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La Gaceta’s Endorsements for the City of Tampa Runoff Elections
District 1
Alan Clendenin
District 2
Guido Maniscalco
District 3
Lynn Hurtak
District 6
Charlie Miranda & Hoyt Prindle

What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► If you read the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday, you would think Tuesday’s election was a resounding win for Mayor Jane Castor. It was not. In fact, it was a disaster. … If this were a referendum on the mayor’s power, as the mayor and Times framed it, then over 55 percent of voters want to rein in Castor’s power. … The Castor cabal flexed a lot of muscle but couldn’t do any heavy lifting. The election shows many Tampeños know Empress Jane has no clothes.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Cuban ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera visited Tampa last week. She stopped by La Gaceta on Thursday and we had frank conversations about U.S.-Cuba policy, current Cuba issues and the historic relationship of Tampa with Cuba. This is not the first time we have met with a Cuban diplomat holding that post and we hope it’s not the last.
On Friday, Shumaker law firm, headed by Ron Christaldi, hosted a dinner at Mise en Place for the ambassador and her entourage. The invitees included some of Tampa’s local business leaders and some local elected officials.
A group of local Cubans barged into the restaurant, advanced on the ambassador and started to film the group and shout questions and anti-Cuban government statements. The Cuban rabble rousers were told to leave but they refused until the police arrived.
Raphael Pizano was one of the leaders of what seemed to be a premeditated attack. He is a Tampa firefighter who, according to the City, had taken the day off. His conduct of trespassing and harassing Tampa citizens and visitors to our community deserves to be investigated by the City. It was conduct unbecoming of one of our uniformed first responders. The other leader of the group was Roberto Pizano, who was 84. It was reported by CNN that he was a sergeant in Batista’s army. After Batista fled, Pizano continued to fight Fidel Castro’s forces. Was he hoping to return the dictator Batista to power?
Pizano and his group, Casa Cuba, doesn’t just use these bullying techniques to intimidate Cuban officials and Americans who meet with them. They bully anyone who expresses views that they don’t agree with.
In October of last year, Casa Cuba members shouted that people visiting the Tampa Theatre to watch the movie “Frenemies.” Some went inside and were very disruptive. No Cuban officials were there, just Americans who wanted to learn more about U.S.-Cuba policy.
Recently, in Miami, a book signing at a bookstore was disrupted by the same kind of anti-Cuba Cuban activists as here. Author Susan Eva Eckstein was speaking about her book “Cuban Privilege.” The well-researched book does not present the world as the Pizanos and their like see it. Their goal was to stop the sale of the book and the discussion. They bullied people not to read it.
These few misguided Cubans say they support freedom in Cuba yet they oppose it in America. Knowledge is their enemy. They cannot allow people to read books, watch films or talk to people whose views challenge theirs.
We are happy to have structured debate, we support the right to peacefully protest, we embrace Casa Cuba producing its own film and printing its own books. But that is not what they’re doing. They’re using intimidation and bullying to scare people away from finding their own truth.
I’m sure we will be called communists for our words. I am happy to put my patriotism up against anyone’s.(to read more, buy a paper)

► Governor Ron DeSantis, in between banning books, arming every Floridian and forcing girls to have babies, has found the bandwidth to add local school board members Jessica Vaughn and Nadia Combs to his hit list for the 2024 elections. They joined 12 others who the governor wants to prevent their reelection.(to read more, buy a paper)

► “La Gaceta The documentary: 3 Languages and 3 Generations” will be shown at the Gasparilla International Film Festival on Sunday, March 26, at 4:30 p.m., at the AMC Westshore.
Tickets cost $12.95 and can be ordered at gasparillafilmfestival.com.(to read more, buy a paper)

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … My philosophy was that every breakup and past relationship was a benefit to the next mate. As long as a person learns the lessons of why his or her relationship ended, that person became a better partner. I remember waxing philosophic to Keri when I met her about being the positive product of a lifetime of failed relationships. After all, every relationship ends in a breakup or marriage.
I’m pretty damn charming now, and luckily, back then, I was on the cusp of becoming the charmer I am today. Being so aware of why I was single and it seemingly having nothing to do with being a broken person or an addict or anything that might be a major red flag was intriguing to Keri. We dated long distance for a good while and the majority of contact we had was over the phone. This led to many introspective conversations, but I think one above all sealed the deal.
And it was about an ex-girlfriend.
…(to read more, buy a paper)

