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What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► The death of Fidel Castro was supposed to change everything regarding Cuba but in reality, it changes nothing.
According to the U.S. plan, his passing was to be marked by the Cuban people uprising to take back freedom. They were to be marching in the streets demanding reform. The iron fist of Fidel would be relaxed and the chains on the people would be cast off.
Instead, there is calm in Cuba. There is mourning and respect. People are lining the streets to watch the ashes of Castro passing in a procession across the country.
He will be honored by the people of Cuba and by hundreds of foreign dignitaries, celebrities and athletes.
This was not supposed to happen according to the designers of the Cuban embargo. The people of Cuba were to revolt due to the hardships caused by a failing communist system accentuated by the U.S. blockade.
The revolt was to happen last year, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 40 years ago.
Castro was to be arrested in a sharp, violent but successful uprising. He was to be executed and his body dragged through the streets.
Or to spur the people to action, Castro was to be assassinated by bullet, poison or bomb.
Land was to be returned to the original 1960 owners. Reparations granted. Apologies made.
Instead, Fidel Castro ruled and then, on his own, retired. Transition of power went from Fidel to Raul. Soon, the baton will be passed on. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► Newly elected State Attorney Andrew Warren had the honor to attend the White House for a meeting on criminal justice reform … (to read more, buy a paper)

► During the last meeting of the HCDEC on Nov. 21, close to 300 people showed up, which is easily 200 more than normal. These were Democrats who never participated in party politics or were absent for a while. This group wants to roll up their sleeves and get to work to stop future Trumps.
This group will find out in the next meeting that none of them are qualified to vote or run in the elections for party officers. They will then witness this argument over the disqualification of elected officials from also participating in this election.
After this meeting, many of these newbies will see why Democrats lose and those returning will remember why they lost interest before. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► All the embassies in Cuba are flying their national flags at half-mast. The notable exception is Old Glory at the U.S. Embassy. … (to read more, buy a paper)

► … Caetano suggested that Viera agreed to support Suarez for chair next March in return for Suarez’ support for Viera’s candidacy. If Mayor Bob Buckhorn resigns his office to run for governor or CFO, the Council chair becomes Mayor.
Viera denied such a deal exists.
We can easily believe that there was never a discussion between Viera and Suarez regarding chair. We also believe the discussion wasn’t necessary. … Viera says that Suarez has been a best friend for more than 10 years. He implied to us if Suarez were nominated for chair, he would support him over any other candidate. That’s one vote closer to the mayor’s office. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … There is a YouTube video circulating that makes claims, based on video footage, that Barron Trump might be autistic and urges “ … it’s time to stop bullying him for his ‘strange’ behavior.” It uses the hashtag #StopTheBullying.
Forgetting the ridiculousness of the claim, which is not remotely true, B.S. such as this against a 10-year-old boy has no place in decent society. What’s more offensive is not the claim, but the way it entered the mainstream.
Rosie O’Donnell, who has enjoyed a well-publicized feud with Donald Trump for years, brought this video to the world’s attention by posting on her Twitter feed the following message: “Barron Trump Autistic? If so – what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic.”
For shame, Rosie. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► The first thing we need to remind ourselves when discussing Cuba is that, as opposed to scenarios with other non-democracies, this one is personal. There are those among us who have lost everything.
Having said that, it is still unacceptable for a vendetta agenda to be the basis of foreign policy. That wasn’t the case for Germany or Japan or Vietnam. It isn’t for those who are more strategically relevant – and less democratic – than Cuba. Think Saudi Arabia, China and Russia. It’s hypocritical, counterproductive – and, yes, personal. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, by Tiffany Razzano: An interview with Andrew Breidenbaugh

► It’s a whole new era for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system.
The biggest change under the watch of Andrew Breidenbaugh, who has worked for the library system for the past 20 years and took over as director nearly two years ago, has been the move of all library administrative staff to the city-owned Tampa Free Library building in Tampa Heights. Staff moved into their new digs last month. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► I’m finally ready to write about the election. I had to spend time healing the hole in my heart, as, like so many others, I was stunned to see the American people choose an inexperienced braggart who is proud to cheat on his taxes and laughs about his lewd behavior over a candidate with decades of service, including the Senate and the Cabinet. As it turns out, they didn’t: With detailed counting, Hillary now has some 2.5 million more votes than The Donald. The problem is that some voters are much more powerful than others. We’ll get to that next week, but for now, a few bright spots. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … Ahora que todos los medios de prensa están reflejando la muerte de Fidel Castro, prefiero recordar dos momentos en que este periódico de Tampa tuvo una relación cercana con él, más allá de publicar en sus páginas los momentos más cruciales de su ejecutoria, desde el asalto al Cuartel Moncada, en 1953, hasta su reciente desaparición física, el pasado 25 de noviembre.
El primero de ellos ¬corresponde al 26 de noviembre de 1955, cuando llega Fidel Castro a Tampa con 29 años de edad, en medio de un intenso recorrido por ciudades de Estados Unidos, con el fin de aunar recursos para la preparación de una expedición, desde México, que le permitiera desembarcar en Cuba con un grupo de hombres armados y empezar una guerra contra el gobierno de Fulgencio Batista.
Al llegar a Tampa, exactamente al cumplirse 64 años en que lo hiciera por vez primera José Martí, el principal anfitrión en la ciudad fue Victoriano Manteiga, fundador y dueño de La Gaceta. Es muy conocida la participación de Manteiga como principal organizador del acto donde habló Fidel Castro, al igual que la de otros cubanos radicados en Tampa, como fueron Raúl ¬Villamia, Carmelo Bueno, Carlos Carbonell y algunos más. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … Sondeando por Internet las opiniones de la crítica especializada sobre la gala “Ballet Royalty (Realeza del ballet)”, celebrada el pasado 20 de agosto en el Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, en que bailaron 12 estrellas de la danza mundial, encontré varias fotografías tomadas por el artista ucraniano Artyom Shlapachenko, residente en La Habana desde los 7 años de edad, quien departió conmigo sobre el evento por esa vía, autorizándome amablemente a publicar sus valiosas fotos.
La obra de ¬Artyom –como prefiero llamarle–, para quien contar una historia a través de cada imagen es lo esencial, me impresionó favorablemente, especialmente por su vínculo personal con el ballet clásico y la fotografía escénica. Pensé que nuestros lectores merecían conocerla. De esa manera, nació la idea de esta entrevista. Nos tomó tres meses consumarla. Nuestro entrevistado tenía demasiados compromisos de trabajo. Si bien, a nuestro modesto juicio, valió la pena esperar. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From Desde mi escritorio, por Arturo Rivera

► … El viernes de la semana pasada murió el líder político y expresidente de Cuba, Fidel Castro, figura que para las fuerzas izquierdistas era un ícono y líder mítico; y para otros, dictador brutal y opresor que gobernó, con mano de hierro, a la isla de Cuba, por aproximadamente seis décadas.
Para el exilio cubano, Fidel representó la ruptura de la familia, el destierro, la pérdida de bienes materiales y, en fin, una diáspora de casi seis décadas. … (to read more, buy a paper)

To catch up with what’s happening in La Gaceta, pick up a paper at one of our distribution points or subscribe by calling 248-3921.