Monday, April 01, 2013

On Cuba, hypocrisy is at home in Miami ... by gimleteye

How's this, for the latest from Miami. Ours is the Magic City. It is where taxpayer fairness and protections of the public commons disappear faster than rum on hot sand.

Now the Growth Machine -- aka Latin Builders Association -- is ranting against the company renovating the Cuban port of Mariel. Meanwhile its members and families pile cash into Cuba, through investments under the table via relatives in Cuba.

It's the latest in the Book of Tirades, by the same development interests who organized to convert Miami-Dade wetlands and farmland into endless platted subdivisions, shifting the costs of growth or sweeping them under the rung while wrecking our quality of life and imposing massive liabilities on ordinary taxpayers. That's the real magic trick of the Magic City.

OK, for the Growth Machine to enforce the politics of the embargo against Cuba, while boosting the fortunes of relations in Cuba under the table. Who do you think is behind the rapid inflation of property values in Havana?

OK, for the LBA to condemn foreign-owned companies that do business in Cuba, like Odebrecht. Also OK, for LBA members to send cash to help relations make money in Havana. What do you think is in all those shrink wrapped bags at MIA, going to Havana? Plantain chips?

In the Miami Herald, the LBA president Bernie Navarro was clear to differentiate the company, Odebrecht, from its USA president who Navarro called a "class act". To remind readers, Odebrecht has been a main supplier of "contributions" to the LBA's former enforcer, Natacha Seijas, and the YMCA, the charity that employed her.  Read about it, here.

This magic trick of Rabelaisian proportions goes under another name: hypocrisy.

Eyeonmiami noted, not so long ago, that the right wing through the blog, Capitol Hill Cubans, beat up on the former MIA director Jose Abreu who was, at the time, under consideration for the top transportation post in the Obama administration. It was interesting to witness LBA allies attacking one of their own. Abreu was the first honest broker to tackle the corrupt pools of special interests, ponding around Miami International Airport contracts, lobbying and Miami-Dade politics.

In my commentary, "When it comes to Cuba and the right wing, nothing is ever as it seems", we noted:

"What matters is that the Cuban American right-wing... is determined to maintain control of foreign policy in DC and "money" outcomes in future US trade with Havana. The attack against Miami airport director Abreu is a veiled signal, directly mainly within the ranks of right-wing conservatives. The Capitol Hill Cubans nominally address the Miami-Dade County Commission; but this signal is not about local government contracts. It is about the fierce efforts to protect prerogatives. Who exactly is the veil protecting?"

Cuban blogger Yaoni Sanchez would have to read Eye On Miami to understand. In the Herald she reportedly said excitedly yesterday, "“I am really very happy,’’ she said when she arrived in Miami Thursday. “I feel in the air and in the people a lot of respect and freedom. I feel like I’m in Cuba but free. This is like Cuba but with democracy."

Careful, Yaoni. The Miami Growth Machine wants to control Cuba and its economy. US foreign policy to Cuba, dictating from Miami, is the flip side of the pancake that imposed enormous pain on the Cuban people. With its sprawl axis cracked in South Florida, the Growth Machines gazes longingly across the Florida Straits for new economic opportunities to control -- irritated that Oderbrecht and other foreign corporations are planting their roots there, first.

Hypocrisy wasn't invented in Miami, but it thrives here.

Latin Builders question firm's Cuba ties

Contractor Odebrecht USA has invited construction trade organizations to attend an information session Monday on a massive new project for Miami International Airport called Airport City. But don’t expect to see the Latin Builders Association there.

The LBA will skip the session because a subsidiary of Odebrecht’s Brazilian parent company is renovating the Cuban Port of Mariel. That connection has put the Coral Gables-based Odebrecht USA in political hot water. Several county commissioners have opposed giving the firm any more work.

“We must be steadfast in our resolve for our brothers in Cuba,” LBA President Bernie Navarro wrote in a letter. “We can’t allow Odebrecht to traffic with our suffering. Our position is not negotiable.”

Navarro, however, made sure to call Gilberto Neves, Odebrecht USA’s president, “a class act.” “His actions and respect for this community are not the same as those of his corporate parent,” he wrote.

Navarro’s letter was distributed by Mauricio Claver-Carone, executive director of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee in Washington that has vocally complained about Odebrecht’s ties to Cuba. A handful of Miami-Dade cities have approved legislation opposing Airport City.

“I don’t know what’s driving them,” Neves told The Miami Herald’s editorial board last week about the cities’ resolutions. “I hope that the benefits of [the project] outweigh that.”

Read more here:


Anonymous said...

I would like to know who you think is behind the uber powerful LBA? Your comments seem mired in 1995 when the LBA was powerful and did push a pro sprawl/ development agenda. They were behind HABDI and other deals like it. That was 1995. Not today. Do you know who is currently running the LBA? what their agenda is? What their reach/power is? It is not 1995 anymore. Time to update your thinking.

Anonymous said...

Only now you figured this out??

This has been going on for years. The so-called exile community( some members of the community to be exact) have been doing business down there for years.

It makes sense. Almost dead Fidel and his half wit brother will not be there much longer, Cuba will be eventually free and if your not already in their market, you will lose out.

Old news....

AC Repair Miami said...

I couldnt agree more. Miami is full of hypocrits that do nothing but complaint about the situation in cuba and how they would fix it, but noone actually does anything about it.

Anonymous said...

I think this blog is better suited to discuss the enviroment and leave the issue of Cuba, embargo, oderbrecht and exile community to people that know the issue.

And not the left leaning loonies that write here.

Anonymous said...

Great, another Cuban who thinks only Cubans know about Cuba. EOM, you are correct in your assessment of the hypocrisy. Furthermore, most of the high profile exiles were made wealthy by the corrupt Batista. They don't so much care about ridding the island of Castro as much as they want to get their hands on their former property that was ill-gotten in the first place.

Anonymous said...

The author of this article is correct to point out that corruption exists in Miami. But let's be real, this author is just as biased as the people he lampoons. It's as if the 'right-wing' Cubans are the only ones profiting off of Cuba. Are you serious? There are a ton of 'left-wing' Cubans that not only profit off of Cuba, but freely travel to Cuba and have homes there. This blog is endorsed by Progreso Weekly, an online paper with Pro-Castro views that advertises companies that make money off of Cuba. Where is the author's venom? Where is the author's outrage? What about those anti-Chavista Venezuelans that drive lambos in the streets of Miami? And the corrupt Ecuadorian oligarchs that are moving to South Florida? Etc. Cubans are not the only people that live in Miami. Let's not forget about the Anglos that dominate our state politics. So if the author is going to bash Cubans for all of Miami's ills, I hope he at least tries to appear to be more objective and also look elsewhere. And by the way, as bad is Miami is, if the author thinks its worst than Cuba, then I must question the author's credentials.

Anonymous said...

We cubans complaint, complaint and complaint, nothing is done, in the other hand they welcome Yohani who is against the embargo.
Just google "Cuba study group" a bunch of succesfull exiles pushing religious, education, business, etc. relation with the communist island.

Anonymous said...

Like I said.....the leftitst liberals and castro apologist are coming out of the wood work. Try to shed your envy of the successes of the cuban american community.

Stay on the issue you know: trees, grass, wild birds, everglades, etc....

Miami Cooling said...

the cuban american community should step up and be more involve as we have alot of power here in miami.
and soon new generation will show results