Re "Safety Cited as Latin Grammys Moved to L.A.," Aug. 21: Let me see if I get this right. The American Civil Liberties Union and the so-called exiled Cuban community are upset that the Latin Grammys have been moved from Miami to Los Angeles? This community did not want to have musicians from Cuba performing at the Grammys in Miami. Well, the Cuban community in Miami got its way.
The rest of the country will now have to endure yet another tantrum by the Cuban community in Miami because it will not have yet another forum for its ongoing soap opera pitting this liberty-loving band of patriots against the evil dictator Fidel Castro.
C. Michael Greene, president and chief executive of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and the Latin Recording Academy, was absolutely correct in his concern for the safety of the artists and the potential disruption of the program by anti-Castro fanatics. One only has to remember the hysterical reaction by that community to the return of Elian Gonzalez to his father to see that moving the Grammys from Miami was a legitimate and prudent thing to do.
When do we stop allowing this small segment of our country to exercise such strident influence over any contact with Cuba's people? The people on that island live under a despot. The day Castro dies will be a great day for democracy in Cuba. So how is it that everything the Cuban community in Miami has done has made me, a first-generation Latino American, despise them almost as much as I despise Castro?
Ralph M. Casillas
\o7 Los Angeles
How could anybody have a problem with the wonderful musicians from Cuba performing here ("Setback for Miami, but Brief," editorial, Aug. 22)? Only the fanatical, right-wing, reactionary Cubans in Miami could object.
What a naive comment! Ask anyone who has danced the "forced-labor-camp rumba" in Cuba to the contagious songs of Los Van Van praising the Castro brothers and their Communist paradise. You should take the time and listen to their old recordings, when their music was full of "revolutionary zest."
Failing to make a distinction between the apolitical Buena Vista Social Club and Los Van Van misses the real issue here. Other musicians from Cuba perform in Miami without incident; they don't symbolize a totalitarian and despotic system.
Allow people to scream to Los Van Van what they couldn't scream in Cuba.