Monday January 22, 2007

Are Cuban-Americans violent?


This is a stupid question, and I don’t really have much to say about it. I wanted to express my disagreement with the thrust of Rick’s recent series of posts on the subject without really getting into the argument, so I left a comment saying he was “out of control.” Then I was singled out (with a link, thanks!) in the most recent post, so I feel like I should at least express an opinion.

Asking whether Cuban-Americans are violent is like asking if blonds are violent. Of course it’s absurd to say that there haven’t been violent incidents in the history of anti-Castro activities in Miami. But posts like this one . . .

Are you looking for an adventurous way to spend your Friday afternoon? Wander on down to SW 8th Street and 13th Avenue to the Bay of Pigs Memorial any time after noon and check out the rally that is planned.

If you really like living on the edge, wear your favorite Che tee. And, by all means, wear a pair of good running shoes.

. . . do nothing to advance the conversation, and amount to little more then a middle finger directed towards the entire anti-Castro Cuban-American population. You want to talk about the problems within the Cuban-American community, Rick? I’d suggest starting by showing some empathy with the cause, and trying to understand where those strong emotions come from. Otherwise, you make it too easy to dismiss you as a one-dimensional anti-Cuban demagogue.

Yes, there are violent knuckleheads in the anti-Castro community. There are violent knuckleheads in any group, and when it comes to an issue that people are as passionate about as they are about Cuba, those violent tendencies have a tendency to be inflamed. Those elements deserve criticism, but I believe that criticism of that sort is more credible coming either from within the group, or from a source that has shown empathy with the group’s cause.

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  1. J-J    Mon Jan 22, 05:59 PM #  

    I don’t know alesh, I think that rick’s post does a LOT to advance the conversation. I travel a lot outside of Miami, and the one question in everyone’s mind is always: Hey what’s up with extreme right exile community?

    Rick predicted, with sarcasm a scuffle and look : it happened!

    Once when I lived in Michigan, the KKK neo-nazis and the Michigan militia were demonstrating in the Lansing capitol. I just happen to walk in the middle of their protest, and guess what alesh: I felt safe. Yes, there were police officers there, but only 3 or 4. And of course a group anti- racisim protesters, which I joined. Not once did I feel threatened. Furthermore, as much as I (a Puerto Rican) hate nazis& clan I understood that they too have a right for FREE SPEECH. So, even if I disagree wit hall my soul with their point of view, I respect their RIGHT for free speech. People in NYC wear viva Castro t shirts and anti-Castro t shirts. And hey I’m not pro-Castro. But I tell you what, I want Miami to be a place where groups with different views co-exists. That’s what’s great about the US… And as long as a community look the other way, Miami will still be seen as a n intolerant place. I’, also glad that Rick dragged you into this: we should not ignore these issues, they are central to life in Miami

  2. Teresa    Mon Jan 22, 06:09 PM #  

    i really enjoy some of your entries. for example the following one on the new museum, but being cuban-american and growing up in miami i have never experienced any “violence” related to cuban-americans and politics. yes, the older generations, especially, tend to be very passionate about the current and 50 year old situation in cuba and can you blame them? they were forced out of their country and had their citizensips taken away from them by “cuban law.” i must admit there was a whole lot of violence during the 80’s when the mariel boatlift filled our city with CUBAN ex-cons that soon after arriving found careers in drug dealing, robery, concealed weapon sales, etc.. other than that i would not consider cuban-americans violent. industrious and proud, yes.

  3. Alex    Mon Jan 22, 06:10 PM #  

    I don’t know how many times Rick has to caveat “certain elements” until it comes through. I guess it’ll have to be one more time.

    After all, he called it accurately, didn’t he? Nothing to say about that?

    In any case, criticism from “within the group” is close to non-existent, and more so in the blogosphere. As far as showing empathy being a requisite, I’m not sure what to make out of that. Should I show empathy to racists before I criticize the KKK, for example? They have some strong emotions too. Or should I say that I’m sympathetic to the police in general before I rant against corrupt cops?

  4. B.A.C.    Mon Jan 22, 06:16 PM #  

    Had Rick not brought up the issue of violent intolerance towards anything not Anti-Castro nobody would have spoken up. Sorry Alesh but I agree with Rick on this. Of all the blogs and media outlets SoTP was the only one to bring up the other side of the issue, Cuban Exile Intolerance towards others who disagree with them. And they proved themselves this weekend. Rick my be clairvoyant or something cause he called it and the Exiles answered with kicks, punches and flying megaphones.

    I’m curios as to whether these Exiles would have attacked older people, not kids in the mid 20 range. I have a feeling the old marielitos hate younger people trying to voice political dissent. Beats me but when I try to speak politics with the older Cuban exile generation they brush me off as though I’m some drug totting idiot. But with the younger crowd I find I can have decent conversation.

  5. Rick    Mon Jan 22, 07:46 PM #  

    I’m tired as I’ve been talking about this issue since last Thursday, but I’m happy you’ve finally gotten around to taking a stand on it, Alesh. Unfortunately, even with all the explaining I did you still didn’t get it right, but I’ll humor you none the less.

    Are Cuban-Americans violent? As a group, no I don’t believe they are. But let’s substitute that big group with the little group of protesters in front of the Bay of Pigs Memorial in Little Havana who were being advertised by the Herald as belonging to pro-Posada “exile militant groups.” Go ahead, read the Herald story I linked to in the post. That’s exactly what it said.

    Now, knowing all that, which you do because you’ve analyzed my posts thoroughly in preparation for your little commentary here 4 days after the fact, you’re going to tell me that by posting that image I am characterizing an entire community as being violent? After all the explaining I have done these last 4 days, you have the balls to continue to characterize that post as something other than satire that hit a little too close to home for some readers?

    Do me a favor, Alesh, next time you have a problem with a post, don’t wait 4-5 days to work up enough courage to tell me what you think. And when you do, make sure you get it the hell right.

    You’re first class here at Critical Miami, Alesh. I mean that. But this post was utter 3rd class bullshit.


  6. alesh    Mon Jan 22, 09:13 PM #  

    In any case, criticism from “within the group” is close to non-existent, and more so in the blogosphere.

    I’m glad you mentioned that, Alex. Because the natural question is, why aren’t you the one making these arguments? Clearly you agree with Rick, and clearly his statements would have more credibility from a Cuban-American, so why, out of the four posts on this over at SotP in the last week, have none of them come from you? (Sorry if I’m putting you on the spot, but I’m not asking a rhetorical question; I’m genuinely curious.)

    Rick~ You’ll find this shocking, but I haven’t particularly been following the comment threads attached to your post. I honestly don’t feel like I have that much to say in response to the issue. But after the second or third post I wanted to voice my disapproval, in a general way, hence the “out of control” comment. I only know what your response to it (the “run down on Washington Ave.” comment) second hand from Manny (which, BTW, I got a chuckle out of that, so thanks). Then you quoted it in your more recent post, so I felt that I’d been sufficiently pulled into it to do up a real response. Hands tied, or whatnot.

    I originally wrote this post in broad generalities, but it seemed way too wishy-washy, so I put your name in the middle of it. The excerpt from your first post was more or less at random; perhaps a clip from one of the other three would have made my point better. Like I said, I’m not following this too closely. I asked Steve to read this post after it went up, and he tells me I’m covering ground that’s well trod in the comments on your post. So be it — probably Robert has made much better counter-arguments to your points then I ever will.

    In all honesty, I don’t mind you expressing your viewpoint. I think it’s shared by a great many white people. I obviously find it to be unbalanced, to the point that I think it’s wrong. But I think others make the counter-argument much better then I could.

    I any case, my “little commentary,” as you so generously put it, is directed towards my impression of the sum total of all four posts, not just the original one.

    Teresa~ Obviously, I don’t blame for anyone for being passionate. Equally obviously, nothing I’ve said condones actual violence.

    And as for the rest of you~ I really don’t feel like going whole-hog into this argument. But and as much as I dislike analogies, let me try one one you — the civil rights movement. Just before his assasination, Martin Luther King led a march in Memphis in support of the unionization of the sanitation workers. As always, he counseled non-violence, but because of certain circumstances, some violent individuals got involved with the protest before MLK even made it to the city. The small outbreaks of violence were all that the white media reported, ignoring the 99% of the peaceful demonstrators.

    Please to be checking it out here on Fresh Air. And the point is that no actual utterance of the media at the time was a lie, but by emphasis on one particular set of facts and the complete omission of a much larger set of facts, the sum total of their reporting somehow became a lie. In the spirit of community and a brighter future, I invite you all who look at the Cuban-American community and see intolerance and violence to check yourselves.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

  7. Alex    Mon Jan 22, 10:14 PM #  

    Well, first of all you are wrong. I wrote one the four posts (Charges To Be Filed Against Thugs). Second, the whole brouhaha evolved organically after Rick’s first post, from which he wrote the second and then the third in response to Tellechea the Liar’s comment. Third, I may not have written the posts but I commented plenty and furiously about the issue. Maybe you need to read the threads before opining. Fourth, I post plenty about exile politics (my involvement with blogging started with discussion of “Vamos a Cuba” censorship) and also about Cuba, I have a regular section every Tuesday “Vamos A Cuba”.

    Hope that satisfies your curiosity.

    As for my having more credibility because I’m a Cuban inmigrant (not a Cuban-American and not an exile), well, that’s your premise, not mine. Rick has as much credibility as I can have on the issue. Plus I’m obviously not part of the “group”, my beliefs both in internal and external politics are at odds with those of Robert, Val, Henry, Moneo, et al. You would perhaps be right if you were asking them to criticize “their own” were pertinent, but you haven’t done that, have you Alesh?

  8. alesh    Mon Jan 22, 10:42 PM #  


    Well, that post came after the one I’m answering, so technically I was correct at the time of writing. Of course it’s true that you’ve supported Rick every step of the way, but I still feel that the same words would have carried a much different weight were they coming from you.

    I’m not sure what distinction you make between a Cuban immigrant and a Cuban-American.

    Credibility is in the eye of the beholder. To my eye, the same words coming from you would have more credibility. Perhaps that’s because, as pertains to this issue at this time, I’m just not so interested in the argument. I haven’t really been following the threads, and I feel like I’m getting dragged into an ages-old argument where everyone knows where everyone else stands, and nobody’s going to change their mind. If I didn’t have a lot of other stuff that I needed to be doing, perhaps I’d be up for it. But it requires a lot of fine-slicing and parsing of arguments, and I’m just not up for it.

    I have a tendency to see everyone’s arguments as internally consistent, if perhaps not open-minded enough.

  9. Steve    Mon Jan 22, 11:07 PM #  

    Everybody’s pretty well dug-in on this issue, not to mention played out. There will always be that fringe that thinks it’s okay to try to kick the asses of others who disagree with them, free expression taking a back seat to righteous indignation. No group owns the patent on that blatantly iggerant stand. They were ready to torch a newspaper for running pictures of Muhammed. In the 40’s, you could get your face stomped for stating that FDR was a cripple in a wheelchair, fer chrissakes. And just last weekend some 17 year old smacked ass assasinated a newspaper editor in Turkey for defying the official government line about the Armenian genocide.The list goes on. And I’m going to bed.

