Campaign Trail Mix: Cuban Cold Warriors

There are mayoral endorsements and there are mayoral endorsements. From the Builders Association to the Sierra Club. It’s all fair game. The lone anomaly, however, is Bob Buckhorn’s formal support from the hard line, anti-Castro Cubans.

It’s certainly his prerogative to fundraise in Miami and to honor those who lost so much in the revolution. No one could doubt where he stands. He has even flown with Brothers To The Rescue.

But the atavistic, Cold War Cuban position has no place in this 2003 mayor’s race.

By stridently and effectively exercising its political leverage over the years, the anti-Castro, pro-embargo crowd has, in effect, worked at cross purposes with the best interests of U.S. foreign policy. Moreover, American business interests and luckless Cuban citizens would have benefited by a common sense, humanitarian approach to Cuban-American relations.

Until recently, the Port of Tampa has been deterred from looking into even legal opportunities in Cuba — let alone properly preparing for post-Castro Cuba. That obviously has not been in Tampa’s best interest.

Perhaps Ralph Fernandez can deliver some votes. Perhaps the rest of the voters will not notice. Or care.


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