From The Reasonable Standard, by Matt Newton

► … Historically, people have been taught to guard themselves against sophistry by studying logical fallacies. For example, the adage “if everyone jumped off a cliff, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea” warns against the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum.
But logical fallacies only detect bad logic, not lies. For example, the sentence “Tampa is in Hillsborough County, I am in Tampa, therefore I am in Hillsborough County” is accurate and logical.
However, the sentence “Tampa is in Pinellas County, I am in Tampa, therefore I am in Pinellas County” is plainly false — but just as logical as the preceding sentence. And likely persuasive to someone ignorant of Floridian geography.
Logical arguments based on false premises — but cloaked in confident and intellectual words — are the heart of modern sophistry. This is because it requires a suspicious, vigilant and educated audience to pick apart — an audience intentionally avoided (and often condemned) by the modern sophist. … (to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► I guess I did, sorta, especially 50 years ago when there was plenty of room in Florida, but that is not the case anymore. I drove to Mount Dora last week, a historic town in Lake County that has not lost its charm. The GPS estimated 95 minutes but it took more than twice that, and I was an hour late for my lunch date. Traffic, traffic, traffic, and inexplicable slowdowns.
It’s not as if some of us didn’t anticipate this. Remember “concurrency?” That was the promise, back in the 1990s, that we would not issue building permits until the necessary infrastructure was in place, including roads, schools, and utilities, especially water and sewer. County commissioner Pam Iorio appointed me to the committee of volunteers who wrote our comprehensive plan, which was sent to the state as Hillsborough’s official promise on foreseeing problems. Then Republican Jeb Bush defeated Democratic Governor Buddy McKay in 1998, and that was the end of that. I don’t think legislators ever had the nerve to repeal the acts that created concurrency; they just let it wither on the vine. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Omar Garcia, by Tiffany Razzano

► The son of Cuban immigrants, Omar Garcia is the first generation of his family born in Tampa. His older siblings were also born in Cuba and came to Florida with their parents.
By 1957, his father was working in Tampa as a chemical engineer. Eventually, his parents purchased a home in the Baycrest area.
Garcia attended Christ the King Catholic School and graduated from Tampa Catholic High School. But he wasn’t the best student, he said. “My grades weren’t the best…They weren’t stellar.”
He took difficult courses in high school, but “I just did enough to pass,” he said. “I graduated with a 2.0.”
His parents considered sending him to trade school to become a welder. “Just so I’d have a career,” Garcia said. “But my mom said, ‘Absolutely not. You’re going to college.’”
So, after high school, he first attended Hillsborough Community College, which prepared him for his higher education. There he took what’s considered a “weeder class” – thermodynamics. “If I got an A, I automatically moved to classes at (the University of South Florida,” he said.
…(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► Cuando Ucrania resiste a más de un año la cruenta agresión rusa, es bueno recordar que en Kiev nació el gran escritor Mijaíl Bulgákov, quien falleció en Moscú el 10 de marzo de 1940 sin contar, en el vasto territorio de lo que entonces era la Unión Soviética, con el reconocimiento que por su obra merecía.
A pesar de ser autor de la novela El maestro y Margarita, considerada uno de los testamentos literarios más importantes del siglo XX, a Bulgákov lo persiguieron las altas estructuras del poder soviético por criticar las deficiencias del sistema socialista implantado. Al ser considerados sus escritos como antisoviéticos, lo condenaron a varios años de ostracismo. En 1930 escribió una carta a Iósif Stalin, el máximo líder de la Unión Soviética, solicitando salir del país. Cuentan que el Mandatario, quien había asistido a algunas representaciones teatrales del escritor, le llamó personalmente al leer su solicitud. Entonces, Bulgákok no encontró palabras para reiterar su deseo y sólo balbuceó que un escritor no puede vivir lejos de su patria.
Aunque en el teatro se siguieron estrenando algunas de sus obras, tuvo que soportar un constante acoso por parte del Comisariado del Pueblo de Asuntos Interiores (NKVD), cuyos agentes registraron en más de una ocasión su vivienda, le detuvieron varias veces y boicotearon la publicación de sus escritos.
… (to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► El Barroco español representa la negación de los valores de la conciencia moderna que el Renacimiento europeo encarna para ese país. Bajo la sombra de ese estilo, aún cultivaba ciertas formas de la Edad Media: gestos y valores caballerescos, la muerte como exaltado consuelo, plebeyismo exuberante, o lo que llama Mariano Picón Salas, “el preciosismo de la grosería”, que ejemplifica “como ocurre a veces en el arte de Quevedo; empaque y ceremonia altisonante y burla cruel”. Los extremos son populares en una época que desconoce de forma absoluta lo módico.
El sentir barroco implica desaliento y desmayo, así como el típico desengaño español. La idea de desproporción se cumple en el Renacimiento en el plano de una inteligencia ordenadora, que ambiciona un excelso ideal estético y de conducta. Sin embargo, el Barroco exalta la soledad existencial.
Para catar lo deplorable de dicha aplastante soledad, que implica todo un desvalimiento e impotencia ante lo efímero y transitorio del sino humano, basta escuchar o leer el célebre monólogo de Segismundo en La vida es sueño de Pedro Calderón de la Barca. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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