  10. Alex    Mon Jan 22, 11:45 PM #  

    Honestly Alesh? It was a cheap shot. My post went up at 9:45 am and yours went up at the end of the day. “At the time of writing” you were flat wrong.

    Cuban-Americans, to me, were either born or grew up here. I came at 24, and I still consider myself Cuban (although I have that in common with many hardline exiles, who do not want to hyphenate their provenance). I’m an immigrant because my reasons to leave Cuba were mainly economic, although politics played a part.

    Now, let me ask you something: you say Rick’s viewpoint about Cubans is shared by “a great many white people”. Why do you make this to be about ethnicity? Do you think Rick is racist? Do you have any proof that African Americans and Latinos in Miami don’t share the same viewpoint? Other Cubans? Have you asked? Judging by some recent events, you’ll be surprised if you do.

    Finally, who is “dragging” you into an “ages-old argument”? You went to SOTP and called Rick “out of control” on your own volition, right? You wrote this post without a gun to your head. For such an uninteresting argument, it seems you have a lot to say about it.

  11. Stereotyper    Tue Jan 23, 12:14 AM #  

    Alex- you go girl!

  12. Biscayne Bystander    Tue Jan 23, 12:22 AM #  


    Did you know Stuck on the Palmetto received Best Local Blog for 2006 by the Broward/Palm Beach NEW TIMES?

    That’s quite a feat Rick. Congratulations. You are in esteemed company. Right up there with snatching the coveted Best Local Website in 2005.

    Glad you were able to make the necessary room to post such an accolade on that refrigerator door you call your homepage. But did you really have to take down that gold star you got back in third grade??

    Maybe you can set the images to rotate.

  13. Alex    Tue Jan 23, 12:54 AM #  

    That would have been double witty if it wasn’t a different New Times. Envy much?

  14. Rick    Tue Jan 23, 05:48 AM #  

    So let me get this straight, Alesh. You don’t read the comments for the posts, you admit you’re not following the issue very closely, someone previews this post and tells you it’s ground that’s already been covered…but you still find it acceptable to go with the post and insinuate that I’m an anti-Cuban, racist white guy? And now you just don’t have the time to talk about it?

    Great blogging, Alesh. Boy, do I owe you one.


  15. alesh    Tue Jan 23, 08:27 AM #  

    Seriously. If you said you liked Fawlty Towers, and I said most people who like it are white, would that also be an accusation of racism?

    I think the gentleman doth protest too much. But for the record, I was thinking of J-J’s comment re. “that’s what I always hear when I travel around the country” (not a quote!). In retrospect, it’s probably true that plenty of non-Cubans and non-whites agree with that viewpoint. No accusation of racism was intend.

  16. Robert    Tue Jan 23, 09:47 AM #  

    After reading the post and the comments, especially Rick’s last one which accuses Alesh of insinuating racism on Rick’s part, I don’t see anything Alesh wrote that can be characterized as calling someone racist.

    Alesh said that it’s mostly white people (i.e. non-Hispanics) who express Rick’s viewpoint. You have to do a lot of extrapolation to think that that was an accusation of racism.

    I went back and re-read the post, and this line pretty much sums it up in my mind:

    You want to talk about the problems within the Cuban-American community, Rick? I’d suggest starting by showing some empathy with the cause, and trying to understand where those strong emotions come from. Otherwise, you make it too easy to dismiss you as a one-dimensional anti-Cuban demagogue.

    That puts the finger right on the issue, and as much as I’ve tried to express that in my comments at SotP, it’s never come out as clearly as Alesh’s did. I believe None E Moose pretty much said the same thing, maybe not in those words, but the essence is the same.

    I’ll say it again, I don’t think Rick is anti-Cuban. But I believe his strong feelings are clouding his vision of the entire picture and it’s preventing him from seeing where someone could be offended by some of his posts.

  17. Alex    Tue Jan 23, 11:01 AM #  

    Oh, please. Showing empathy as a requirement is a canard. It’s just killing the messenger because you don’t want to talk about the message. If you believe that, then you better show some empathy for the victims of exile violence, including those killed in the Barbados airplane, before you criticize Castro. Absurd, right? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    As far as the racism insinuation, I found interesting the “white” qualifier before “people” in Alesh’s quote. It’s not a secret that African Americans, for example, are some of the most vocal critics of Cubans in Miami. It’s not a secret that other Hispanic groups around the country don’t have a great opinion of Cuban exile politics either. Alesh could have said: “I think it’s shared by a great many people.” and it would have been exactly the same point -except it would not have the racist undertone. So it’s no great extrapolation. And Rick has been accussed repeatedly in the past of being racist and anti-Cuban based solely on his daring to have an opinion about certain Cubans while not being one. I accept Alesh’s explanation that no accusation was intended.

  18. alesh    Tue Jan 23, 11:27 AM #  

    If you believe that, then you better show some empathy for the victims of exile violence, including those killed in the Barbados airplane, before you criticize Castro.

    I’m not sure the situation is quite the same, but I think that expressing empathy for victims of exile violence is a great idea. I certainly think it’d add credibility to a criticism of Castro. YMMV.

  19. Rick    Tue Jan 23, 12:13 PM #  

    You want to talk about the problems within the Cuban-American community, Rick? I’d suggest starting by showing some empathy with the cause, and trying to understand where those strong emotions come from. Otherwise, you make it too easy to dismiss you as a one-dimensional anti-Cuban demagogue.

    I’ve shown empathy, it’s just that neither one of you (Robert/Alesh) has made the effort or taken the time to notice. Alesh is too busy doing God knows what and Robert is too focused on me being anti- this or anti- that. I’ll repeat myself again and again for those of you who have no interest on making sure what they say is accurate or fair: read my post when C-A’s took to the street when finding out Castro was ill. Read my posts about the travels that a Palm Beach Post reporter made to Cuba last year. In both cases I expressed my support and empathy for C-A causes and their feelings. Hell, at one point, Val was even inviting me over to his house.

    But one thing I won’t do is show one iota or empathy for those bastards “with the strong emotions” at the Bay of Pigs on Friday who are the epitome of everything my country is not about. If any of those SOB’s holds U.S. citizenship, I would be the first person to volunteer to personally strip him of it and send him back from where ever he came from.

    No you don’t come right out and call me anti-Cuban or racist, Alesh. That would be way too straightforward and ballsy for you. Instead you say things like: “Otherwise, you make it too easy to dismiss you as a one-dimensional anti-Cuban demagogue.” People understand exactly what you’re implying.

  20. alesh    Tue Jan 23, 12:32 PM #  

    Alesh is too busy doing God knows what

    I know, it never ceases to amaze you that I’m not intimately familiar with everything on SotP. Come on though, Rick, you are the KING of the ‘ol insinuate-and-deny!

  21. Rick    Tue Jan 23, 12:36 PM #  

    Thanks for verifying that you have nothing, Alesh.



  22. alesh    Tue Jan 23, 12:52 PM #  

    That’s our Rick: Must. Always. Get. The. Last. Word.

  23. Robert    Tue Jan 23, 01:26 PM #  


    Why do you keep on saying that I accuse you of being anti-this and that? I haven’t and I’ve made it perfectly clear. This isn’t about you being anti-anything, it’s about how you presented this particular issue. BTW, I have noticed the “positive” Cuban posts you pointed out. But that’s not the point here either.

    I’m just agreeing with Alesh that I can see where your posts can be seen negatively by some. I’ve felt that way in the past myself.

  24. Manuel A. Tellechea    Tue Jan 23, 02:27 PM #  


    So you are not a Cuban-American or a Cuban exile. You are a Cuban immigrant.

    Are you, perchance, an *American citizen?” If you are an American citizen then you had to swear an oath renouncing all allegiance to Cuba when you were naturalized.

    If you are an American citizen then you are going to have to make some fast choices soon, because the Cuban Constitution of 1940 does not recognize dual citizenship and the only way to regain your Cuban citizenship is to renounce your American citizenship.

  25. Alex    Tue Jan 23, 02:47 PM #  

    Dude, your obsession with me has no limits, has it?

    Not that is has anything to do with how I define myself, but the US recognizes dual citizenship ipso facto. There has never been a case in which a naturalized citizen has been forced to rennounce the citizenship of its country of origin. As far as Cuba goes, it’s a wild speculation to say that the Constitution of 1940 will be adopted after Castro. I would venture to say that dual citizenship will be allowed as well, in view of how many Cuban naturals have been displaced all over the world.

  26. alesh    Tue Jan 23, 03:06 PM #  

    The Czech Republic had a brief window (a couple of years) for immigrants to apply for, in effect, dual citizenship. More recently they’ve re-opened it indefinitely (good news for me since I missed the window). As far as I know, the US allows dual citizenship only very unofficially. Officially it’s not allowed? From here:

    A description of the US naturalization oath is given in Section 337(a) of the INA [8 USC § 1448(a)]. Of particular relevance to the dual citizenship issue is that, as part of the oath, a new citizen must pledge “to renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen.”

    In practice, it is unclear what if any true legal significance this statement has any more. The US does not require a new citizen to take any formal steps to renounce his old citizenship before officials of the “old country”; and when the other country continues to claim a naturalized US citizen as one of its own, current US policy recognizes that such a person may have to use a passport from the other country in order to visit there, and such an action does not put the person’s US citizenship in jeopardy.

    At one time, the US took the position that anyone who wished to renounce his prior citizenship in connection with US naturalization had an inherent, unquestionable right to do so. Well into the 19th century, many countries had no provisions at all for renouncing citizenship and did not even acknowledge that their citizens or subjects had any such right. This is, no doubt, why the renunciatory clause in the US naturalization oath is not linked to any additional requirement to give up one’s old citizenship in accordance with another country’s laws; as far as the US was concerned, the renunciatory statement in its own naturalization oath was sufficient, and all other countries had an obligation to respect it. In recent years, the State Department has apparently decided to take a more pragmatic and realistic stance on this issue.

  27. Alex    Tue Jan 23, 03:19 PM #  

    That’s why it’s ipso facto, there isn’t and has never been any law requiring rennouncement or prosecuting the lack thereof.

    The EU and many other countries allow dual citizenship. It’s really a practical issue in the modern world.

  28. Truth Williams    Tue Jan 23, 04:09 PM #  

    Ladies, you are getting your panties all up in a bunch. Just agree to disagree. Yes, there are crazy Cubans out there. Just like there are crazy gringos, crazy blacks, crazy chinos, and crazy South Americans. Have you ever been to Cali? They have crazy Mexicans. Groups of people are going to have a bunch of bad apples. The majority should not be judged because of this.

