Every city and nation in the world has a stereotype. The stereotype depends largely on whose doing the analyzing. For example, the Chinese think we are a nation of crybabies. The west-coasters think east-coasters are a bunch of jerks. We think the west coast is nerd central.
Geopolitical cartography can border on the comical. Want a good laugh and maybe a few irreverent views on the subject? Visit Yanko Tsvetkov’s website on his Mapping Stereotypes projects. What you read about how the world views Americans may surprise you.
Growing up in Miami, Florida — the capital city of the Cuban Exile Diaspora — we had a few choice stereotypes lobbed on us courtesy of Hollywood and Castro regime. Those Cubans, they are all drug dealers (think Scarface). Rabid anti-Communitst central (not sure why this one is all that bad). And, my favorite, its a Banana Republic: English Speakers need not apply. A professor said it. It has to be true.
Today’s Miami Herald continues its anti-Cuban-American reporting (we have stereotypes of the newspaper too) with an item about recent Cuban defectors opting for Tampa over Miami. Why? Well what else, they want to avoid the “anti-Castro cauldron“ as well as the FBI and “Cuban spies”. I especially like this reason:
“The FBI in Miami is sharp, all business. But they are under a lot of pressure because of the large Cuban intelligence presence there. Tampa is also smart, but friendlier,” said one South Florida anti-Castro activist who has dealt with both on Cuba defectors.”
Really? A sharp FBI? Most Americans would think that would be a good thing. Why would recent Cuban defectors be afraid of that? Maybe they have something to hide or have watched too many propaganda movies in Cuba about Cuban exiles.
Folks, Cuban defectors have nothing to fear living in South Florida … unless you did really bad things while living in Cuba. Miami is great town, always has been. Always will be. It is different and unlike any other city in the United States. It is a gateway town to the Americas, a mish mash of many cultures. The business and banking capital of the Western Hemisphere.
With regards to the Cuba question, yes, Miami is a cauldron, but not of anti-Cuban exiles. It is a cauldron of Cuban regime spies and business networks that seek to do harm to the United States and supporters of freedom who want something better for Cuba than Communism. If you want a primer on Cuban espionage in South Floirda, visit Chris Simmon’s blog: Cuba Confidential.
Rather than focus on the fact that there are bad actors in Miami trying to destroy this great city and its people, the Miami Herald fuels ugly stereotypes about conservative and Republican Cuban-Americans. Miami is a great town and Cuban-Americans have worked hard to make it so. It is a great place to raise a family and do business. And no matter where you are from, English speakers are always welcome.
As for defectors genuinely concerned about living in Miami, the FBI is just as effective in Tampa as it is in Miami. It keeps tabs on all sides of this issue.