courage, for his lesson in democracy and cubanismo.

This is "our" world, not "their" world. We are the citizens, the ones who give the word mankind meaning. The time for bullets and insults is gone from the blue planet, and if we don't stop fighting each other and take care of it, we are going to lose it.

People like Gonzalo Rubalcaba are what we need, people who give -- no more takers. For me, as for him, there are not two Cubas, just one for all of us. Cuba is in our hearts, between ocean and gulf, swimming gracefully for those like Gonzalito who sincerely smile.

A. Betancourt

ABT: On the Case, Not the Lap
Kirk Semple's article "Barroom Brawl" (October 2) contained a serious inaccuracy I am writing to correct. Mr. Semple quoted me as asserting (his word) that in the past the Florida alcoholic beverage industry had the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco "in its lap." Not only did I not say that, it is also not the case, and it impugns the integrity of former AB&T directors.

The closest I got to anybody's lap was correctly stating that Florida law requires our Division of AB&T to vigorously enforce the law that governs all licensed premises in the state. Indeed, it serves nobody's interest -- not the industry's, not the citizens', and certainly not our own -- for the division to be viewed as a "lap dog" or anything other than aggressive in its enforcement effort.

This enforcement effort includes taking strong action against those who sell to underage persons and who are involved in or allow criminal activity to occur on their premises. As director Richard A. Boyd correctly stated, the vast majority of our 39,000 beverage licensees take their responsibility very seriously. Fortunately it is only a very small percentage who don't obey the law and find themselves in court.

I scratched my head in wonder when I read the comments of Skip Odeck and Steve Caputi, who wondered aloud why our agents did not politely come to them and ask them pretty-please to stop the illegal drug commerce occurring on their premises. I am certain that both gentlemen know full well that Florida law is very clear on drug dealing (don't do it) and that it allows no such advance warning, either from us or local police.

Edward J. Towey
public information administrator
Florida Department of Business
and Professional Regulation

Editor's note: Edward Towey did not utter to Kirk Semple the phrase "in its lap." Those words were recorded in notes taken by reporter Nick Madigan, who interviewed Mr. Towey on assignment from this newspaper.

Hear the One About the Moronic Fascists?
Jim DeFede's article about Javier Souto ("The Rational, Eloquent, and Persuasive Mr. Souto," October 2) merely confirms what I already knew: South Florida politics is run by rabid fascists who wipe their asses with the U.S. Constitution.

Who the hell votes for these morons anyway? Are these Hitler-Mussolini-Franco wannabes indicative of South Florida? What a sad joke on the rest of the United States.

David Magnusson

Natacha Millan, Homeless Commissioner
In Jim DeFede's piece about Javier Souto, Commissioner Natacha Millan is quoted as saying that the sentiments of Midem supporters are "offensive for all of us who cannot go back home because we are not allowed to go back home."

If Natacha Millan doesn't consider Dade County to be her home, then how the hell does she dare to occupy a seat on the Dade County Commission?

Lee Goldsmith
Coconut Grove

Porky Pig Meets Cantinflas Meets Jorge Diaz
Under the guise of a letter to the editor, Jorge O. Diaz has used a not-too-clever strategy to attack Mr. DeFede's article about Javier Souto: Shoot the messenger if you don't like what you're hearing. It was painful to read, but not as painful as reading the verbatim transcript of Souto's diatribe. That was like a picture worth a thousand words. Perhaps that's why Mr. DeFede didn't feel the need to criticize the brilliant content in that Porky Pig-meets-Cantinflas speech.

Mr. Diaz, please don't pretend you speak for all Americans of Cuban descent. You don't!

Victor Valcarce

Imitation Is the Sincerest Form os Incoherence
I think, I think, I really think that for you to, to, to try and make some kind of ... Well, it's not right, is it? Mr. Souto, simply because, well, he's a politician and simply because he has the inability, the, can I say? The incapability of stringing together a, you know, coherent thought. Then what are we, anyway? Just the fact, the mere fact that somebody, not me but somebody, put him there to stand up for something which I am not sure what it is, but it was something, is the point isn't it? He certainly has a right to say -- stuff -- and I don't like Lipton tea or Hitler's musicians either. I mean, is it so hard for you to understand?

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