    Generalizing any group, in my opinion, is wrong… but freedom of speech allows us to do this without feeling like we live in Castro’s Cuba. Freedom of speech also does not dictate that we need to empathize with anyone in what we say. I can make an outrageous statement like, “Venezuelans are assholes,” and it may piss a lot of people off, but I have every right to say so.

    But what the hell are we debating and who are we defending. Freedom of speech has not been endangered. You had two groups…Cubans who have been traumatized by Fidel and another group who came to instigate.

    Like I said on SOTP...“the pinkos that showed up came unannounced. If they would have followed the rules for a public protest there would have probably been more cops to put that incident on ice and it would have not escalated in that fashion. I’m not condoning violence or saying that they had no right in being there, but what did the commies expect? That is like a group of KKK members showing up at an African American rally. The KKK has every right to do so, but most likely a lot of brothers are going to get pissed off and they are going to break some crackers. I’m not saying this is right, but it is a reality.”

    I don’t know if anyone was around Cuba during the “shit”, but people died and a lot of lives were destroyed. If you have not lived through these types of things then you have no clue what these people feel or where their passion is coming from or how it affected them and probably screwed them up… right or wrong. I also have no clue what the Youth Brigade was trying to accomplish. Both groups showed up and a chemical reaction occured. So stop pointing fingers at human dynamics. No one is a victim in this shit.

  29. Manuel A. Tellechea    Tue Jan 23, 05:15 PM #  


    I have no obsession with you: you are just an alias to me.

    So I take it, then, that you are a naturalized American citizen? This means that you have taken the oath of citizenship which specifically states that you renounce allegiance to all other countries. These were the words that you and all the rest were required to utter when you became a U.S. citizen.

    And you have the effrontery to represent yourself as a Cuban?

    I don’t care if the U.S. recognizes dual citizenship de jure or defacto. You may take on a hundred citizenships now if you want. What matters is that you have renounced your Cuban citizenship.

    You are now just another foreigner putting your two-cents in about Cuba’s future as if you had any share in her future.

    The Cuban Constitution of 1940 doesn’t have to be “adopted” by any future government. It is still the fundamental law of Cuba. Because the tyrant Castro chooses to ignore it does make it any less legitimate or less binding on a future democratic government.

  30. Alex    Tue Jan 23, 05:21 PM #  

    “ if you had any share in it”. Again with the redundance. You are slipping.

  31. Manuel A. Tellechea    Tue Jan 23, 05:27 PM #  

    Again with the mispellings: it’s renounce, not “rennounce;” and renouncement, not “rennouncement.”

  32. Manuel A. Tellechea    Tue Jan 23, 05:30 PM #  


    And why don’t you ask me if I have ever renounced Cuban citizenship?

    Of course, you do not dare ask.

  33. Alex    Tue Jan 23, 05:40 PM #  

    Because I don’t give a shit?

  34. Alex    Tue Jan 23, 05:44 PM #  

    Back to the point. Some empathy, from the not so distant past:

    “They partied in the streets of Little Havana and Hialeah last night well after I went to bed. The videos show the happiness, the excitement and the joy that only the hope that the end of decades of oppression can bring. Their words cannot express the depth of emotion that they are obviously feeling right now.

    Because I’ve lived in South Florida for over 20 years, I certainly can understand the cause for the Cuban-American community’s celebrations. But like the guy who goes to an out-of-town sporting event and cheers for the home team, there is a certain disconnect that I experience while I clap and root them on.

    I may not be able to fully appreciate what is happening around me but I’m happy to be a part of it as the energy and the joy and the excitement builds as the clock winds down and the end of their struggle approaches.”

  35. Manuel A. Tellechea    Tue Jan 23, 06:31 PM #  


    Of course you don’t have to ask. My character precludes the mercenary choice you made.

    If Jorge Más Canosa, like you a naturalized American citizen, were still alive, wouldn’t you rejoice that he was barred from the presidency of Cuba because he, too, renounced his Cuban citizenship by adopting another?

  36. Alex    Tue Jan 23, 07:06 PM #  

    Actually, I am a big admirer of Mas Canosa, precisely because of the answer he gave to regime representative Ricardo Alarcón on that very subject in their debate. You, Manuelito, are taking the same exact position Alarcón took, which was to deny Mas Canosa was Cuban because he was naturalized. One more thing you have in common with the fidelistas.

  37. roly masferer    Tue Jan 23, 08:45 PM #  

    Alex, Can’t say that I agree with much of what you say but your Manuelito comment was great. Hats off to you.

  38. roly masferrer    Tue Jan 23, 08:47 PM #  

    I guess it would help to spell my name correctly!

  39. J-J    Tue Jan 23, 10:58 PM #  

    I just would like for things in Miami to less extreme. I was in PR and there was a store where they sold Viva Fidel shirts & Ya Se Acabo Fidel shirts. In NYC, you can walk around with either and nevertheless, feel safe.

    If we are going to be a World Class city, we have to accept each other’s point of view-even when we disagree- I love Cuban American Miami. And we can not generalize and mark people as extremist. But this city needs to stand up to the challenge and be more tolerant. Sometimes, I feel that there’s an anti-intellectual undercurrent in Miami – and it makes me really sad.

    People here seem afraid to publicly talk about some issues, and that is a shame.

  40. Manuel A. Tellechea    Wed Jan 24, 12:19 AM #  


    Am I surprised that you admiredJorge Más Canosa? Nothing about you surprises me anymore.

    I did not admire Más Canosa. His answer to Alarcón was one of the most shameful moments in the history of the exilio histórico and shall forever overshadow whatever good he may have done.

    What Más Canosa said was that if Fidel Castro won free elections he would accept the people’s choice.

    This was like a German Jew saying that if the German people elected Hitler democratically (which they did) he would accept their choice.

    A man can be a monster and still adhere to democratic norms. This does not make him less a monster. In fact, it makes him an even more dangerous monster because then he can carry out the worst usurpations under the cloak of legitimacy.

  41. Manuel A. Tellechea    Wed Jan 24, 12:29 AM #  

    “Alex, Can’t say that I agree with much of what you say but your Manuelito comment was great. Hats off to you. — Masferrer

    And shame on you.

    Your last name (which I can spell) and your father’s memory prevent me from answering your little barbed comment in the same vein.

    But I am sure sure that your father retained his Cuban citizenship till the day he died, unlike Más Canosa. And I am absolutely certain that he would never have “debated” Alarcón except on the battlefield.

  42. Manuel A. Tellechea    Wed Jan 24, 12:37 AM #  


    Et tu, j-j.

    So now you too have embraced moral relativism?

    It’s the same to you if someone wears a tee-shirt supporting or condemning Castro? In fact, you would prefer to live in a city like New York “where you can walk around in either and nevertheless feel safe feel safe.”

    I am sure that you must have both in your wardrobe.

  43. dirty S    Wed Jan 24, 03:09 AM #  

    Cuban women can gape !

  44. J-J    Wed Jan 24, 04:00 AM #  

    Manuel, I have only embraced tolerance for ideas that run counter to my own believes. I think that is actually good for our souls to and It’s the only way out of our human mess. Look at whats ‘happening in the Middle East. I’m worried for our future in general.
    btw. I dont have any of those t shirts, but I dont think it would be that bad if someone else did.

    “The sun will never disappear, but the Earth may not have many years”
    John Lennon, Isolation, 1971

  45. Biscayne Bystander    Wed Jan 24, 07:52 AM #  

    Triple witty because they fooled you into thinking they’re different companies. Ask for a media kit.

    While your at it, pick up a dictionary.

  46. Alex    Wed Jan 24, 09:45 AM #  

    Ha! Different paper, different editors, different staffers -and different “Best of” editions. Using your logic, all Gannett, all Knight Ridder and all Tribune newspapers are the same.

    Here’s a dictionary for you.

  47. Biscayne Bystander    Wed Jan 24, 10:03 AM #  

    Like I said: They fooled you

  48. Alex    Wed Jan 24, 10:12 AM #  

    Wow, you dicovered that the online editions feature articles from both papers. Congratulations. What penetrating insight. Now, find where it says that the “Best of” issues are compiled, researched, edited and published by the same people and you got a winner. Until then, lookie here, I can link to pictures too!

  49. B    Wed Jan 24, 09:31 PM #  

    You know, I’ve been reading these threads, posts, responses, blahblahblah for a while now and if I’m understanding correctly (here’s where I would link to Babalou’s and Fidelito’s and all the other asshat comments if I could figure it out) I should be kickin the shit out of all you ignorant assholes who keep compairing the “Cuba issue” to Nazi Germany because it offends me so (yeeeaaahhh for run-on sentences).

    Please, please, please, GET THE FUCK OVER IT! Cuba and Castro are a universe away from Hitler and Nazi Germany. The world outside of Miami will NEVER recognize the totures an murders committed by Castro et al in relation to the Holocaust until Castro hits the “6 million killed” mark.

    So please, shut the fuck up with your comparitave misery bullshit and address your Cuba issues on it’s own merits.


    A jew who’s tired of your nonsense

    P.S. Alesh, sorry for the profanity.

  50. alesh    Wed Jan 24, 10:29 PM #  

    I think the holocaust comparisons get overdone, too. But B? I gotta say it — get a fucking clue.

    “until Castro hits the 6 million killed mark”? You actually sound like you’re serious.

    Here’s a tip, dude — if you’re getting tortured, it’s sort of irrelevant how many other people your assailants have mutilated.

    Yes, Hitler and Castro are different, but apparently not in any way you’re capable of comprehending. Maybe you should save your numbers game for baseball or blackjack or bingo or whatever, and quit pretending you know anything about anyone else’s pain.

  51. B    Wed Jan 24, 10:45 PM #  

    You’re right Alesh, I don’t know about anyone else’s pain, so I don’t compare the genocide committed against my people and my family to the events in other countries or decades. As for the numbers comment, maybe you’re right, I probably should have said:

    “The world outside of Miami will NEVER recognize the tortures and murders committed by Castro et al in relation to the genocide of the Holocaust.”

    Again, as I said, comparative misery. And Alesh, if you can’t see the stark, horrifying differences between the organized, factory line extermination of x # (since you don’t like numbers quoted) of people based on their religion vs the situation in Cuba….well then maybe it you who needs to “get a fucking clue”.

  52. Manuel A. Tellechea    Thu Jan 25, 12:03 AM #  


    Fidel Castro has ruled Cuba for 48 years; the Third Reich lasted 12 years. Hitler brought his country to defeat in a devastating war; Castro nearly brought his country (and the world) to nuclear annihilation during the Missile Crisis. Hitler murdered almost all of Germany’s Jews; Fidel Castro caused 99 percent of Cuba’s Jewish population to become refugees again and sponsored the “Zionism is Racism” United Nations Declaration. Castro (who is half-Syrian) also aided the Arabs in all their wars against Israel and even maintained a PLO training camp in Cuba. And he gave Havana’s Jewish Cultural Center to the PLO to use as its embassy in Cuba.

