Thursday, November 18, 2010

Letter to the president of the University of Miami

Here's a follow-up to an earlier Along the Malecon post on the homage given to Orlando Bosch in October. I am reproducing a letter I found here.

Honorable Donna E. Shalala,

University of Miami

October 25, 2010

Dear President Shalala,

We, U.S. academics and University of Miami alumni, are writing to you to convey our outrage at an event held on October12th of 2010 at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICAAS) of the University of Miami. This event included an homage to convicted terrorist Orlando Bosch.

Orlando Bosch has been arrested, tried and convicted for innumerable terrorist acts in Venezuela, the United States and other countries. In 1968, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for firing a bazooka against a Polish ship anchored in Miami. He served 10 years in jail in Venezuela for bombing a Cuban airplane and killing 73 people on board on October 6 of 1976. U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh referred to him as an “unrepentant terrorist”, while Acting Associate Attorney General Joe D. Whitley considered him a “threat to National Security”, both under George H. W. Bush administration (Exclusion Proceeding for Orlando Bosch Avila; see attached documentation).

CIA and FBI recently declassified documents (accessible online) offer solid proof for the Attorneys’ points. For example, a 1979 document reported Bosch’s view on the plane bombing when he said: “At times you cannot avoid hurting innocent people" [Appendix to Hearings]). An October 14, 1976 FBI cable reports Luis Posada Carriles (Bosch’s partner in crime) saying that “Orlando knew all the details” of the soon-to-be hit plane (Intelligence Information Cable).

We urge you to launch an inquiry into the homage paid to this man, to which the University of Miami lent its name and its banner, thereby becoming a sponsor. The University of Miami, as an institution of higher learning, has an educational mission and a social responsibility. Certainly, promoting a terrorist as a community role model goes against everything that academia stands for.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

PS: The signatories of this letter do not necessarily share similar opinions on the political system in Cuba, the United States policy of embargo or other U.S.-Cuba related issues. However, we all agree on the fact that terrorism should be condemned, regardless the ideologies or politics that motivate it.

