Their casual jaunt at Flagler boutiques Thursday framed the best and worst that Cubans have to face under U.S. immigration policy. Their unique immigration status, defined by the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act but punctuated by family separation and yet an easy path to citizenship, can give Cuban Americans a different perspective on the issue.
In a rare gesture of cooperation, Cuba now says that it won't accept any more fugitives from U.S. Justice. Is it evidence of a thaw with Fidel Castro ailing, or just a random act of diplomacy with no greater theme behind it?
The US accuses Cuba of harboring fugitives like accused cop-killer Joanne Chesimard (photo at left), and Cuba accuses the US of harboring accused terrorists like Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles.
Castro finally acknowledges his bad health, saying for the first time that he doesn't want to waste time on "primping" for cameras and interviews. As usual, he raises more questions about his condition and his leadership status than he answers.
Joe Garcia and Frank Calzon face off tonight (Wednesday) on Maria Elvira's show, Polos Opuestos on Mega TV Channel 22. Word is things get hot.
DETANTE WITH CUBA?
Andres Oppenheimer believes the meltdown over the Iraq war could spell a friendlier, less antagonistic relationship between Cuba and the United States. Why? Because a United States with a badly damaged international reputation may rethink its policy of regime change in Cuba in order to maintain stability there.
Any change in course would come after the next presidential election, of course.
The well-known website, cubaencuentro.com interviews Joe Garcia in Spanish: "Garcia represents for some the great white hope of a civilized Cuban left, uncompromised and increasingly realist in that the ghosts of the past don't hover over his head. A left without a past to shy away from."
Garcia will also appear on Polos Opuestos with Maria Elvira Salazar sometime this week (Mega TV Channel 22) in a debate with Frank Calzon, head of the Center for a Free Cuba. Stay tuned for an update.
Fred Thompson, the former actor and Senator running for president, scolded Michael Moore for taking 9/11 workers to Cuba for treatment as part of his upcoming documentary, Sicko.
Writes Thompson: "While this p.r. stunt has obviously been successful — here I am talking about it — Moore’s a piker compared to Fidel Castro and his regime. Moore just parrots the story they created — one of the most successful public-relations coups in history. This is the story of free, high quality Cuban health care."
The punchline is Moore's response: "In light of your comments regarding Cuba and Castro, do you think the “box upon box of cigars – Montecristos from Havana” that you have in your office have contributed to Castro's reported wealth?
Gentlemen, welcome to the minefield of exile politics.
The same filmmakers who brought us the premier of White Elephant last week, the documentary about the entangled existence of Miami Stadium (aka Bobby Maduro Stadium), are working on a Celia Cruz documentary called Celia the Queen, expected in theaters sometime early next year. Kids in Exile Films featured a trailer before the premier of White Elephant Saturday night.