Saturday, April 22, 2006

The plot thickens...

Well, according to a news story in Friday's Miami Herald, three Cuban-Americans involved in militant exile groups all claim to have never heard of illegal weapons dealer Robert Ferro. There's every possibility that Ferro was not, as he claimed, a member of Alpha 66 (not that any of us will ever know for certain), but for none of the three men interviewed to claim to have never heard of him? That stretches the limit of credibility just a bit. The real gall of it is that Ferro could presume that he could fall back on the excuse that the weapons were for the liberation of Cuba, as if that excuses everything. That's right up there with the "homosexual panic" defense that murderers use when they get caught using their victim's car and credit cards, more often than not on a two or three state spree --and yet attorneys keep trying to make the homosexual panic excuse plausible, year in and year out. Ferro's excuse doesn't explain, of course, why he was selling weapons to people out of his antique shop. The Cuban liberation defense is small potatoes to some of the outrageous things that have occurred in Miami court rooms... and it wouldn't hold up to the light in probably 49 out of 50 states (and possibly in Florida north of Flagler County).

For the Ernesto Diaz, the Alpha 66 spokesperson quoted in the story to posit that Cuba would hatch such an elaborate plot to discredit Alpha 66 is an insult to the intelligence of Americans (especially ADAs). I'm sure it has been repeated 'round the streets and over the airwaves of Miami-Dade county enough for some gullible people in the community to consider it plausible.

"At these moments, Alpha is being respectful of U.S. laws, and our training camps are within the guidelines of U.S. laws," Diaz is quoted in the story. So, then, is that an admission that Alpha 66 is not --other than at these moments-- respectful of and within the guidelines of U.S. law?

I keep thinking of all those innocent people in Upland sleeping next to a virtual weapons depot, and the police officer and innocent woman shot by Ferro's guns (and who knows how many other crimes?); and Ferro's wife claiming on camera that she had no idea what her husband was up to. That takes a lot more denial than Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar's wives had in Brokeback Mountain, doesn't it? Not that I would expect her to admit she knew, participated in, or even suspected that something was going on. And what could she have done, had she an inkling of what her husband was up to? But
remarkably they're both back home, living under the same roof. I can't begin to imagine the reception they'll be getting from the neighborhood.

Are there Cuban spies in Miami? Well, duh... I've lost track of how many real spies have been tounded up in recent years. Are there plots and counterplots constantly being hatched (even if rarely carried out)... Has there been discussion about the damage that this does to the reputation of reputable Cuban-American businessmen and the Cuban exile community as a whole? There are millions of honest, hardworking people who get suspicious looks from their co-workers and neighbors when something like this erupts. And of all the exile communities in the United States for years it's been the Cuban-Americans who get this rep. The airwaves of Spanish talk radio in Miami must be crackling with buzz over this --and one can only imagine the hushed conversations taking place offline! When legitimate Cuban-American gentleman do business, it's one of the few places in America where a simple handshake is worth more than a ton of legal contracts. Or is that all a thing of the past? If Ferro is just a crook, can we let him be just a crook, or must the media portray him as a Cuban-American crook?

lt's a lot more colorful than debating why gasoline is pushing past $4 a gallon. And it does take our attention, briefly, off of what's going on in Washington.

1 comment:

Miamista said...

Fuck it, I'm linking to you. Just do me a favor and put "former Miami resident" somewhere in you heading so I don't hear it from other people.

As for the Alpha 66 story, what makes it even more sublime is that our arms smuggler had his first bust reduced by claiming this and very interestingly was a member of the US special forces trained at Ft. Benning at the same time a number of Alpha 66 folk were there. (Contacted a friend at the local paper for a backdrop). I pointed him to some info about the time frame that helped them with the story.

I'm doing something next week myself.

-Peace, Big Fan aka Miamista (PS, drop me another comment when you get a chance),1413,203%257E24392%257E,00.html