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NUMBER 126 - DECEMBER 5, 2018
JOE CAROLLO HAS ALWAYS FANCIED HIMSELF TO BE A FRIEND OF, AND POLITICALLY TO THE RIGHT OF EVERY TIN HORN SOUTH AMERICAN DICTATOR OF THE LAST 30 YEARS, AND HIS LATEST STUNT INVOLVING CALLE OCHO WAS AS MUCH, IF NOT MORE AN EFFORT TO CONTINUE TO PLAY THE ROLE OF DEFENDER TO THE OLD GUARD CUBAN EXILE COMMUNITY WHO CAROLLO HAS ROPED INTO BEING PART OF HIS POLITICAL VENDETTA AGAINST BILL FULLER
Much has been made since last week about the design of the Little Havana flag that was unveiled at a ceremony last Friday, including numerous comments about its beauty and its ugliness.
Most importantly for me was the Guidestar website where it was stated in unequivocal language that this group was subject to the IRS requirements to filed a Form 990 tax return.
In the midst of the debate over the design of the flag, a design that the city acknowledged on Monday was neither sanctioned nor approved by the city, few people, others than those in attendance, or those who watched till the very end the video I posted of the unveiling of this new Little Havana flag know that there was another flag that was unfurled at that event and that was posed with by a number of the old Cuban men in attendance, who had been especially invited.
The big problem, and it's a big problem, because Carollo's modus operandi is always centered on being vindictive and destructive, is that while there were, and are any number of positive ways in which Carollo could have gone about fostering a heightened awareness and support for the Veterans of the Bay of Pigs, and show them honor and respect, he's exploited them and their sacrifice as part of what he has made into a phony and manufactured battle over Cuban culture.
Real Cuban culture, like every country's real culture is not the exclusive property of any one group, nor is it likely to be found on streets devoted to attracting tourists through souvenir shops, restaurants and bars.
For culture warriors however, any controversy is useful, and there are countless examples of fights that have erupted over various cultures that have turned out to be less about culture, and more about business opportunities, money and/or catering to a political base.
That to me is what I've believed from the beginning was what Carollo's fight with Bill Fuller and his business partners has always been about.
What's telling about the photos above is that all of the people on the stage are men, and all of them are over 60 years of age.
Compare that with the photo below of the members of Viernes Culturales that attended the press conference on Monday to announce that they were continuing their event on the 3rd Friday of the month.
Look at how many younger people and especially women showed up to be part of this group.
Many, if not all of these people - men and women - are the owners and workers of the businesses on Calle Ocho, which I suspect cannot be said for the group that joined Carollo and Commissioner Manolo Reyes - another culture warrior from the past - at the unveiling of the Little Havana Flag.
In fact, the only people who spoke at the unveiling were politicians, and there didn't seem to be that many business folks from Calle Ocho in attendance.
What Carollo has repeatedly demonstrated since he's been back in office is a focus and commitment to helping specific business people, especially people who have hired lobbyists like Steve Marin, Marc Sarnoff - yes, he's now lobbying - and especially Carlos Gimenez Jr. and his wife, to promote their cause, or who projects have provided Carollo an opportunity to use them to get back as his former enemies from times past, such as his publicly taking credit for supposedly convincing Jorge Mas to go after the Melreese property:
Here is the portion of the July 12th Commission meeting where he admits to doing that:
Last Friday night, I took the below photo - from a different angle - of the same Calle Ocho Walk Of Fame Star.
Almost 4 years have passed between my story and last Friday, and nothing has changed. The Star is still dirty, and the manhole cover and curb is still covered with tar spots.
Instead of focusing on things that would improve Calle Ocho for everyone - like cleaning the damn sidewalks and the Walk Of Fame Stars - Joe Carollo decided that what Little Havana needed was a phony, fake flag with a Rooster to symbolize the proud heritage of the Cuban people.
Carollo is a viciously stupid motherfucker who has no class, no culture, no taste, and who when challenged to a duel by Jorge Mas Canosa, over something stupid that he said and did, replied that he'd only do it with water pistols, which means that he also has no balls!
In 2018, that's good enough to make him the dicktator of Little Havana!
It's Miami, Bitches!
This is the real Joe Carollo. Using his position to get even with people he considers his enemies.
Carollo has never been a uniter. Instead of offering support to the folks with Viernes Culturales to help their event become better, Carollo chose to try and put then out of business, and in in order to do that he has now positioned himself an a bi-weekly event promoter, which will be interesting to watch since he lacks both the business savvy and the manpower to stage a bi-weekly event for any length of time, especially when on top of everything else it seems he will have to use taxpayer money to finance this activity on an on-going basis.
Following the money is what I like to do, and while Carollo has demonstrated a predictable dickishness when it comes to complying with public records requests, I have little doubt that I'll either get him to turn over the financial records, or drag his ass before a judge, and have the judge force him to turn over the documents.
In the meantime consider this as a true example of how little either of the Carollo brothers really cared about Calle Ocho in the last 9 years.
THE STREET IS DIRTY
In January of 2015, when Frank Carollo was District 3 Commissioner, I did a story about how dirty Calle Ocho was. One of the photos that I used to illustrate that problem was this one.