Jump to content

PC Crowd loves to hate Cuban Americans

Guest Juanky

Recommended Posts

PC crowd loves to hate Cuban Americans

Thursday, October 17, 2002 | Miami Herald


Cuban Americans were the darlings of the Cold War era, admired as hard-working, successful and patriotic ?migr?s -- role models of the American dream. That was true at least until the fall of the Berlin Wall, when to many they became alienated outcasts in a world trying to ignore that the Castro Wall in Cuba remains.


Unfortunately, in Miami and Havana, the Cold War isn't over yet.


I refer to Cuban Americans as ''they,'' because though my parents are Cuban exiles, and I'm part of the community, I was born and reared in Los Angeles, served as an officer in the U.S. Marines and am an American Cuban. Slightly different emphasis, but same issues.


When I was a freshman at Georgetown University early in President Reagan's first term, the now oft-vilified Cuban American National Foundation had just begun lobbying for a free Cuba. Along with other Cuban exile groups that focused on peaceful political activity to bring democracy to Cuba, the foundation -- while perhaps sometimes heavy-handed -- had major influence in Washington, D.C. The community was feted for its enthusiastic support of American policies to end communism and promote democracy.


Americans from across the country regularly regaled me with anecdotes of their Cuban-American friends' exile success stories: of Coca-Cola Chairman Roberto Goizueita, a Cuban American and of other previously well-off Cuban doctors, lawyers and business people such as my parents. These exiles were transplanted here suddenly with nothing, unable to speak English, working long hours at menial jobs to send their children to good schools, while they studied law again or prepared for U.S. medical boards or created successful businesses. Others joined the military, putting their lives on the line for the good old U.S. of A.


Somewhere along the line, though, after the Soviet collapse, after Bill Clinton and especially after the Eli?n saga, something happened. Deriding Cuban Americans as corrupt zealots became commonplace. Cuban Americans became the group that the politically correct in-crowd loves to hate. Now we regularly hear them called ''those people'' and even the ''Miami Mafia'' -- a Castro-coined phrase.


What happened?


Well, chief among many reasons is a dichotomy -- Cuban Americans are both successful and an aggrieved minority. While influential, their immense suffering from lives destroyed, fortunes lost, families separated and discrimination is also real and ongoing. I never met my dying grandmother; Castro then wouldn't allow my parents back. But because of their success and affluence, Cuban Americans get little sympathy. Some critics even believe that attacks are justified. Often the insults are based on envy and resentment, or simply a cover for bitter ideological differences.


Sadly, commentators can now call older Cuban Americans a ''failed generation,'' insult Cuban-American members of Congress or label the entire community as corrupt and dangerous without fearing charges of racism or prejudice.


Often disguised as attacks on the ''leadership,'' the smearing extends to the whole group. Some slights are minor or indirect, such as calling Miami a banana republic. Other insults are more serious and direct.


In the new book Cuba Confidential, the author, in two especially egregious chapters, essentially equates the ill-defined ''Cuban-exile leadership'' with Fidel Castro's tyranny. Referring to Miami's Cuban exiles as a ''modified dictatorship'' with a ''mirror system'' to intimidate and stifle dissent, she also describes them as ''the roughest, toughest crowd this side of the Mujahadeen'' and blames them for making ''corruption a growth industry.'' Apparently she has never lived in Chicago or Washington, D.C. -- much less in Afghanistan.


Admittedly, some Cuban-American wounds are self-inflicted, and every community has bad eggs. During Eli?n some, while morally justified, behaved less than admirably. There also are those who lash out, rather than reach out, at the slightest provocation.


Other criticisms, too, are valid. But it also has been proven in recent Cuban spy trials that Castro has an untold number of operatives infiltrated in the Miami community whose sole mission is to act as provocateurs, magnifying these negatives, thereby discrediting all Cuban exiles.


While this diverse community should endeavor to improve its image, let's all watch ourselves and keep things in perspective when we criticize. Remember the good as well as the bad, and treat Cuban Americans with the same consideration, compassion and fairness given everyone else.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest marlins02

tell me about it... the day of the raid and the "riots" i was so concerned that NBC 6 wouldnt have put Game 1 of the East quarterfinals between the Heat and Pistons. if that game had been interrupted i wouldve been so f***ing pissed. (your damn right i cared more about the game than the "symbol" used against castro because thats all that little kid was)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its funny we had to go half-way across the world to take out a terrible dictator when we have one in our own backyard and have set up evil dictators all over Latin America essentially f***ing up that continent for who knows how long.

Exactly. Luckily they love our country for the oppurtunity it provides, but we're the ones who insured they would not have oppurtunity in their homes.


They should be more pissed than the Arabs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was there with my Mom in front of Elian's house when it all happened, but I wasn't there during the raids or the riots. The riots were crazy.


It sucked being a Cuban at that time when others criticizied you and made fun of you. But I never ever denied my culture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i had fun in the elian times. i put my shirt on my head ninja style and i was rioting my a** off lol. burning stuff throwing stuff. yelling stuff. causing havok lol fun fun fun. lets do it again dood!

It musta been hard getting all that rioting in before you mom called you in for dinner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...