1. María Isabel Alfonso, PhD. Assistant Professor of Spanish. St. Joseph’s College, New York. (University of Miami Alumnus).
2. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor, Retired. MIT.
3. Luis Duno-Gottberg, PhD. Associate Professor of Caribbean and Film Studies, Duncan College Master, Texas.
4. John Walton Cotman, PhD. Associate Professor of Political Science. Howard University, Washington.
5. David Carlson, PhD. Assistant Professor of Latin American History. The University of Texas-Pan American, Texas.
6. Rick Miller, PhD. Associate Professor of Art. St. Joseph’s College, New York.
7. Lisa Glidden, PhD. Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics, Latin American Studies. SUNY College at Oswego, New York.
8. Iraida H. Lopez, Ph.D. Professor of Spanish. Ramapo College of New Jersey, New Jersey.
9. Arturo Lopez-Levy, Lecturer. PhD Candidate. Josef Korbel School of International Studies. University of Denver, Colorado.
10. Kenneth E. Bauzon, Ph.D. Professor of Political Science. St. Joseph’s College, New York.
11. Emilio Bejel, Distinguished Professor of Latin American Studies. University of California at Davis, California.
12. Miren Uriarte, PhD. Professor of Human Services. University of Massachusetts Boston.
13. David L. Strug, PhD. Professor of Social Work. Yeshiva University, New York.
14. Dionisio Márquez Arreaza, Professor. Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela. (University of Miami Alumnus).
15. Judith A. Weiss. Research Professor and Professor Emerita. Mount Allison University, Canada.
16. Liliam Dominguez, PhD Candidate. Barry University, Florida. (University of Miami Alumnus).
17. Mirella Landriscina, PhD. Professor of Sociology. St. Joseph’s College, New York.
18. Douglas Friedman, PhD. Associate Professor of Political Science. College of Charleston, South Carolina.
19. Samuel Farber. Professor Emeritus, Political Science. Brooklyn College of CUNY, New York.
20. Dick Cluster, Associate Director. University Honors Program. University of Massachusetts at Boston.
21. Fernando Coronil. Presidential Professor. Graduate Center. CUNY, NY.
22. Zoya Kocur, PhD Candidate. Middlesex University. London. NYU, New York, NY.
23. William Van Norman, Jr. PhD. Assistant Professor of Latin American History. James Madison University, Virginia.
24. Alejandro de la Fuente, PhD. UCIS Research Professor. University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
25. Antoinette Hertel, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Spanish. St. Joseph's College, New York.
26. Susan Eckstein, PhD. Professor of Sociology and International Relations. Boston University, Massachusetts.
27. Tania Triana, PhD. Assistant Professor of Spanish, University of Oregon.
28. Ana M. López, PhD. Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs. Tulane University, Louisiana.
29. Eduardo González, PhD. Professor. Director of the Spanish and Latin American Subdivision. The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
30. Trevor H. Whitbread. M.A. Spanish Candidate. University of Oregon.
31. Francisco A. Scarano, Ph.D. Professor of History. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin.
32. Antonio Lauria-Perricelli, PhD. Adjunct Professor. Gallatin School, New York University, New York.
33. Enrique Sacerio-Gari, PhD. Dorothy Nepper Marshall Professor of Hispanic and Hispanic-American Studies. Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania.
34. Antonia Darder, PhD. Distinguished Professor of Education. University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Illinois.
35. Edwin Murillo, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Spanish. Penn State University-Berks, Pennsylvania. (University of Miami Alumnus).
36. Beatriz Calvo Peña. PhD. Researcher. University Carlos III, Madrid. (University of Miami Alumnus).
37. Julie Skurski, Ph.D. Distinguished Lecturer of Anthropology. CUNY Graduate Center. New York.
38. Leslie S. Offutt, PhD. Associate Professor and Chair, Department of History. Vassar College, New York.
39. David J. Vázquez, PhD. Assistant Professor of English. University of Oregon, Oregon.
40. Ricardo Pérez, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Anthropology. Eastern Connecticut State University, Connecticut.
41. Milton Sanchez-Parodi, MD. Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine. Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Ohio.
42. Carollee Bengelsdorf. Professor of Politics. Hampshire College, Massachusetts.
43. Thomas Petriano, Ph.D. Professor of Religious Studies. St. Joseph’s College, New York.
44. Cecilia Enjuto Rangel, PhD. Assistant Professor of Spanish. Romance Languages Department. University of Oregon, Oregon.
45. Sayres Rudy. Professor. Hampshire College, Massachusetts.
46. Ginetta E.B. Candelario. Associate Professor of Sociology and Latin American & Latina/o Studies. Smith College, Massachusetts.
47. Charles Hatfield, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature. The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas.
48. Colleen Lundy PhD, Professor. School of Social Work. Carleton University, Ontario, Canada.
49. Dr. Max Azicri, Ph.D., Ll.D. Professor of Political Science. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania.
50. Steven Daiber, MFA. Book Artist-Publisher, Red Trillium Press.
51. Christina E. Civantos, PhD. Associate Professor. University of Miami, Florida.
52. Evelyn P. Jennings. Associate Professor and Margaret Vilas Chair of Latin American History. St. Lawrence University, New York.
53. Flavio Risech. Associate Professor of Law and Ethnic Studies. School of Critical Social Inquiry. Hampshire College, Massachusetts.
54. Delvis Fernández Levy, PhD. University of Miami Alumnus (MS 1963). President of Cuban American Alliance Education Fund, Inc. California.
55. Maria Teresa Velez, PhD. Psychologist. Associate Dean Graduate College. University of Arizona, Arizona.
56. María del C. García Padilla, EdD. Professor of Philosophical Foundations of Education, Faculty of Education. University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.
57. Myra Mendible, PhD. Professor, Language and Literature Department. Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida.
58. Ricardo Otheguy, Ph.D. Professor. Graduate Center. City University of New York, New York.
59. Dr. Kenya C. Dworkin y Méndez. Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies. Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania.
60. Rubén G. Rumbaut, Professor of Sociology, University of California, California.
61. Constance R. Sutton. Professor Emerita, Anthropology. New York University, New York, U.S.A.
62. Dr. David Douglas. School of Cinema, Concordia University. Montreal, Canada. Regular Visiting Professor, Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión, Cuba.
63. Eduardo A. Araujo-Pradere, PhD. Senior Space Scientist. University of Colorado.
64. Eliana Rivero, PhD. Professor, Spanish and Portuguese. College of Humanities and Center for Latin American Studies, The University of Arizona, Arizona.
65. Jacqueline Loss, PhD. Associate Professor. University of Connecticut, Connecticut.
66. Sheryl L. Lutjens, Ph.D. Professor of Women's Studies. California State University San Marcos, California.
67. Chris Tilly, PhD. Professor of Urban Planning. UCLA, California.
68. Yolanda Prieto. Ramapo College of New Jersey, New Jersey.
69. Carlos Morales-Mateluna, MD. University of Miami Alumnus.
70. Alan A. Aja, Ph.D. Assistant Professor & Deputy Chair. Department of Puerto Rican & Latino Studies. Brooklyn College-City University of New York.
71. Iris Zavala-Martinez, PHD, MS. Distinguished Lecturer Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, New York.

*Some Canadian-based scholars made explicit their interest in being included among the signatories; thus, their signatures were also added to the letter.

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