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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

City's celebration in very poor taste

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Though I find it hard to believe, the city of Miami is planning an official celebration to mark the death of Cuban president Fidel Castro. The Cuban dictator apparently is still alive though most reports indicate he is hospitalized and near death. But when that day arrives, an official celebration is planned at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

Now, were this to happen in some other country, Americans would criticize and ridicule any officially sanctioned celebration of a man's death. Had the Russians, for example, held a state celebration to mark the passing of former President Ronald Reagan, there would be universal condemnation in this country over the ghoulish nature of such an event. Yet Miami officials are not only supporting just such a "party," they are sponsoring and sanctioning the event.

Granted, Castro is a heavy-handed dictator who silenced his critics with imprisonment and death. And granted, Miami is home to thousands of Cuban exiles who fled that island nation to avoid death.

But doesn't it seem sick to have an official celebration of anyone's death? I could see the same thing happening in some Mideastern nation, but here in America? I think the plans are sick and those involved are wrong.

Some Cuban exile leaders are concerned how the party will be perceived by those outside of the Cuban exile community. Well I can tell you right now, there may not be massive mourning for Castro's passing but there also will not be a mass celebration.

What if Mexico held an official day of celebration to mark the death of our President? I assure you, the vast majority of Americans would be vocal in their disgust and hatred of just such an event. And rightfully so.

Cuban exiles in Miami will surely take to the streets in celebration on the day Castro dies. But for the city of Miami to sanction an event of celebration is wrong and not in keeping with the spirit of this great nation.

Maybe the Cuban exiles would be better served if they channeled their efforts into a change in the Cuban government. Then, if successful, they could return to their native land. I strongly suspect the southern part of Florida and the island of Cuba would both benefit from an exodus of that sort.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen