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We remember our friends in their time of need.

Reader comment on item: Extremists on Campus

Submitted by John Suarez (United States), Jun 26, 2002 at 14:03

When the Elian saga hit and neighbors of different communities started carrying signs calling for the deportation of Cubans (when African Americans and White Southerners stood on roadsides with rebel flags and posters stating 1 down 800,000 to go after the FBI seized Elian) I still remember the Jewish community being the only community to come to the support of the Cuban American community. A full page ad by local Jewish leaders denounced the climate of intolerance and the deportation of a child to a totalitarian dictatorship offering comparisons to a dark page from Cuban and American history that of the St. Louis.

At the time after seeing the ad I and another half dozen young Cuban Americans organized a march on Miami Beach to the Holocaust memorial with over a thousand fellow Cuban Americans for prayer and forgiveness for the wrong we committed as a people in the case of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany being turned back by both Cuba and the United States. The press at the time refused to accurately describe the event as a march for forgiveness instead of just another "Elian demonstration."

As a Cuban-American catholic raised in Miami in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood I grew up going to Bar Mitzvahs, Passover "seders", and the occasional visit to Temple for a wedding or other family/friends occasion.

We remember our friends now in their time of need. I've attended pro-Israel rallies, and signed pro-Israel petitions, and have debated and denounced antisemites on my college campus and will continue to do so. We will never forget the crimes of the past, and we will do everything within our power to prevent them in the future.
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