    What kind of Jew are you who would support Fidel Castro? Speak to the Cuban Jews of Miami and ask them to tell you their sufferings. And don’t discount or demean their sufferings because they are not 6 million.

    Finally, as Alesh pointed out, it is obscene to engage in games of upsmanship involving human lives. But since you brought up the subject, among other obscenities: It may interest you to know that Fidel Castro has killed more Cubans per capita than Hitler killed Germans.

  53. B    Thu Jan 25, 08:01 AM #  

    Again, comparative misery. When discussions of the Holocaust takes place, it is not and does not need to be compared to any other event in history, because , as they say, it has legs.

    IMHO, it has been conveyed by the comments that I’ve read that: Castro is worse than Hitler, the situation in Cuba is worse than Nazi Germany.

    I’ll clarify my points:

    1. According to the POV on the local Miami blogosphere, I can beat up anyone who makes that comparison because it’s an emotional topic, most (80%) of my family were gassed and or incinerated in the camps and the thought of the comparison deeply offends me. (Read: trying to show what absolute asininity that concept is, whether it’s Cuba or Nazi Germany)

    2. Again, IMHO, Cuba has legs. It can stand on it own merits. By comparing it to the Holocaust (or any other genocidal events) you detract from it’s merits and lose “the cause” non-Cuban supporters outside of Miami.

  54. alesh    Thu Jan 25, 08:13 AM #  


    I’m sorry about your family’s pain, but you’re still wrong. If the way other people choose to talk about their suffering offends you, you need to check yourself. Your pain is not any better then their pain.

    Here’s a tip: when people debate ethical issues, edge cases are often used to clarify the issue. That’s why Hitler comes up a lot in these discussions. It’s not because he’s the same as anyone else — it’s precisely because he’s the universally-agreed worst dude ever.

  55. Alex    Thu Jan 25, 08:38 AM #  

    I think the both of you are missing B’s larger point: a comparison that’s so out of kilter does nothing for the argument. When you say “Castro is as bad as Hitler”, people think of mass extermination, concentration camps, gas ovens -and since none of those exist in Castro’s Cuba, then people dismiss the whole argument as hogwash and the Castro oponents as out of touch with reality.

    It’s the same with “Vamos A Cuba”. What reasonable person can believe that children in Cuba don’t laugh? (I said reasonable, so don’t take this as your clue, Manuelito). As if reality wasn’t stark enough that it needed to be embellished. As if myths needed to be created to dennounce horrors that, as B says, stand in its own legs.

    The difference is when you move the argument from a subjective analogy to an objective pairing of facts as Manuel just attempted to do. I don’t have a problem, for example, saying that Cubans suffer from “tourism apartheid”. That Cubans are treated like second-class citizens in their own country is despicable. But you can’t say that situation compares factually with South Africa’s apartheid. At least no expecting people to believe you.

  56. nonee moose    Thu Jan 25, 08:56 AM #  

    Hey B, you win, dude. You’re the only one counting. But this ain’t a math problem.

    Let me ask you: How would you like it if somebody told you to GET OVER YOUR 6 MILLION, ALREADY? Not very nice, is it? And no decent, thinking human would ever approach it this way.

  57. B    Thu Jan 25, 09:12 AM #  

    Alesh: talk other people’s pain does not offend me, the comparison of the situation in Cuba to the Holocaust does. You did just make one of my points for me though. The opinions being spewed on some of the threads like:

    “I for one am all in favor of kicking their asses from here to Tuesday. And it’s illustrative that in the story they ran away. Whether on purpose or out of fear I don’t know, but they ran like the cowards they are. All this navel-gazing existential self-examination is hurting us. We need more ass-kicking and less hand-wringing.”


    “The idea that all violence is bad. It is not, sometimes beating the crap out of someone is exactly what is required. No litigation, no diplomacy, just kick their asses and fight to win!”

    The idea that: if you say something I don’t agree with, I can kick your ass. Hi, freedom of speach… isn’t that just one of the many freedoms that people come to America for? Or is it really freedom of my speach, not yours?


    Thanks for getting it, I had a feeling you would.


    Please reread what I wrote, cause you missed the point. I never suggested that people “get over” Castro and/or what’s going on in Cuba. I’m saying “get over” the comparitive misery, get over comparing Cuba to Nazi Germany. Also, I win? Great! I didn’t even realize this was a win/lose argument.

  58. nonee moose    Thu Jan 25, 09:49 AM #  

    Alex, I understand the larger points, believe me, and from a rational standpoint I agree that perhaps factual comparisons should be avoided. Using villains for illustrative purposes only serves to redirect the debate, and comparisons of villains and their deeds is pointless for so many reasons.

    But on a moralistic level, should we even be having the debate over who was worse? What point is to be derived from holding this particular title? And when it comes right down to it, what have “victims by extension”— which generally speaking we all are to some degree— done to earn it?

    I propose a simple rule: The only people who get to debate this issue on these grounds better have a number on their forearm, or have eaten boiled shoe leather in La Cabaña. Otherwise, it’s just sound and fury, you know?

    B, it is not a contest, I agree. But I think that you, unknowingly, may have also engaged in comparative misery by using it to make your point. You have made a value judgement which, forgive me, places others beneath yourself. In contrast, not one comment I have ever read has ever asserted that by comparison castro was “worse than” hitler. You may not have meant it that way, but you have copyrighted a brand of evil and thereby denied anyone else’s right to subjectively suffer “as much”. You are right then, there is no contest. That is, “until Castro hits the 6-million mark”. Perhaps then we’ll get the fuck over it. There really is so much nonsense out there to be tired of… wouldn’t you agree?

  59. Alex    Thu Jan 25, 10:09 AM #  

    No, we should not have a debate over who was worse, just like with Castro and Pinochet. We shouldn’t have a debate equating the two at all, that’s the point. I have seen comments saying that Castro is, if not worse, at least as bad as Hitler (Manuelito just went on a detailed attempt a few comments above). I’m not defending the opposite point, as it’s often presumed in these arguments, I’m just pointing out the absurdity of quantifying it.

    It’s a practical matter. Let me give you another example: Cindy Sheehan lost her son. Her pain is very real. But when she says Bush murdered her son (not paraphrasing), then she’s turning people off. The point that her son lost his life in a pointless war doesn’t have to be lost in the hyperbole.

    BTW, I think B has that personal-level perspective of both nazism and castroism rigth in his family and his extended family, so perhaps out of all of us he is the only one not full of sound and fury?

  60. nonee moose    Thu Jan 25, 10:41 AM #  


    You and I don’t disagree on this point.

    But realize that, outside this little box you and I are standing in, anyone who says “Let’s not compare…” has staked out some moral high ground, the right to which is questionable.

    As to personal-level perspectives, see my proposed rule above. In my opinion, I don’t have a right to challenge or debate your childhood in Cuba, for example (a weak one, I know). Why? I wasn’t there. And I would accord the same credibility to your lovely wife and daughter, con todo cariño y respeto, as I would myself on that score. You see what I mean?

    A corollary: Let’s don’t challenge subjective opinion with subjective opinion dressed up as objective facts. Nothing good ever comes of it.

  61. Alex    Thu Jan 25, 10:57 AM #  

    Absolutely. BTW, I don’t disagree that B’s comment may be interpreted as claiming moral high ground. I on the other hand, see it as backlash against being the proverbial yardstick.

    Let me just say also that I believe anybody can challenge or debate the reality of childhood in Cuba, just not MY personal experiences and what I got out of it. I don’t have the absolute truth but to those at least I’m entitled. I have some friends that don’t have anything nice to say about it and some that think it was great and neither is wrong. I’m guilty of having used sometimes my perceived authority as “having been there” in an argument, but I try to keep it only to instances where people tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about.

  62. Dead Che    Thu Jan 25, 11:14 AM #  

    BBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGG!!!! Militant cubans annoy all non-cubans, and immediately make an enemy of anyone willing to suspend rhetoric and think the issue through. Start the hatin!!

  63. B    Thu Jan 25, 11:20 AM #  

    Let me clarify:

    I have no, nor claim no, moral highground.

    I am not using comparitive misery, I’m speaking out against it. Just as Alex said in relation to needing to compare Cuba to anywhere else:

    As if reality wasn’t stark enough that it needed to be embellished. As if myths needed to be created to dennounce horrors that, as B says, stand in its own legs.

    Does the Cuba issue need to piggy back on the genocide of any other siuation to be legitimized? I don’t think so, but that’s just me.

    Alex again is right, my comment was and is a backlash against using other peoples (in this case MINE) suffering to legitimize their own. Here’s another example for ya, I am absolutley a supporter of Gay Rights, however, it’s just as horrifing to here people compare the homosexual struggles to the Civil Rights movement. Yes, in fact it is a civil rights issue, however, it’s a world away from what took place in this country all those years ago (the current issues of racism not withstanding).

    And Moose: I did correct myself and reword the “numbers game” issue.

  64. nonee moose    Thu Jan 25, 11:42 AM #  

    Dead man speak with spoon-tongue…


    Proverbial yardstick, indeed. Say no more.

    I think you make my point on the other thing. Your friends who did grow up with you are perhaps the only ones that have the “expertise” or common ground that they could agree or disagree with your take on things. Of course none of you would be wrong, but that’s not the point. Any courtesy you extend by refraining from using the “been there” in debate with those that haven’t is just that, courtesy.

  65. B    Thu Jan 25, 11:50 AM #  

    Clarification for a phrase miscommunicated, view it as you wish.

  66. Manuel A. Tellechea    Thu Jan 25, 11:50 AM #  



    You have chosen “Alex” as your nom de plume just as Castro chose “Alejandro” as his nom de guerre.” Coincidence?

    Seriously, must everything that you say to nonee reference me even without naming me? How co-dependent is that? And must you debate me even when I am not here? Nonee you are authorized to answer for me in my absence: you know how I think and how I would address Alex.

  67. Alex    Thu Jan 25, 12:16 PM #  

    Please, Manuelito the barnacle. Here you come again diverting the topic when you have no argument left. I don’t see more than two references, in the way of examples of the wrong tack to take, and by name both times. Don’t try to insert yourself in conversations that you don’t have neither the maturity nor the intellectual honesty to participate in.

    But just so you twist your knickers a bit tighter, if that’s possible, Alex is not my “nom de plume”, it’s my actual name. Which I like very much. And yes, I’m named after Castro’s. Why do you bring this up now, it just dawned up on you or this is some silly “insult” you have kept up your sleeve all these months, witingfor the right moment to drop it? You would have a coronary if you knew how many people my age in Cuba are named Fidel, Raul, Camilo and Ernesto.

  68. alesh    Thu Jan 25, 12:22 PM #  


    Here’s what Manuel said, which supposedly is what set you off:

    What Más Canosa said was that if Fidel Castro won free elections he would accept the people’s choice.

