Speak Up

Leahy’s hypocrisy

Reading Senator Patrick Leahy’s June 11 opinion, “Americans and Cubans deserve better,” makes one wonder how a sitting senator for the last 44 years could still have such a myopic view of Cuba. In all those years, not once has he referred to the Cuban regime as a dictatorship.

His many trips to Cuba never led to a call for freedom or free elections, only calls for closer ties with the dictator, without denouncing his atrocities. Now the senator wants us to believe he is concerned about the impact the end of American cruises to Cuba would have on the Cuban people. His hypocrisy is pathetic!

This move by the Trump administration would hurt the regime — that and only that should be the senator’s concern.

Armando Caravia,

West Miami

Cuba travel ban

I have been in the legal Cuba travel industry since 1982. I have seen many changes to travel by Democratic and Republican administrations. The current one, however, is different. It is entirely mean-spirited. In the past, changes would be made, and the industries would be given an implementation date to accommodate their customers.

Not this time.

Cruise lines were given less than 24 hours to accommodate nearly 800,000 customers. This is uncalled for, when it could have been done in an orderly manner. But the advisers to this policy did this with great glee and no concern for all the American citizens who were doing the right thing.

In addition to the economic impact to Cuba’s private sector business, South Florida also will be impacted, as will employees of the cruise lines, who have dedicated so much time and money complying with the law.

Once again, it’s all about 2020. And once again, humans are commodities. Shame on you all.

Vivian Mannerud,

Mountain Home, AR

Nothing new

Re the June 11 opinion, “Americans and Cubans deserve better:” Great OpEd by Sen. Patrick Leahy! Of course, the people who will suffer the most are the insignificant. The rich and powerful pull the strings and our politicians follow their lead. What’s new?

Roberta Leonard,

North Miami

Grove Playhouse

It’s a little ironic that the first play presented at the then-refurbished Coconut Grove Playhouse in 1956 was the American premiere of the Samuel Beckett play, “Waiting for Godot,” the story of two bedraggled guys hanging around waiting for someone named Godot to show up. Godot never shows.

The Playhouse has been shuttered since 2006. The community is still waiting for Godot.

The two mayors who govern over our community, Suarez and Gimenez, can’t agree on how much of the Playhouse should be preserved, and they battle it out in the Opinions section of the Miami Herald. Which one will show up first with some kind of agreement to reopen this gem of a theater?

This is Miami. I’m betting on Godot.

Jim Miller, Coral Gables

Apples and oranges

Re the June 11 letter, “Immigration through the prism of the NBA finals:” The writers try to equate highly skilled athlete/immigrants to very low/no skilled immigrants streaming across our southern border. For comparison purposes, they give the following analogies: “...Has the league [NBA] become less competitive? Have salaries and revenue gone down? Has the purported Americanness (sic) of the sport been diluted?”

I guess supply and demand was not taught in law school. There are scarce few men in the world who can play basketball at the NBA level. However, there are millions of immigrants in Latin America and beyond who can fill the jobs they are qualified to take. This is not to avoid the fact the basketball players need no assistance at all from American taxpayers.

I’m certain none of the poor people streaming across our southern border are clients of the writers’ law firm.

Buddy Newman, Miami

Jewish vote

American Jews have consistently voted Democrat since 1924. Seventy one percent of us voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, but only 60 percent opposed Ron DeSantis in the 2018 Florida Gubernatorial race.

Republicans are trying to erode the Jewish vote by making one-issue voters of us on Israel. The doubt Republicans have cast on the historically correct commitment to a two-state solution is dangerous for everyone. Gov. DeSantis hosting the Florida cabinet in Israel, and President Trump’s courtship of Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn’t fool us.

The pervasive anti-Semitic climate is the Republicans’ doing. When they claim the Charlottesville protestors chanting “Jews will not replace us” are “very fine people,” they should not expect the support of Jewish voters. Jewish values include fairness, hope, and integrity. We are not one issue voters. We will continue to vote for healthcare reform, protecting the environment, and better treatment of immigrants.

Jackson Ribler,

Palmetto Bay

Missed opportunity

On Monday, I was surprised and disappointed that CNN and MSNBC did not have the ability or the desire to cover two simultaneous news stories. Instead, both networks focused on spending the entire day covering the monotony of the helicopter crash in Manhattan.

At the same time, Congress was having the John Dean hearing that was originally scheduled to be covered by both networks. Don’t they have the ability to break away and cover two important news stories at the same time?

Stuart Allen,


Tax shelter

I could not believe my eyes when I saw U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart on television trying to justify the new policies in the children’s detention center in Homestead: No sports, no study, no English classes, no to any recreation what so ever. There is no money for any of that.

But consider the company running this prison (it’s no shelter) got a $340 million no-bid contract and claims it spends $800 per child per day.

Where is that money going, Rep. Díaz-Balart?

Carlos Castillo,


A possibility

I see that the people of Haiti are staging protests demanding the removal of their president. Not a bad idea.

Ray Koterba,


LGBTQ rights

While I applaud Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s present support of the LGBTQ community, I am troubled that she saw fit to extend these basic human rights to everyone only after her son identified himself as transgender. I expect more from my elected representatives. Ros-Lehtinen’s inability to extrapolate beyond her own family to all her constituents is disturbing.

Steve Kronen,