Sunday, September 2, 2007

Important Details

Casey Woods' recent article in the Miami Herald forgets some important details in my opinion.

Woods writes about Magda Montiel Davis, one the lawyers working pro bono for a Cuban father trying to regain custody of his 4-year old daughter. The case has become quite a controversy here in Miami where Cuba related issues are generally viewed through a microscope, and analyzed with a dichotomous assumption of good (the United States) vs evil (the Cuban government). Woods mentions Davis' 1994 visit to Cuba where she was documented giving Fidel Castro a kiss and calling him a "great teacher." Since then, Davis is a convenient target for condemnation by Miami hard-liners, and an example of courage for the Cuban government.

Obviously, some of the most condemning remarks have come from callers on Radio Mambi, many of whom consider Magda Montiel Davis an agent for the Cuban government. Casey Woods mentions in her article that "some callers [on Radio Mambi] blasted Davis, calling her a liar. One man gave out her office phone number on air. [Ninoska Perez] Castellón urged listeners to call the Florida Bar Association and demand an investigation."

Woods accurately summarizes what generally happened that day, I was also listening to the same program, but there are some important facts that she leaves out.

Woods is specifically referring to Ninoska Pérez Castellón's 3pm show called "Ninoska en Mambi", which aired this past Friday. That day, once callers were allowed to participate, Davis was not only "blasted" as Woods describes, but also insulted and excoriated. Woods doesn't mention that Davis was called much worse things than just a liar.

Furthermore, the man who gave out Davis' office number on the air was in fact ALLOWED to do so by Pérez Castellón. I remember this very clearly. The caller first ASKS Pérez Castellón if he can give the number out because he had it with him at the moment. Pérez Castellón seemed reluctant, but had no problem telling him that he could. Woods is correct to mention that Pérez Castellón was urging her listeners to instead call the Florida Bar Association, but Woods failed to mention that Pérez Castellón APPROVED of giving Davis' office number on the air.

And, what's most troubling is the fact that the caller who gave out the number made his intentions clear to Ninoska Pérez Castellón beforehand. He said that Radio Mambi listeners should call Magda Montiel Davis' office "para molestarla" (to bother her). After giving out the number, the caller added that people shouldn't call to insult or threaten Davis.

Too bad Radio Mambi can't guarantee that.

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