Three cows and a Christ

18 04 2010

Mass in the morning

Followed by vaca frita de pollo, puerco, y… vaca


The soup

16 04 2010

Politically non-affiliated? Really?

16 04 2010

It seems a lot of people have things to say about Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s hosting Barack Obama and a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. I figure I’ll put my two cents here.

Local media insist on focusing on some Cuban exiles’ feeling like hosting Obama is a betrayal by “Miami’s First Family.” Media also insist that those on the “other side” see this as an opportunity to “get Obama’s ear” and educate Obama on Cuba policy and human rights issues.

Who knows? Maybe most people really do stand in one of those two camps. But if that’s the case, I see delusion and misguided energy on both sides.

On the one hand, it’s unrealistic to expect that the Estefans wouldn’t be attracted to Obama (their relationship with him isn’t new) and perhaps some other Democrats. They run in liberal circles, as most artists do, and what they believe—it goes without saying—is up to them. It would be unfair to ask that they not contribute their time and money wherever they think it will do the most good.

On the other, it’s also borderline silly to believe that the Estefans are going to give Obama much of an “education” on human rights in Cuba. I’m no White House expert, but I’m willing to bet that at some point in the last few weeks, POTUS has been briefed on what’s going on in Cuba with Zapata Tamayo, Guillermo “Coco” Fariñas, Las Dama de Blanco, etc.

At the very least he’s picked up a newspaper or turned on his T.V., don’t you think?

That’s part of why I couldn’t help but laugh when I came across this photo on Gloria Estefan’s official Facebook fan page.

Are we supposed to believe this scenario—Obama hunched over some large photographs of the Ladies in White being beaten up and dragged onto government buses during a peaceful demonstration—was anything other than an awkward photo op? Or is it more likely that he’s seen the photos plenty of times, for instance, right around the time he said all this stuff?

If you ask me, it’s all a political show. And you know what? If the Estefans want to do good (or at least try) in the political arena, then who is anyone to tell them not to just because their politics don’t fall perfectly into line with… whoever’s?

What’s disappointing to me is that, just when Gloria Estefan was really taking a concrete leadership role in this community that transcended partisan politics, she and Emilio decided to host the most partisan kind of event: a DNC fundraiser. The DNC, like the RNC, represents too diverse a selection of politicians (about half of them) to also represent anything you could reasonably refer to as a cause.

It would be different if they’d gone and identified a bunch of Democrats whose ideals and policies reflected their own views. But a fundraiser for the party itself makes their efforts seem blind, irresponsible, and misguided at best. At worst, it makes them seem like staunchly partisan lackeys.

In her introductory remarks at yesterday’s fundraiser, Gloria Estefan said this:

The beauty of this amazing nation is that anything is possible! Even hosting a very political evening to get the “ear” of my President when I am politically non-affiliated but the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. put it succinctly when he said “We may have all come on different ships but we’re in the same boat now!”

When I think of “anything being possible” in America, being able to talk to the president because he asked me to raise his political party a bunch of money isn’t exactly what comes to mind. And “politically non-affiliated”? Really? Again, I’m no political analyst, but unless you also host an RNC fundraiser, organizing a DNC one is about as politically affiliated as you can get.

We should all defend the Estefans’ right to put their money and their time wherever they want. But no matter where you stand on domestic politics, it’s pretty clear they’ve chosen to put that time and money in the most divisive place possible. That’s not the sort of thinking that’ll make people want them leading the Cuban exile community in any more marches.

Gloria Estefan’s introduction to President Obama below the fold.

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Out with Carluba

15 04 2010

After I was done refinishing some doors, Carlos (who is a member of Caimán Journalism Training‘s board of directors) gave me a call and asked if I wanted to tag along while he ran some errands in Little Havana. Knowing that errands are never just errands with Carlos, I accepted. Here are some pictures from the outing.


14 04 2010

So the first post on this blog is filed under the category “365” — as in 365 days. I’ll be posting at least one picture every day, no matter how dull the day’s been. Is this exciting to you? Probably not, but it makes me feel like I’m getting use out of my camera.

Today, I stained some wood doors. I’m not particularly good at it, but oh well.