    This was like a German Jew saying that if the German people elected Hitler democratically (which they did) he would accept their choice.

    He’s using Hitler as a tool to explain his pain. Hitler is a good example for this because everyone understands the pain of the Jewish people, whereas the pain of the Cuban people is often overlooked. Yes, there are major differences between between the two cases. But the pain one feels when their loved ones are killed for inhuman reasons is the same, right?

    . . .it’s just as horrifing to here people compare the homosexual struggles to the Civil Rights movement.

    Are you implying that there is no comparison?

  69. mkh    Thu Jan 25, 12:22 PM #  

    it’s precisely because he’s the universally-agreed worst dude ever.

    I wish that was the case. I’ve seen far too many alleged debates with conservatives end up with Hitler being downgraded so they can make the “progressive = liberal = leftist = socialist = communist = Stalin = the worst dude ever was a liberal” digression.

    So it may be a common agreement, but it is far from universal.

  70. Dan    Thu Jan 25, 12:50 PM #  

    For what it’s worth, I would like to point out that (Re: the small side flamefest regarding New Times), yes, both papers have their own completely separate and distinct staffs and also, both Best Of editions are written entirely in house by each paper’s staff, with no contributions by the other paper’s personnel. Don’t know what that does for the argument, but I figured I’d offer it for clarity’s sake.

    As for the main argument at hand … I like Cuban food. It’s good. Oh, and Afro-Cuban music’s pretty sweet.

    Yeah, I think that’s all I’ve got to say about Cuba.

  71. B    Thu Jan 25, 12:51 PM #  

    That’s not “the” comment that set me off, it was actually:

    What I saw on the video was a bunch of young thugs, in the service of Hugo Chávez and his beshitted friend, instigating a planned provocation against some elderly men who were more spry than the “Bolivarian” Youth gave them credit for.

    Imagine yourself in Germany in the 1930s, witnessing a gang of elderly Jews being harrassed by the Hitler Youth — a scene that occurred thousands of times then. Who could in good conscience condemn the Jews for striking out against their tormentors? Who could in good conscience defend the Hitler Youth?

    I don’t beleive there’s any comparison, but again, that’s my opinion.

    Also as for your question, it IS Civil Rights issue, but to compare it to the struggles of the African American from 1896-1954 is, as Alex has put it’s so out of kilter does nothing for the argument.

    Homosexuals are seeking Civil Unions, spousal health care death benefits (which they’re absolutly entitled to). Do you really feel that there’s an acurate compairison to what took place in the US for all those years ( I assume that I need not cite the history of the “movement”)?

  72. Manuel A. Tellechea    Thu Jan 25, 12:52 PM #  


    With you even when I make a joke it turns out to be a fact.

    Here was my little joke:

    You have chosen “Alex” as your nom de plume just as Castro chose “Alejandro” as his nom de guerre.” Coincidence?

    But guess what?

    The joke turns out to be no joke.

    You admit that your given name is indeed Alejandro and that you were in fact named in honor of Fidel Castro, whose nom de guerre was “Alejandro.”

    Alex, you were born in 1970. So your parents were still into naming babies after Castro eleven years after he came to power?

    Is there any crime that Castro had not committed by 1970?

  73. nonee moose    Thu Jan 25, 12:52 PM #  

    Yeah, Manuel, that may be… but it would also be intellectually dishonest at times. We’re all big boys and girls here, right? I am honored that you would so esily give me your proxy, nevertheless.

    B, please don’t misunderstand, I would feel the same way if it were the other way around. I just don’t understand why the backlash at all. What is it that is so offensive about being held as the proverbial yardstick of suffering? That the example should stand, not IN comparison to, but as a descriptor of a pain so deeply felt? Is it insincere? Mocking in some way? This is not a case of the need to legitimize anything, and frankly, your suggestion of such gives me a bit of heartburn.

    It keeps sounding to me that “all plights are equal, only some are more equal than others…” Now how do we measure THAT, I wonder?

    Manuel, whom I have recently been informed I hold some Vulcan mind-meld with, may challenge you on your gay rights example, that is unless Rosie busts in and shuts us all down for not being one of HER people… i would expect him to do research on this, something along the lines of beatings and deprivations of rights… btw, anybody know of any gay slaves? Man this is tangled.

    And please, let’s not mistake the “Cuba issue” for anything we are talking bout here. That moment passed long ago.

  74. B    Thu Jan 25, 01:07 PM #  

    Moose: I wish I possessed the vocabulary to appropriately convey the feeling I carry of knowing what was done to a large portion of my family. I don’t though. I also wish I could explain why any comparison to the Holocaust churns my stomach, but I can not.

    I almost wish my wife and her family were not who they are so that I would not have to feel the horrors the endured before their escape from Cuba.

    I would NEVER compare anything to what they’ve been through because I feel that it would detract and disrespect the memory of their experience and from the examples. I expect the same respect for the Holocaust.

    I know this probably explains nothing, but it is what is is.

    Also, for further clarification, you stated that:

    This is not a case of the need to legitimize anything, and frankly, your suggestion of such gives me a bit of heartburn.

    I’m not suggesting that it needs legitimizing, I was asking if you or the collective you needs it to be.

  75. Manuel A. Tellechea    Thu Jan 25, 01:31 PM #  

    “No, we should not have a debate over who was worse, just like with Castro and Pinochet. We shouldn’t have a debate equating the two at all, that’s the point.” — Alex (post #59)

    “ I believe anybody can challenge or debate the reality of childhood in Cuba, just not MY personal experiences and what I got out of it.” — Alex (post #61)

    As I said, Alejandro, you are so dependent on me that you are unable to think without referencing me, as above. Even if you don’t name me, it is to me that both these quotes apply because no one else has challenged the fantasy of your idyllic childhood in Castro’s Cuba or engaged you in a debate on whether Pinochet was better than Castro.

  76. Manuel A. Tellechea    Thu Jan 25, 01:54 PM #  

    “btw, anybody know of any gay slaves?” — nonee

    If I possessed Rick’s sophomoric humor, I could make a 100 jokes around that line.

    But since my mind has a strictly historical vent, I will point out that all Greek slaves were the sexual property of their Roman masters, and that the Ottoman emperors, among others, kept harems of boys. Raúl Castro is also rumored to keep such a harem.

    And, of course, the most notorious living persecutor of homosexuals is whom? Fidel Castro. That’s something else he has in common with Hitler. But b would argue that we can’t discuss Castro’s crimes against gays because Hitler’s were worse.

  77. Alex    Thu Jan 25, 02:04 PM #  

    Ha! If only you were the sole idiot who has tried to prove my life experiences are “fantasy”. We would had been done with this a long time ago.

    Dude, I do you a favor. Without me answering your incesant nagging —“what’s your name?”, “do you support this?”, “how about that?”, “ask me why I haven’t done this”— you would have run out of steam eons ago.

    But I’m getting tired of toying with you, especially if it’s getting to the point of hijacking threads and diverting a discussion that —with your exception— it’s pretty interesting. I know focus goes away with senility, but make an effort to stay on topic once in a while, please?

  78. alesh    Thu Jan 25, 02:10 PM #  

    B~ I see where you’re coming from now. The comparison you cite (#71) is pretty boneheaded. I have no idea who said that or where, but that’s just wrong.

  79. Alex    Thu Jan 25, 02:11 PM #  

    And I’m sorry, but I can’t resist. It’s “historical bent“. If minds had “vents” the one in yours would be a cloaca. Add that to your mangled English list, along with “mute point” and “luckwarm”. I pity your editor.

  80. Manuel A. Tellechea    Thu Jan 25, 02:25 PM #  


    So many other people besides me have challenged your contention that you lived an idyllic childhood in Communist Cuba, and that the best thing that ever happened to Alejandrito was to be conscripted at 12 into Castro’s child labor brigades? Is anybody surprised? But, then again, former members claim that their days in the Hitler Youth were the most idyllic of their lives, too. I am sure that your recollections and theirs are not much different.

    By the way, this is Alesh’s blog, not yours. Therefore you can refrain from your usual chant of “This is my blog, this is my blog.”

    Subserviance they taught you, but not manners.

    BTW, the “b” is next to the “v” on the keyboard and I am 90 years old. What is your excuse for your 1001 typos? What a baby you are.

  81. Dan    Thu Jan 25, 02:26 PM #  

    Oy. Alex, I’m generally on your side of this argument — I think that, you know, maybe assaulting people you disagree with may not be the most enlightened of responses — but this grammarian stuff gets a little petty doesn’t it?

    (respectfully submitted with zero typos)

  82. Alex    Thu Jan 25, 02:44 PM #  

    Sure Dan, I know it’s petty and I don’t engage in grammar policing normally. But he bombastically threathened, in these same (web)pages, to expose my deficiencies in English (which I freely admit). I’m just returning the favor. It’s a long story.

    The flamewar between me and the barnacle is getting tired. I’m very cognizant of it, but the flesh is weak. Like I said, sorry.

  83. Manuel A. Tellechea    Thu Jan 25, 03:24 PM #  


    Alex knows it’s petty, but he does it. He can’t control himself: “The flesh is weak,” he says. He’s contrite. But he’ll do it again anyway. This, as nonee pointed out, is known as “co-dependence.”

    Alex has often threatened (not “threathened,” Alex) to ignore my posts, and for a while he was even doing it or addressing me through third-parties. But he grew tired of this charade and engaged me directly again. This is also proof of nonee’s contention.

  84. Alex    Thu Jan 25, 03:56 PM #  

    You don’t have “posts”.

  85. Dan    Thu Jan 25, 04:44 PM #  

    Ah, sorry guys. Didn’t realize I was stepping into the middle the Hatfield-McCoy feud.

    Flame away!

    Then again, I’m sure there’s middle ground here. How ‘bout we all just concede that Castro’s a dick and leave it at that?

  86. Alex    Thu Jan 25, 05:07 PM #  

    Wish it was that simple. We conceded that a long time ago. We are just arguing about the ways to concede he is a dick.

  87. Dan    Thu Jan 25, 05:29 PM #  

    I see. It’s the People’s Front of Judea, not the Judean People’s Front.

  88. nonee moose    Thu Jan 25, 05:49 PM #  

    B, boobie, bruder… under your rules YOU DON’T GET TO FEEL ANYTHING about your wife’s OR her family’s pain and horrors…

    Tell the truth, now. What do you feel about it? I mean besides a little empathy, seeing the pain and anguish of somebody you love? But face it, deep down, you’re thinking all that horror and pain and suffering is crap, compared to the big H, am I right?

    I do have the vocabulary. Try insolence, for one. The other one to try is hypocrisy.

    Alex was wrong, man. You ARE sound and fury.

  89. mkh    Thu Jan 25, 09:24 PM #  

    Nice Python reference, Dan.

