viernes, mayo 18, 2007


Nota del Blogguista

Ana Menendez es hija de exiliados cubanos:

Ana Menendez
Ana Menendez was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of Cuban exiles. She is the author of two books of fiction, which have been translated into several languages: In Cuba I was a German Shepherd, which was a 2001 New York Times Notable book of the year and whose title story won a Pushcart Prize; and Loving Che, a national best-seller. She was a journalist for several years, first at The Miami Herald, where she covered Little Havana until 1995, and later at the Orange County Register in California. She has also lived in Turkey and South Asia, where she reported out of Afghanistan and Kashmir. Since 1997, she has taught at various universities including, most recently, as a visiting writer at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a bachelor's degree from Florida International University and a master's from New York University.


Miami, mayo 16 de 2007

Newsroom management
Anders Gyllenhaal
Executive Editor

Acabo de leer la columna de Ana Menéndez en The Miami Herald. Su contenido no sólo es ofensivo. Es despreciable.

Creo que, tener una opinión en contra de una comunidad, no le da permiso alguno para llamarla “mafia”. Su insulto nos obligaría al derecho de imponerle una demanda legal, a no ser que se retracte públicamente. No se puede ofender y difamar deliberadamente a nadie. Un periódico serio debe regirse por la decencia y la sensatez, no por los exabruptos de una periodista que trata de defender, aún con su derecho, a un apologista de la dictadura más funesta de América Latina.

Primeramente nos critica por no protestar con relación a la construcción del túnel en el puerto de Miami. Luego basa sus críticas por el derecho que tenemos de no comprarle a los negocios que patrocinan el programa de un defensor de la dictadura castrista que, por cierto, dos días antes ya mencionaba en su programa radial que saldría una columna en el periódico.

La libertad de expresión es algo que comparto plenamente, pues viví en un sistema opresivo que coartó mi derecho a opinar y me llevó a la cárcel para vivir los peores años de mi vida. Lo que es inaceptable es la expresión totalmente difamatoria contra una comunidad exiliada, que no importa la edad que tenga, ansía volver a una Cuba verdaderamente libre. Y eso, justamente, no es ningún delito.

Denigrar a las personas mayores de la forma que lo ha hecho esta periodista y, más aún, llamarnos “Miami cuban mafia”, es algo indigno, ofensivo y propio de personas que sienten un odio inmenso por esta comunidad trabajadora, decente y orgullosa de ser cubana.

Tengo 47 años. Nací cuando esa cosa abominable que llaman revolución llegó para exterminar todo vestigio de libertad en la isla. Pero libertad no es manchar la imagen de una comunidad que le sobra decencia.

Pudieran haber logrado que los cubanos nos re-inscribiéramos en el periódico, pero la columna de Ana Menendez basta para que sigamos sin comprarle un solo ejemplar hasta que algún día comprendan que hay que respetarnos.


Rabble-rousers gravitate to easy targets


NO OUTCRY -- Where have all the right-wing lunatics gone?

A French company with ties to the Castro regime -- its affiliate has built 11 resort hotels with the Cuban military -- now wants to bring its construction skills to the $1 billion tunnel at the Port of Miami.

And the protesters? Busy boycotting the mom-and-pop businesses that advertise on an obscure AM radio program.

This is what the mighty Miami Cuban Mafia has come to. Their nemesis is dying, their bitterness has grown old and their power has dwindled to sad experiments in self-parody.

I miss them already.


Bouygues Travaux Publics' bid for the Port Tunnel hasn't gone completely unnoticed, but the opposition, at least so far, has been insignificant.

Miami attorney Nicolas Gutierrez, who represents those who had property expropriated after the Cuban revolution, boldly predicted: ``I think once the public becomes fully aware of this, especially at the County Commission level, then Bouygues is going to have a very hard time winning this contract.''

Or maybe not. As The Miami Herald's Larry Lebowitz and Matthew I. Pinzur reported: The County Commission registered a deep, heartfelt yawn.

Natacha Seijas, who went nuts when she was dissed at the opening of the Performing Arts Center, suddenly seems to have connected with her contemplative side.

''I would have to do my duty as a county commissioner, but my Cuban heart would hurt tremendously,'' she told The Miami Herald.

That's right, swallow your pain. $1 billion is a lot of money. And if commissioners start to play ''More Cuban Than You,'' the Florida Department of Transportation may pull the $600 million they were giving to the cause.

Commissioners can't conduct foreign policy, but what's stopping everyone else? Where are all the people who protested Los Van Van's performance here? What happened to the Cuban patriots who boycotted The Miami Herald after the Radio Martí stories? Where are those who crusaded against the dangerous children's picture book Vamos a Cuba?


The rabble-rousers love to complain about speech they deem unorthodox. But they fall oddly silent when it comes to confronting powerful business interests like Bouygues or the Chinese Shangri-La hotels or our own Terra Group that sought to maim the Freedom Tower. Why go after the big guys when there are smaller effigies to fry?

Which brings us to Edmundo Garcia, the host of La Noche se Mueve (The Night Moves), heard weeknights on WNMA-AM (1210). He loves to intelligently stir things up, and he's provocative and well-informed. He is not, however, anyone's idea of ''powerful.'' Which made him the perfect target of a boycott against his advertisers.

''They have the right to patronize a Castrista, but we have the right to not buy from them,'' wrote Iliana Curra in a widely circulated e-mail. Within days, ''Ño Que Barato'' had pulled its ads.

Oh wow. Sure showed them. It's like a scary-funny children's cartoon: The old man gloats over the flea he's killed while behind him looms the shadow of Le Monstre.

Can't blame the boycotters, though. Exile has gone on for a long time. The people are old and tired. And at this late stage, it's easier to go after a radio guy than to slay the multinational.

That's Miami in the waning days of nostalgia: a place where politics is personal. And business is business.