Speak Up

Notre Dame fire

I am neither French nor Catholic, yet I mourn the tragic loss of this magnificent structure and symbol. It will be rebuilt, of course, when all the theories have been expounded and all the fingers have been pointed. My sympathies are with the French people.

Seth Lefkow, Aventura

Live it, then decide

Re the April 16 editorial, “Military action in Venezuela no solution.” Writing editorials like this, from a comfy chair, not hungry or fearful, is just one more example that one might be theoretically right but, in reality, wrong.

The editor should travel to Venezuela to live for 30 days as common Venezuelans do, and then decide if you still believe in all the reasons you listed for continued dialogue or if your hunger would demand an end by whatever means to the Maduro dictatorship. Same thing goes for Nicaragua.

Fernando Gallo,

Miami

Players are victims

The April 16 letter “The real reason U.S. ended pact with Cuba baseball federation,” written by Federico Justiniani, whom I know and respect, explains clearly the real motivation for the termination of the agreement with the Cuban Baseball Federation. I agree with his point of view. However, the letter fails to address the collateral damage caused by this and other measures intended to hurt the Cuban government.

The real victims of this move are the baseball players, whose futures now are hampered and who are left, in most cases, with no other choice but to turn to the life- threatening option of putting themselves in the hands of smugglers.

Let’s be clear: In a totalitarian state such as Cuba, there is no way of extending help to its citizens without sharing some of the benefits with the Cuban government. Many of us face the dilemma of helping or not.

I crossed that bridge some time ago. My priority is to help those in need on the island. I respect those who choose otherwise.

Enrique Sosa,

Key Biscayne

No dice

Hard Rock Casino is going through a major renovation. The new construction is beautiful. However, a new room was added that is surrounded by glass. The purpose? To allow nonsmokers a smoke-free gaming environment.

Why should non-smokers be isolated? It is like being put in the corner like a misbehaved child.

Let’s start putting the smokers in a room by themselves so nonsmokers don’t have to tolerate the smoke, dirty ashtrays, ashes on the games, empty cigarette packs and awful smell. Nonsmokers should reap the benefits of a smoke-free casino.

Stop penalizing the nonsmoker. Let’s start putting the smoker in the back room.

Dianne Glick, Miami

Morin sounds alarm

I was astonished that anyone could interpret Jim Morin’s recent cartoon as making a joke about gas chambers, trivializing the use of industrial methods to kill millions. Morin’s cartoon did not do that. The theme of the cartoon is perfectly clear: Under the evil influence of Stephen Miller, his heartless senior adviser on immigration, President Trump seems willing to use almost any means to carry out his campaign promise to stop the immigration “crisis,” even if it requires the threat of mass murder.

Morin’s cartoon is neither a good joke nor a bad one. It is a grim warning.

Morris Sunshine,

Miami Beach

Voter sabotage

In November, Florida residents voted to allow released felons to vote. Since then, Tallahassee has continued to add issues to deter theit ability to vote. There is only one reason this is happening. Republicans are afraid they will be voted out of office if this law is enacted.

Marlene Wellington, Miami

Secret shelter

Re the April 8 story “3 South Florida congresswomen denied entry to child detention center:” The Department of Health and Human Services policy requiring a two-week notification for visits “to provide for the safety, well-being or privacy” of the detainees is absurd.

How would three members of Congress be a threat to these children?

The only reason to deny access to the site is because they have something to hide.

Rev. Frank J. Corbishley,

Coral Gables

For free speech

Gov. Ron DeSantis is right to ask Florida college and university presidents to reaffirm their commitment to free speech. Our nation’s campuses are at a crossroads, where some administrators no longer see the value in unfettered speech and instead promote certain ideologies over critical thinking and appreciation for robust discourse.

After all, fostering an environment of open inquiry and respect for diverse opinions is essential in a true academic setting, and even more important in terms of molding our country’s future leaders. Safe spaces, trigger warnings or shutting down certain speakers only weakens those coddled by such false safeguards.

The resolution states in part that freedom of speech and expression is an “integral part of our mission to deliver a high quality academic experience for our students and prepare all students for full participation in society.”

I applaud DeSantis, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran and the Florida College System Council of Presidents for taking seriously the assault on students’ constitutional freedoms and reaffirming the First Amendment on Florida’s campuses.

Lauren Cooley,

Fort Lauderdale

Fraud redux

The April 14 letter “Medicare fraud” implies that consequences will only worsen because “the left wants to turn all of our healthcare over to the government” if Medicare for All is enacted. This is hypocritical.

In light of the writer’s disparaging reference to “the left,” I presume she is a proponent of reducing government and its administrative apparatus.

However, her logic is misses the mark.

One of the principal reasons Medicare fraud has not been more promptly or thoroughly detected is because of inadequate government funding for personnel and sophisticated software dedicated to ferreting out the fraud of which she complains.

Small government often means inadequate government. Furthermore, healthcare fraud is not confined to Medicare but is perpetrated against private health insurance entities as well.

We pay for this fraud not with tax dollars but with increasingly outrageous premiums.

Barry A. Pemsler,

Miami

Late to the party

I do not have any problem with socialist U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders becoming a millionaire because of the sale of his book.

My only regret is that he did not discover capitalism 20 years earlier.

Jay Kaba,

Miami

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