April 9, 2021
TO: Miami Herald, Ms. Nancy A. Meyer – President, Ms. Monica R. Richardson –
Executive Editor, Ms. Nancy Ancrum – Editorial Page Editor
RE: Facts About Cuban Exiles (FACE) replies to charges of racism.
Ms. Fabiola Santiago’s column of April 7, 2021, The Miami Herald “Miami’s
Republican Cuban Americans need to soul search and confront their racism”.
We at FACE, Facts About Cuban Exiles, a non-partisan, non-political organization,
reject the charge of racism, so dangerously thrown around by this writer against our
fellow Cuban Americans who belong or vote for one party.
We demand an apology to the community that comprises 34% of the population of
Miami-Dade. How can this newspaper publish such hateful language? It is
unacceptable to call any group racists; a scarlet letter we will not wear.
She claims to hear “veiled and blatant comments every day”. We certainly do not hear
this among our friends and associates. We continue to be proud of who we are, and
where we came from.
No Ms. Santiago, Cubans are not racists. No, anyone that does not agree with your
political views is not racist. Being Cuban does not give you the right to libel. It is
dangerous and reckless behavior.
We do not accept being associated with implicit bias, and racism. Our community
–and our organization– has worked hard for the improvement of a society
characterized by the greatest advancements in human history in the social, economic,
and political realms. These charges are tearing the fabric of U.S. society, and we will
not stand by in the face of this vicious and divisive attack.
Ms. Santiago calls “deterioration” what happened when many Cubans supported one
candidate and party in the last election. This is an example of her dangerous tearing
apart which counters everything FACE stands for, which is goodwill among all
sectors of the Miami-Dade community.
No, Ms. Santiago, we have not been bitten by the “hate bug,” Cuban Americans
prioritize freedom of expression and education, which must go together. You charge
Republican Cuban Americans with bigotry “during the mostly peaceful BLM
protests.” It should be self-evident that Americans, Democrat or Republican, must
reject looting, fires, and especially physical attacks, on people and police.
People must not be marginalized for expressing views Ms. Santiago disagrees with.
Ms. Santiago, we are not ashamed of our people. You are apparently a true believer in
what you charge. We are equally true believers; we believe in the decency of our
Chairman of the Board
Fact About Cuban Exiles (FACE)
Facts About Cuban Exiles (FACE) was founded in 1982 to defend the reputation of Cuban exiles and Cuban Americans. FACE includes many prominent civic and community leaders who represent a cross-section of the Cuban diaspora in Miami. Its mission is to promote, foster and improve the reputation and image of people of Cuban origin who have sought refuge outside of Cuba due to the existing political conditions, as well as that of their descendants. FACE also endeavors to promote good will towards Cuban Americans and to develop greater understanding and cooperation with other groups in the Miami community. FACE has encouraged fair and balanced media coverage and has responded to biased or erroneous reports. It has published Cubans: An Epic Journey in English and Spanish and regularly publishes information concerning Cuban exiles and Cuban Americans on its website www.facecuba.org.