  90. Another perspective    Fri Jan 26, 01:34 AM #  

    My family is half Cuban and half Jewish. My father and uncle were Peter Pan kids, and my mom’s family are Ashkenazi Jews. My grandfather fought in World War II. Many of the most painful things I and my family have gone through are partially the result of the destructive effect of Castro’s regime on families. I am also friends with several people who were imprisoned in Cuba because of their religion.

    I still don’t think it is reasonable to liken Castro to Hitler. Castro is directly responsible for the death and torture of thousands of people, and a totalitarian and repressive government that has persisted for 48 years. Hitler is responsible for systematically hunting down, rounding up, confining to concentration camps, starving, forcing into labor, exterminating, and making soap and candles out of millions of people (including very young children) purely on the basis of their race, ethnicity and religion. Under Castro’s dictatorship, the majority of the people that were/are persecuted had to flee to the U.S. and other countries as refugees and exiles. Under Hitler’s dictatorship, the majority of the people that were persecuted and repressed were just killed.

    The Castro-Hitler comparison shuts down dialogue and makes it difficult for non-Cubans and non-Cuban-Americans to empathize with our plight.

  91. objectively    Fri Jan 26, 01:38 AM #  

    Hitler did good things for Germany: He helped the bankrupt German economy of post World War I bounce back; he cut unemployment; he restored the currency of his country (which to one point was so inflated it was better to burn it); in his rule, the autobahn was developed; and he increased manufacturing output, which upped jobs.

    Castro’s been good too! Whether it’s good or bad, Cubans have access to health care; they have one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America. The university system in Cuba is free. Castro has reached out and helped other Latin American countries by sending doctors and teachers to improve literacy and health care.

    Now, which of “these good men” deserve the Man of the Year award? We have to compare their good deeds. But wait, we know the answer is neither because of the atrocities both men have committed!

    I agree Cuban Americans have the right to be upset but don’t compare Castro to Hitler. It makes Cuban Americans sound bad rather than people who have truly suffered (and I believe they did, just as I believe they have helped this city succeed.)

    Forty-eight years ago, many Cubans were uprooted from their beloved country. They lost property, land, and contact with loved ones. Many have died in prisons and at the hands of Castro’s despotic regime. No one in Miami should minimize the pain of Cuban-Americans at Castro’s hands.

    However, what Hitler did was barbarous. He ordered the extermination of an ethnic group and nearly wiped them out from an entire continent! It wasn’t just Jews from Germany that died in gas chambers; there were Jews from Poland, the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. Furthermore, he stirred up a wave of hatred that continues to affect us today. His racist ideas have capitivated the minds of young people in Europe and in America. Their hatred is no longer directed at the Jews, but it also includes Asians, African-Americans, Arabs and Hispanics (which includes Cuban Americans). This hatred hangs outside the vestiges of our government; sometimes it appears disguised in government policy aimed at curtaling the rights of minority groups. It also sneaks in the hearts of many white Americans who feel a crass resentment to minorities. This is the “silent majority” white supremacists say will rise and foment their long-hoped-for race war.

    Prejudice, racism and hatred for other groups has existed in the U.S. since before its inception as a country; however, Hitler has been a rallying cry for racist thoughts and banter. The hood and buring cross of the KKK have given way to swastikas and Aryan symbols of Nazi Germany.

    Now, has Fidel had such a hateful influence on the world as Hitler?

    No. Although at one point in history he was a symbol of Latin America’s struggle against class and the United States. Both poor and rich in the region witnessed the fall of communism and are aware of the economic collapse of the Cuban regime. This is not the same kind of influence Hitler has had on the world.

    Hitler’s actions nearly wiped out a people(He also killed gypsys, homosexuals, people with deformities and disabilities, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, which bring his total execution of people to approximately 10 million). You cannot forget the millions more that died as a result of war in the Soviet front and Western fronts of Europe. His legacy of hate lives on glorified by white supremacy groups in Europe and America.

    Although, Castro’s actions made Cuban Americans and their families suffer. Hitler’s actions and legacy affected many more back then, and they still cause all of us suffering today. Comparing these two men is like making them finalists for a humanitarian award — absurd.

    We got too many racial and ethnic issues let’s not create another one by comparing these two despots and weighing each other’s pain on a hollow balance.

  92. Manuel A. Tellechea    Fri Jan 26, 05:45 AM #  

    “Hitler did good things for Germany … Castro’s been good too!” — objectively

    Is it even necessary to address your arguments when you display at the outset such abysmal ignorance?

    Hitler destroyed Germany and Castro destroyed Cuba. On that plane, above all, they are most compatible.

  93. Manuel A. Tellechea    Fri Jan 26, 06:25 AM #  

    Another Perspective:

    The blood is not yet dry on Castro’s killing fields nor have they ever been dug up. How could you or anyone know the full extent of his crimes over 48 years? Yet what is known already is enough to show that Castro is one of the few men in history who can stand to be compared to Hitler.

    Castro is not responsible for “thousands” of deaths but hundreds of thousands. This in a population that currently stands at 11 million. As I stated in post #52, Fidel Castro has killed more Cubans per capita than Hitler did Germans.

    The only difference between them is that Hitler selected certain groups for his predations and Castro preyed on all Cubans.

  94. nonee moose    Fri Jan 26, 07:52 AM #  

    People, you are still keeping score, and that’s not the point, IMO. This is NOT a comparison. Two evil men with different psychic defects, styles, grand plans, motivations, historic and political limitations— you name it.

    Pick an adjective, any adjective, to describe either one. You will see it is big enough to have room for both these monsters. Again, not a comparison, but rather a testament to the inexactness of language, generally.

    Neither should there be any exercise to determine whose pain is bigger (nor who’s the bigger pain, yes?). You would think there is a common denominator in there somewhere. And if by chance someone likens the beard to the little mustache, it is not a literal comparison, but rather a benchmark for anguish.

  95. Manuel A. Tellechea    Fri Jan 26, 08:14 AM #  

    According to the census of June 1933, the Jewish population of Germany consisted of 505,000 people. Jews represented less than 1 percent of the total German population of 67 million. Approximately 300,000 German Jews managed to escape before the Holocaust. Of those remaining 170,000 were killed in the Holocaust. (Source: The Holocaust Encyclopedia).

    The Cuban Archive Project has identified and documented 102,000 Cubans killed by Castro (and this number, of course, is always growing).

    Hitler killed 170,000 German Jews relative to a total German population of 67 million in 1933 (when he took over in 1933). Castro has killed 102,000 Cubans out of a total population of 6.6 million (when he took over in 1959).

    Proportionally, Castro has killed 7 times more Cubans than Hitler did German Jews. Even if we relate Castro’s killings to the current Cuban population (11 million), he has still killed 4 times as many Cubans than Hitler killed German Jews.

    Moreover, if all the European Jews killed by Hitler (6 million) in all countries to which he extended the Holocaust are taken as a percentage of the total population of Europe, Castro has still killed more Cubans per capita than Hitler killed Jews.

    As bad as Hitler? No, worse.

    If that is a concept that some can’t accept because they view Jewish lives as more valuable than Cuban lives, so be it.

  96. nonee moose    Fri Jan 26, 08:33 AM #  

    Manuel, you’re sounding awfully… something. Don’t know what to call it yet, but my stomach is starting to turn.

    Do you really want to go down this road?

  97. Manuel A. Tellechea    Fri Jan 26, 08:45 AM #  


    I am tired of going around in circles, nonee.

    Call it what you will.

    The truth always amounts to a firm slap in most people’s faces.

    But the facts are there and they cannot be disputed.

    If the facts turn your stomach, they should.

  98. Alex    Fri Jan 26, 09:47 AM #  

    Manuel A Tellechea: Exhibit A of why the exiles have been unable to influence poular opinion in favor of Cuban freedom. Castro is many things, but he surely has been blessed with these enemies.

  99. Manuel A. Tellechea    Fri Jan 26, 10:01 AM #  


    Every opinion poll taken since the 1960s has shown that Americans despise Castro and overwhelmingly support the Cuban people’s right to freedom.

    I am at least proud to count myself an enemy of Fidel Castro. Are you?

  100. alesh    Fri Jan 26, 10:49 AM #  

    That’s interesting, Manuel. But allow me to point out the obvious:

    1. The 102,000 figure is just a stab in the dark. Nobody has any idea how many people Castro has killed except Castro (and maybe not even him).

    2. The Holocaust was an attempt to wipe a particular race of people off the earth. This is different from killing your political enemies.

    3. The actual number of people killed in the Holocaust is 10 million.

  101. Manuel A. Tellechea    Fri Jan 26, 11:22 AM #  


    . The 102,000 figure is just a stab in the dark. Nobody has any idea how many people Castro has killed except Castro (and maybe not even him).

    I acknowledged as much when I noted: “The blood is not yet dry on Castro’s killing fields nor have they ever been dug up.” The 102,000 figure is conservative. When all is known that can be known, the figure will probably surpass 200,000 (in fact, by some calculations, it already has).

    2. The Holocaust was an attempt to wipe a particular race of people off the earth. This is different from killing your political enemies.

    I also noted this: “The only difference between them is that Hitler selected certain groups for his predations and Castro preyed on all Cubans.”

    3. The actual number of people killed in the Holocaust is 10 million.

    Even so, Castro would still have killed more Cubans per capita than Hitler did Jews.

    The Holocaust is certainly sui generis because it targetted a specific people for extinction. Therein lies the distinctiveness of the Holocaust and this is not in dispute.

    As a matter of fact, Stalin and Mao each killed more people than did Hitler. But Hitler is rightly regarded as a case apart because his killing was not based on mere political considerations but on the gratuitous hatred of an entire people.

  102. Another perspective    Fri Jan 26, 04:42 PM #  

    “But Hitler is rightly regarded as a case apart because his killing was not based on mere political considerations but on the gratuitous hatred of an entire people.”

    Exactly. This included not only Jews, but other ethnic and social groups that Nazism held as inferior to Aryan race.

    Wikipedia says:
    “The exact ideals adopted by neo-Nazi movements vary, but they often include allegiance to Adolf Hitler, anti-semitism, racism, xenophobia, nationalism, militarism, and homophobia.

    Neo-Nazi activity [although ‘marginalized by the…stigma inherent in their politics’] appears to be a global phenomenon, with organized representation in almost every western country, as well as international networks.”

    Has Castro originated an analagous ideology? Even 60 years from now, do you think that Castro’s ideology will fuel the mobilization of a global, organized movement that perpetuates hatred and violence towards non-whites and immigrants of many national and ethnic origins, gay people, and disabled people?

    Are you counting the people killed by neo-Nazis (including groups like the KKK) in your per-capita tally?

  103. Dan    Fri Jan 26, 05:23 PM #  

    Another Perspective —

    I definitely see your point here, but including the KKK is a little weird, since that group predates the rise of Hitler by about 70 years

  104. Another perspective    Fri Jan 26, 06:45 PM #  

    Dan – you’re right. My bad. But even if you take out my faulty KKK mention, I think the argument still stands. (Although the 2nd iteration of the KKK and the early Nazi party formed around the same time (1915 and 1918). Both promoted white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and anti-communist ideologies. The KKK supported the Nazi party during WW I.)

