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Terrorism in Miami

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April 27, 2013, will mark the one-year anniversary of the domestic terrorist attack on my offices in Coral Gables, Florida. Three incidiary devices were put inside my office in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. The effects were total destruction; everything was reduced to ashes. As I watched the terrorst act in Boston, I could not help but find similarities but also differences in comparing it to my office fire bombing. Let me be clear, I am in no way equating the two acts, as the one in Boston was of much more significance and caused more destruction to the people, the city, and our country. But here is what I learned. Both bombings, Boston and my office, were carried out because of hate. I was lucky that no one died at my office, although the potential was there…

As one blogger put it, “Too bad she was not inside the office.” The bombing also put in danger the other tenants of the building who could have been working late, or just someone who works the night shift, or someone walking her dog. In the case of Boston, there was immediate condemnation from the city, state, and federal officials and a determination to catch these terrorist. In my case, to this day, not one elected official, and in particular, James Cason, mayor of Coral Gables, has ever come out to denounce this act of terrorism. I also learned that the FBI has the technology to take grainy photographs and make them crystal clear. Yes, there is a grainy photograph of a vehicle of interest in my case; but no FBI technology has every released the CLEAR PICTURE. I, like Boston, had many people rally to help me and support me; after all, my crime was simply doing legal travel to Cuba, and in particular the pilgrimage for the Pope’s visit to Cuba. The Spanish radio stations in Miami received calls celebrating this act of terrorism—not much different from the jihadists in the Middle East celebrating the bombing of BOSTON.

As we all know, one person’s terrorist is another person’s hero. I wish I could say my case is isolated. It is not. There have been many cases of these types of bombing in south Florida—even some that have resulted in death and maiming people, just because they dare to think differently on Cuba and how we should approach democracy in Cuba. Gee, I thought we lived in a democratic nation that encourages free thinking. Here in south Florida, you can lose your life for this. Imagine that. Most of the country would not even believe this has been going on in south Florida—yes, we are part of the United States of America. As I watched Yoani Sanchez visit here, I wondered if they told her about these unsolved crimes, or if they told her how, at some point, people in south Florida would lose their jobs if their employer found out they traveled to Cuba. Or how we too have in south Florida “actos de repudio” calling you “communist,” just cause you believe in peaceful solutions—solutions that would help the U.S. and the Cuban people. So, here it is, a year later: no news, no arrest, no suspects. I, born in Brooklyn, with an enourmous love and pride for my country, was convinced that this time they would be caught. I was wrong. It just is not politically correct in south Florida to call these terrorists what they are, TERRORISTS. They are called “freedom fighters.” I just wonder, who’s freedom?