April 12, 2012 |
NEARLY ALL the Miami Marlins rushed over to the dugout railing and playfully pretended to listen when Joey Cora sat down to speak about filling in for suspended manager Ozzie Guillen. Shortly after Guillen addressed the team in the clubhouse Wednesday and apologized for saying he admired Fidel Castro, it was business as usual for the players. To a man, they had his back. "It's really a hard time for him and his family," closer Heath Bell said before the Marlins lost to the Phillies, 7-2. "We felt bad for him. You have to understand that occasionally guys make mistakes.
April 11, 2012 |
MIAMI - Ozzie Guillen sat alone at a podium and began in Spanish, then halted in the middle of a sentence when his voice wavered. The chastened Miami Marlins manager took a sip of water and cleared his throat, then continued. Suspended for five games Tuesday for his comments lauding Fidel Castro, Guillen again apologized and said he'll do whatever he can to repair relations with Cuban Americans angered by the remarks. "I'm very sorry about the problem, what happened," said Guillen, who is only five games into his tenure with the Marlins.
March 26, 2012 |
MIAMI - Natalia Martinez speaks with a clinical distance when discussing her family's decision to leave Cuba two decades ago. But the graduate student's cool demeanor falls away when she speaks of returning to her homeland for the first time this week during Pope Benedict XVI's visit. "I am excited. I am nervous, and I'm anticipating confusion," Martinez, 25, said. She could be speaking for many of the more than 300 Cuban Americans who will form a delegation to Cuba led by Miami's Roman Catholic archbishop, Thomas Wenski.
August 6, 2011 |
HAVANA - Cuba's highest court Friday upheld a U.S. government subcontractor's 15-year prison sentence for crimes against the state, ending the legal side of a case that has brought a new chill to icy relations between Washington and Havana. The ruling means Alan Gross, 62, a Maryland native who has been behind bars since his arrest in December 2009, has no further judicial recourse to appeal his sentence. It leaves him, his family, and U.S. officials hoping instead for a release on humanitarian grounds.
June 5, 2011 |
The last scene of Oscar Hijuelos' new memoir, Thoughts Without Cigarettes (Gotham Books, $27.50), is a moment of contact with a ghost - that of his father, Pascual. "I remember when that moment came to me," says Hijuelos, who will be at the Free Library for a free reading at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. "It was a mystical reaching of a different dimension. I don't know what happens when you die, but there is a mystical presence in our lives that extends to people who are no longer around, and you can connect with them in your emotions.
June 23, 2008 |
Standards are the lifeblood of most jazz singers. But it takes a real work of imagination to blend a pair of them, enmeshing two lyrical protagonists in a love story of one's own creation. Appearing at Chris' Jazz Cafe on Thursday, Venissa Sant? sang "Tender Shepherd and Little Girl Blue" - not a medley, but essentially a new song, in sunny 3/4 time. "Why won't somebody send a tender blue boy / To cheer up little girl blue," goes the Rodgers and Hart classic, and Sant? endeavored to do just that, recruiting the shepherd from the Peter Pan soundtrack.
February 20, 2008 |
Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), son of Cuban immigrants and a leading hard-liner on the Cuban embargo, said there was no joy - but maybe a little hope - in yesterday's announcement that President Fidel Castro would be stepping down. "Just because the dictator is now named Raul instead of Fidel, it doesn't mean that the regime's repressive rule will automatically change," said Menendez, referring to the possibility of Castro's brother rising to power. In a statement, he said a Castro swap would make official "what has been in place for a while now, with Raul continuing to lead the same iron-fisted regime that his brother brought to power almost 50 years ago. " In July 2006, Fidel Castro became ill and appointed his brother Raul Castro to take charge.
September 1, 2006 |
What a disappointment to find columnist Leonard Pitts falling prey to the kind of simplistic, prejudiced generalizations he so often derides ("What next for Cuban exiles?" Aug. 21). This time, his focus is the group he terms the "Cuban exile community. " To hear Pitts tell it, these are fanatics who are "defined" by their animosity toward Fidel Castro. Forget that these "exiles" are dispersed throughout the United States and elsewhere. (My wife, a former Cuban refugee, has lived in this area for about 40 years.
August 10, 2006 |
FIDEL CASTRO is close to his 80th birthday and in poor health. No doubt the Cuban communists are planning for what comes next, but are we? I hope so, because now is the time to end the Cuban embargo. This has been my view since I made an incredible visit to Havana in January 2002 as a journalist accompanying U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter. During the visit, I was part of a small group that met with Castro, spending just under seven hours with him during one long night. I'll never forget being a fly on the wall for an amazing battle of wits, Specter vs. Castro, or as I could see Don King billing it, the DA vs. the Dictator.
April 2, 2006 |
From the earliest days of his political career, to his current race for the U.S. Senate, Bob Menendez has benefited from being Cuban American. The New Jersey Democratic senator likes to tell audiences on the campaign trail that his parents emigrated from Cuba to Union City, N.J., for a better life. Those Cuban roots help him tell his immigrant story to voters in a state rich with similar family histories: 29 percent of the residents are immigrants or have a parent who was. As his hometown of Union City was becoming increasingly Cuban American, he and others were able to galvanize the growing voting block.