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that when people start mentioning those two names in the same breath, it’s not just about “a benchmark for pain” or comparing two heinous and despicable men. On those terms, yes. Killing is killing is killing.

    But when Cubans bring up Hitler in an effort to convey the magnitude of Castro’s wrongs, they are, maybe unwittingly, bringing up Nazism, which in turn brings up white/Protestant supremacy carried out to its evilest possible level.

    People associate the Holocaust with the Jews. But it’s not just about that. Hitler/Nazism/white supremacy represent the idea that the right to life and freedom should be based on a bizarre standard of racial and ethnic purity. That only a very small percentage of the world’s population are human and deserve rights.

    Under THAT ideology, Cubans, Jews, and all people of color would pretty much be in the same boat.

    Wouldn’t anti-Castro Cubans find more allies, more understanding, and more respect for the profundity of their pain and struggle if they recognized that?

  105. objectively    Fri Jan 26, 10:57 PM #  

    Manuel, I have a question for you. What’s your opinion of Agusto Pinochet and his legacy in Chile? He fought communists and toppled a regime that had ties to the KGB and began a blatant socialization of a country (that being Salvador Allende). Do you see him as a champion against communism?

    Now, what if I tell you that I compare Pinochet’s rule to be like Fidel Castro — and Hitler’s. Is this a fair assessment? If were a Chilean that suffered under his regime. Do I have the same right to compare him to Castro?

    What if I am Panamanian. To me Manuel Noriega was like Fidel Castro? Is that a fair comparison?

  106. alesh    Fri Jan 26, 11:13 PM #  


    please to be referring to this thread where castro/pinochet comparisons get done to death and halfway back.

    please, not again, people!!

  107. objectively    Fri Jan 26, 11:19 PM #  

    Manuel I want you to condemn Pinochet for murdering over 3,000 suspected socialists and communists and for torturing 30,000 more. Can you do that? Furthermore, on your post, say that as a freely elected leader Salvador Allende had the right to rule without unecessary interference from the Chilean military, even if this meant Chile leaned towards Socialism. Can you agree to that?

    Probably not. You, too me, are so blinded by your anti-castro, anti-communist views, that you can (A) compare Castro to Hitler; while at the same time you laud Pinochet and the other dictators of 1970s Latin America because they were on our side. They fought communists; they exterminated from their countries and prevented a domino-effect of socialism that could have followed. Am I right? If I am, repeat the things I asked you at the beginning.

  108. J-J    Sat Jan 27, 12:31 AM #  

    Here we go again!

  109. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sat Jan 27, 06:20 AM #  


    After Pinochet’s death, I posted for weeks hundreds of comments on a dozen blogs which answered all your questions over and over again.

    One last time: KGB agent/President Salvador Allende was impeached by the Chilean Congress for subverting the Constitution. Since he refused to vacate office, the Congress ordered Pinochet, as chief of the army, to eject him from the presidential palace. Then, according to whichever version you credit, Allende either committed suicide with a submachine gun, a gift from Castro, or was killed by his Cuban bodyguards at Castro’s orders because Allende had wanted to surrender rather than fight. The bodyguards, headed by Patricio de la Guardia, then took refuge in the Cuban embassy across the street from the palace.

    Cuba and Chile have approximately the same population (11 million). Pinochet is accused of 3000 killings and Castro of 102,000. So, let’s see, does having killed nearly 100,000 more people than are imputed to Pinochet make Castro worse than Pinochet? You decide.

    During his 17-year rule, Pinochet held several elections; and when he was defeated in the last one, he relinquished power to his enemies. Cubans have been waiting for 48 years for Castro to hold the free elections that he promised before he came to power.

    Today, Chile is a vibrant democracy and its economy is the most prosperous in Latin America. What about Cuba? Even you can answer that question.

    Finally, you say that I am “blinded by my anti-Castro anti-communist views.” Does that mean that you are enlightened because of your pro-Castro pro-Communist views?

  110. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sat Jan 27, 06:46 AM #  

    P.S.: Manuel Noriega? Do you mean the self-admitted conduit between Fidel Castro and the Colombian drug cartels? That Noriega?

    The U.S. has just released him from jail and he is headed for Panama (if he’s not already there). If you are a Panamanian it seems to me that you have bigger things to worry about than whether Pinochet was better than Castro or Castro worse than Hitler.

    If I were you I would look to Daniel Ortega’s example and shudder.

    Or I may be wrong: You may actually want Noriega back in power in Panama.

  111. AP    Sat Jan 27, 11:32 AM #  

    Manuel – Did you have any thoughts about comments #102 and 104?

  112. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sat Jan 27, 01:40 PM #  


    I agree with you that “Killing is killing is killing.” Just my point: A Jew who was killed by Hitler is not more or less killed than a Cuban who was killed by Castro.

    Nor is Hitler exculpated by noting that others killed more people than he did because the supreme evil of the Holocaust is not contingent on just numbers, though the numbers are staggering. Those who think that it’s all about numbers do a great disservice to its victims and historical truth.

    The Holocaust is not unique because more people were killed in the Holocaust than in any other man-made catastrophe. Stalin and Mao each killed many more people than did Hitler. The uniqueness of the Holocaust does not lie in numbers, but in the fact that it was motivated by racism rather than politics or ideology. Its victims were killed not for what they thought but because of whom they were.

    So nothing is taken away from the Holocaust by noting that Castro, like Stalin and Mao, has killed more Cubans per capita than Hitler killed Jews.

  113. AP    Sat Jan 27, 02:50 PM #  

    “The uniqueness of the Holocaust does not lie in numbers, but in the fact that it was motivated by racism rather than politics or ideology. Its victims were killed not for what they thought but because of whom they were.”

    Right. So in view of this fact, do you understand why getting non-Cubans to understand the situation in Cuba by likening it to Nazi Germany doesn’t seem to work? And that it even makes people angry?

  114. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sat Jan 27, 03:18 PM #  


    It “doesn’t work” with people who are convinced that Hitler’s evil is simply a matter of numbers and think that any comparison of numbers negates or diminishes the Holocaust. This, as I’ve already pointed out, is ridiculous and offensive.

    It is helpful, however, for Castro’s apologists to know just how far their idol has gone, and nothing illustrates that better than the fact that he may be the only man living on earth today whose crimes bear comparison to Hitler’s numerically — a fact that you didn’t know until I told you, and which, I dare say, few people know at all and still fewer would have the honesty to say because of this confusion about the real nature of Hitler’s crimes. Please do not tell that knowing the real magnitude of Castro’s has not affected your opinion of him for the worse.

  115. nonee moose    Sat Jan 27, 03:22 PM #  

    “Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.” – Elie Wiesel

    I guess no one else can be guilty of that?

    Ah well, who cares, anyway?

  116. AP    Sat Jan 27, 04:19 PM #  

    Mr. Manuel:

    I already knew Castro was totally evil.

    Comparing Castro to Hitler “doesn’t work” with people who are convinced that Hitler’s evil is a matter of racism and white supremacy and think that any comparison of numbers negates or diminishes the extent to which racism, white supremacy, and other Nazi ideologies had and continue to have an infinitely more profound effect on the world as a whole.

    Not to be pesada, but one last time:
    Wouldn’t anti-Castro Cubans find more allies, more understanding, and more respect for the profundity of their pain and struggle if they recognized that?

  117. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sat Jan 27, 04:45 PM #  


    You are now in that “no man can know me” phase (or understand you).

    Indifference to evil is wrong, but how can that indifference be the epitome (or summary) of evil? Isn’t evil worse than indifference? And isn’t indifference (to pain or suffering) one of the manifestations of evil, not the other way around?

  118. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sat Jan 27, 04:49 PM #  


    If you already know that Castro is totally evil then I can ask no more of you.

  119. AP    Sat Jan 27, 04:51 PM #  



    Is there a reason you haven’t responded to the question I just posed (for the second time)?

  120. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sat Jan 27, 05:43 PM #  


    Answer: No.

    Because others need to know also that Castro is totally evil. We owe that to his victims no less than we owe Hitler’s victims the tribute of our acknowledgment.

    The left in this country has never recognized the crimes of Stalin or Mao, or taken the responsibility which they should for having abetted those crimes with their silence or furthered them by their complicity. The same holds even more for Castro.

    Hiding the full extent of Castro’s crimes in order not to wound the sensibilities of the living is a disservice to the dead.

    If Castro killed more people per capita than Hitler, then that fact needs to be known.

  121. objectively    Sat Jan 27, 06:05 PM #  

    pro-Castro pro-Communist views? WTF?

    Who said I was communist or love Castro! Castro and Chavez are both idiots in my book!

    From every part of the political spectrum, left to right, they’re all crooks to me, and I will lambaste the liberal weenie like I would the right-wing nut job. Example, look at the stupid proposal in the California legislature to make spanking kids under 4 illegal.

    I just brought that point to show — even though I didn’t know it was brought up since I am a newbie to this blog and blogs in general — so you would see how you would be offended if I compare Noriega and say he was worse than Castro.

    As the previous poster stated, there needs to be “more respect for the profundity of their pain and struggle.” When we throw numbers and make statements and weigh pain on faulty scales we lose that.

    Living here over 25 years, I know there is a strong suffering in the Cuban community that transcends generations and I respect that suffering. Many times I have found myself explaining to our newer, non-cuban immigrants the issue of Cuba because they think Cubans are always complaining and they get everything.

    But when you compare Castro to Hitler and say that he was worse, use quasi numbers to prove your point, and brand everyone not agreeing with you a “communista” (in Neil Rogers sarcastic tone), it makes it hard for others to respect the profundity of your pain.” and that is why here in Miami, many of our non-cuban residents downplay Cubans’ suffering and resent them (Neil Rogers).

    You have obviously suffered because of Castro, and none of us will ever know your pain. I know that even if you were born in the United States to Cuban parents that suffering transcends generations. I know that personally.

    You suffered a lot, no one should compare or downplay your pain; but you cannot downplay other’s pain and use numbers and say the truth “is sometimes a slap in the face”. I think you agree with that Manuel. Do you?

    Again, pain is an indvidual thing. The family that lost loved ones as a result of Noriega will think that he was the worst thing in the world, as the Chilean that suffered under Pinochet — and they have a right to think that way. Just as you have a right to think Castro is the worst. But making comparisons in the open dilutes that it turns people on you. Even if there is freedom of speech, I think the right and moral thing to do is to never downplay anyone’s suffering.

