I cannot think of a better choice than Alberto Ibargüen, president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, to receive the “Sand in My Shoes” Award for 2023. Ibargüen has done so much for our community. He is a wonderful representative of our community, and I am glad to see his long-time contributions being recognized.
Modesto A. Maidique,
professor, president emeritus,
We’re not fooled
In her Sept. 26 article, “In historic meeting, Cuba’s private entrepreneurs look for opportunities in Miami,” Nora Gámez Torres reported on what some experts call “emerging enterprises” in Cuba.
Left out of the discussion are remittances worth about $3 billion that enter the island each year. Most of that money comes from the 1.3 million Cuban-Americans living in the United States, which accounts for about 90 percent of the Cuban diaspora.
These remittances are the primary source of funding for the Cuban military, the same apparatus responsible for imprisoning and torturing Cuban human rights activists, and using other forms of intimidation to prop up the Cuban dictatorship. Island residents are only allowed to spend the money received through remittances in certain stores, almost all of which are owned by Cuba’s military, and in which commodity prices are inflated to about ✔240% of their import value. Thus, through these various schemes, the Cuban military is able to pocket about ✔74 cents of every dollar sent in remittances.
During the Cold War, Castro’s government prevented Cubans from receiving remittances by way of exiled relatives, using intimidation, public humiliation, and other tactics to discourage contact between island residents and their relatives, until the Cuban economy imploded and remittances became necessary for regime survival.
Cuba’s “emerging enterprises” are just another scam in a long line of schemes that have cost foreign investors billions. Any Americans who choose to conduct business with — or in any way support — Cuba’s so-called “private businesses,” will be funneling money to the oppressive regime’s military apparatus.
Logan M. Williams,
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and his fellow mutineers in the U.S. House fail to understand that there was nothing wrong with now former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy working across the aisle and getting support from some Democrats. Our system of government, during these days of deep division and confrontation, depends on seeking consensus wherever and whenever possible.
Gaetz does not grasp the simple principle that has guided our nation since its inception: The majority rules, while respecting the wishes of the minority. He is one of those MAGA Republicans willing to create chaos instead of sitting with members on both sides of the aisle and work out solutions to our nation’s difficult problems: immigration, compassionate yet fiscal responsibility, truth in education, equality in voting rights and respect for a woman’s freedom of choice.
Peter M. Brooke, Doral
On the way out
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that, “What’s happening with Trump is persecution of a political rival for political motives.” While it may appear that way, state and federal grand juries do not hand down indictments without hard evidence of criminal behavior.
Donald Trump is facing severe felony charges. He will be tried before the election and guilty verdicts are likely. Once convicted, despite his media money and army of lawyers, he will not be an electable presidential candidate.
Trump’s Republican rivals must come to grips with this reality, tell the truth and stop running for vice president.
Could it be that Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are the new “Not Ready for Prime Time Players?”
Former President Trump took the opportunity during his trial in New York to rail against a politicized justice system. This has become a plank in his political campaign.
Didn’t he appoint the Supreme Court justices who, contrary to their assurances at confirmation hearings, took the first opportunity to overturn Roe v Wade, fulfilling of one of his own campaign promises?
Politics, like race, religion and other considerations, has no place in our justice system, and trials of political figures will necessarily stimulate the possibility it may occur. The courts must be vigilant to exclude it from the courtroom, but their success, whether in New York, Georgia, Florida or elsewhere, awaits judgment of its own only after the proceedings conclude.
R. Thomas Farrar,
For those who view the GOP as our “patriotic” political party, remember that Republicans opposed the Lend-Lease Act of the early 1940s. They also opposed the Marshall Plan after World War II ended. Today, Republicans oppose aid to Ukraine.
In the 1930s, Republicans seemingly wanted to surrender to Germany. Now they seem to want to surrender to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Treason has never been synonymous with patriotism.
Vote them out
U. S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy saved the country from a government shutdown with help from Democrats. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a long-time McCarthy nemesis, threatened to remove him as House Speaker, and he did just that. After McCarthy was ousted, both political parties said it was the right thing to do.
These lawmakers are supposed to work for the people, not stab each other in the back.
It’s time to clean house in both parties.
Time to act
Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it. One cannot help but suspect that those who suppress the teaching of history intend to repeat it.
Reading the Oct. 4 story “After Florida restricts Black history, churches step up to teach it,” was encouraging. While the article did mention that it was not only Black churches engaged in this work, the impression is they are doing the bulk of it. White churches and integrated churches must step up and undertake this essential work.
Since last spring, a group at my church has been engaged in “Sacred Ground,” a film-, readings-, and discussion-based curriculum that helps us understand our history and current culture of racism. This is a wonderful program, but not enough churches are doing it. (For information, go to episcopalchurch.org and enter Sacred Ground in the search window.)
Faith in Florida’s tool kit, the brainchild of the Rev. Rhonda Thomas, is another valuable resource. Engaging in this work is a moral imperative.
Rev. Frank J. Corbishley,