    Furthermore, to call everyone a communist or to squash discussion or other views as it happens in Miami further dilutes Cubans’ pain. Looking back at the incident on Calle Ocho and 13th Avenue: if the Pro-Posada crowd would have left those salon communist, weenies alone, most people in Little Havana wouldn’t have cared about them. The composition of the neighborhood has changed so much that it is not predominantly Cuban. And I know the Central American population of this neighborhood would despise these idiots. A strong organized protest response would have made these idiots look even more stupid. Now, these morons, look like they’re “victims of abuse by the Cuban majority that oppresses freedom in Miami.” What’s more what Posada is being charged with makes it even more important to use words than fists to confront the Bolivarian Youth idiots, who I agree should have gotten a permit (you put your foot inside an antpile for five minutes, and you are going to get bitten — more than once).

    I think it would work for the Cuban exile community (indiviualwise and as a collective group) to increase their influence if they use words. I know it’s hard, you’ve suffered a lot, but it will get better results. One example, public schools in Miami teach Black History, Native American History, Hispanic heritage and the Holocaust. With such a sizeable community, someone should lobby for schools to teach about the Cuban community and their exile from Cuba. As an educator, teaching school kids about the Cuban community and its history here would be well-received. And it makes sense to do so in a way we can all communicate without feeling threatned. Also the Cuban exile community should do more to lobby their plight in Latin America.

    Castro has done a good job of making himself look like a gallant Latin American caudillo against the United States, a favorable leader over his 48 years in power and a champion of the Latin American poor by influencing institutions and governments throughout Latin America. He’s pimped out the Che and immortalized him.

    It might be hard, but I think but it would be great if the exile community chipped away at his influence through education and communication and condemn violent actions like the Calle Ocho incident.

    So to close I think, Manny, we all agree to respect each other’s pain. You have to agree that comparing Hitler with Castro is bad just as I agree comparing Noriega to Castro is bad.

    Instead of pointing facts with quasi numbers educate us of your suffering without comparing it to others. If the left doesn’t acknowledge Castro’s terror, educate! Make others never forget! I am all for that! Just don’t compare suffering or say your suffering is worse.

    Instead of educating about Cuba’s struggle and Castro’s terror, a lot of people think, resent or don’t care about the Cuban exile community because of the attitude you and many exiles display.

    You want to not do a disservice the dead victims of Castro’s terror and let the world know the full extent of Castro’s terror, then stop comparing Castro and saying he’s worse than Hitler and anyone else.

    That way all our sufferings and cause will be dignified instead of resented, living or dead.

  122. AP    Sat Jan 27, 06:19 PM #  


    For one thing, that weird “per capita” thing you keep bringing up is statistically faulty. It would only be an accurate numerical comparison if Hitler only killed Jews (which he did not) and only killed people in his own country (which he did not). Also, Hitler managed to exterminate over 10 million people in less than twelve years.

    Who is talking about hiding anything? Why do you have to bring Hitler into it to reveal “the full extent” of Castro’s crimes? Why can’t you just say that Castro is estimated to have killed over 100,000 people in his own country? Isn’t that bad enough?

    If you REALLY want to persuade people with other opinions to agree with you, you (and every other Cuban that insists on comparing Castro to Hitler) need to understand that, no matter how you personally feel about it, comparing Cuba under Castro to Hitler’s regime completely alienates a LOT of people.

    I agree with the poster above—If you don’t want to do a disservice to victims of Castro’s terror, and let the world know the full extent of Castro’s wrongs, then stop comparing Castro to Hitler. It is obviously not a useful political or persuasive strategy.

  123. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sat Jan 27, 07:22 PM #  

    Objectivity & AP:

    The nightmare of Nazism lasted 12 years. It was ended by the concerted action of all the free peoples of the world. The nightmare of Castroism has lasted 48 years (and counting) and was perpetuated by the indifference and complicity of the free world, and particularly of the United States. Yet, like Hitler, Castro brought the world to the brink of destruction in the Missile Crisis.

    Since you both believe that the Holocaust should not be to any other historical event, do you also think that Adolf Hitler cannot be compared to Fidel Castro? Is it possible to compare Hitler to any other architect of evil? To Stalin? To Mao? Or do you accord him a monopoly of evil in this world and prominence above all men?

    If so, then not only is the Holocaust sacrosanct to you but the architect of the Holocaust is also.

    Political correctness always leads to such absurdities.

  124. objectively    Sun Jan 28, 01:04 AM #  

    This is my last post on this subject. Forget the time; forget the numbers, it’s not right! Some things are just plain and simple wrong and this comparison whose-pain-is-worst pissing contest is one of them


    Pain is sacrosanct! Hitler is not! I don’t think it’s right that you rob the sacredness of someone’s pain and suffering by claiming your’s is deeper. I don’t care what you believe in! And that’s what you do with your posts and by saying Castro is worse because his regime lasted longer.

    Your pain is sacrosanct; you have every right to feel it. Just don’t go out of your way to prove it’s the all-time worst. You can compare and contrast both men in academia, maybe to get a better perspective on them, sure. But you can’t rank them the way you would rank a college football team competing for the national championship, which my friend you are doing.

    That’s the problem.

    As its short life of Nazism, its nightmare still exists today; it has transcended countries and continents and it corrupts our youth. Go to the
    American Nazi Party or White Aryan Resistance and see how Hitler influences their hatred.

    As for political correctness leading to absurdities, you’re right that too much political correctness is absurd (i.e. let’s call dogs canine americans). However, a balance must exist so we don’t trample on human decency and morality by being so “candid.”

    I am not saying lie or sugarcoat or downplay things, but if something is pointless and absurd like “Castro killed more people, he’s made people suffer longer, therfore he’s the worst all time,” what good is this so-called “truth” going to do? What is it going to make those that suffered realize? Just because Castro outlasted Hitler, killed more people per-capita, doesn’t mean one is worst than the other. Circumstances are different; that is why you contrast when you compare.

    You’re better off winning me over with your experiences and stories and struggle without the ranking that has gone on.

    I am done with this discussion. I hope you get a chance to return to a free Cuba one day, and I hope you see that ranking Castro isn’t going to help anyone, dead or alive that has suffered through this.

  125. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sun Jan 28, 03:33 AM #  


    So it is your position, then, that it is alright to compare Castro to Hitler, but not the number of Castro’s victims to the number of Hitler’s victims? I really don’t see much of a distinction there.

    As for your suggestion, I do not believe in pimping my own pain. I am never going to be Exhibit “A” in any denunciation of Castro’s evil. I prefer to class him with his equals, Stalin, Mao, and, yes, Hitler.

    I have nothing more to add.

  126. nonee moose    Sun Jan 28, 03:32 PM #  

    Manuel, believe it or not, though I totally disagree with your chosen calculus, what I borrowed from Elie Wiesel (a Nobel Prize winner, but more importantly, a Holocaust survivor who as much as anyone, should be accorded some expertise on evil by all here), was in the hopes that the rest of the folks here who disagree with you, ON THE SAME BASIS YOU AGREE WITH YOURSELF, would see where the actual common ground lies on this subject.

    Mr. Wiesel’s point is that beyond any physical atrocity which hitler and his nazi cohorts could have visited upon the Jews (and the homosexuals, and so many other targeted groups), the greatest evil was his indifference between life and death. And this is how humanity was betrayed by the Holocaust. But back to indifference for a moment.

    So my question was merely this: If we accept the premise, as stated by someone who, as much as anyone who could ever comment on the subject. frames the subject of evil. And he frames it in terms of its ultimate and most perfect manifestation — indifference. Are there those out there who would disagree that such a manifestation of evil has, sadly, been attained by many individuals throughout history? And further that it is not a mantle that can belong to just one?

    This is not a contest, and so many here have said as much. Where all this back and forth has gone awry is when that next thought is said out loud, because that next thought in fact makes the question a contest. Let’s deal in absolutes, then. Evil. Yes. Period.

  127. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sun Jan 28, 05:45 PM #  


    Eli Wiesel is perhaps the only Nobel laureate who has condemned Fidel Castro’s regime. Certainly Rigoberta Menchu and Adolfo Esquival, the Latin American winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, are shameless apologists for the Castro regime; and it says a lot about the Nobel committee that they should choose to honor such moral reprobates.

    A denier of Castro’s crimes is no better than a denier of the Holocaust. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised if someone piped-in that deniers of the Holocaust are much worse.

  128. Another perspective    Sun Jan 28, 07:54 PM #  

    I think I can see what you’re saying, nonee moose. I agree that “...such a manifestation of evil has, sadly, been attained by many individuals throughout history…And further that it is not a mantle that can belong to just one.”

    I got involved in this discussion and felt strongly about it because I grew up knowing about (and affected by) my own family’s experiences, but outside the context of Miami. When I moved here and started to get to know more people who had come here from Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, and other places—to escape violence or oppression or extreme poverty—I found that most people sympathized with the situation of people from Cuba, but that they were frustrated or fed up with some Cubans’ myopic “contest” attitude. It makes me mad when people dis Cubans and Cuban-Americans, but it’s really hard to defend that small, vocal contingent who insist on drawing all the attention to their own struggle without being willing to try to understand or even acknowledge someone else’s.

    How many of the world’s governments regularly manifest this particular evil in order to achieve their goals? What about ours? I was just doing some research to figure out how many civilian casualties the U.S. could be held responsible for from the bombings of Hiroshima/Nagasaki, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War combined. I gave up trying to come up with an accurate count, but it’s hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people, possibly millions?

    Anyway, there is no world government that I can think of that has done anything to benefit any segment of its society without somehow shafting huge numbers of people—whether it is another segment of its own population or outside its borders.

    It’s a waste of time and energy to make unnecessary enemies.

    So with that, I am now officially done with this discussion, too! Manuel, I wish you the best. Thank you, as well as nonee moose and objective, for giving me more stuff to think about.

  129. jordan massengale    Mon Jan 29, 01:14 AM #  

    Are Cubans really Russian displaced communists? Is this the reason for the “Bay of Pigs” situation? Seriously teach me.

  130. nonee moose    Mon Jan 29, 07:49 AM #  

    yes, jordan. Cubans are really just displaced Russian communists. And the Bay of Pigs situation was merely a case of one set of commuists locking the other set out of the clubhouse.

    Oh yeah, that thing in your ass? That’s your thumb. Seriously.

  131. jordan massengale    Tue Jan 30, 01:03 AM #  

    wow thanks glad it’s not yours…

  132. nonee moose    Tue Jan 30, 11:09 AM #  

    no prob, man. first lesson’s free. come back McSoon…

  133. 744.22836.567709    Wed Jan 31, 12:49 AM #  

    Blogging can be fun. Let’s keep it that way. Don’t replace your views with another’s name and principles. Why ? “Get a life” as they say Moosehead !
    What is your ISP ?

  134. nonee moose    Wed Jan 31, 07:40 AM #  

    You seem way smarter than me, 90210. My ISP is Capricorn. Come here often?

  135. Steve    Wed Jan 31, 09:23 AM #  

    Mr Moose: You’re pretty damn funny, even at 7:40 am. I’m jealous. How do you manage to stay up that late?

  136. nonee moose    Wed Jan 31, 10:15 AM #  

    Steve: I get up early and hope nobody notices…