We are Venezuela
A week ago more than 3,000 Venezuelans stood tall at the Dale Mabry and Columbus Drive intersection demonstrating solidarity with their brothers and sisters who dare to challenge the ever-increasing repression in their native land.
Tampa Police Department ranking supervisors at the scene noted the size of the crowd and commented the protest was the largest in memory.
As a Cuban-American, I am saddened by the proposition that had Cubans been able to take care of their own problems and rid the hemisphere of Fidel Castro, this political metastasis would not have infected the land of Simon Bolivar, and Venezuela would still be a land of freedom. But we Cubans failed despite our best efforts so the least we can do is support the struggle against the regime.
Cuba has sent elite special forces to provide “security” to Maduro and his top echelon. They will do more than that as they have done in Cuba for so long. These are the enforcers of the regime. They repress and destroy and will do so in Venezuela.
This is not a matter of Cuba or Venezuela alone. It impacts the national security of the United States and has dire consequences for every American now and for years to come. As a nation in the last decade we have engaged in combat and conflict in faraway lands when some of the gravest dangers faced by our people are just off our shores. The time has come to support the efforts of those who struggle for freedom in the streets of Caracas.
Ralph E. Fernandez
Under the bus
The recent discussions about legislation concerning the religious preference of businesses that have Christian beliefs to choose not to perform or practice ceremonies or acts that contradict their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman have been taken completely out of context.
These businesses are not stating that they are anti-homosexual or otherwise. They are stating in a respectful manner without hate that marriage ceremonies between any couple other than a man and a woman go against their spiritual beliefs.
You should ask yourselves: “Do I have the right to demand that any business that has devout Islamic beliefs be forced by law and threats to prepare pork, sell or provide alcohol, allow my dog in the place of business or their taxi cab, or perform ceremonies knowing full well that these actions are strictly against their religious convictions?”
Why would anyone want to force someone to perform a service for them that they know is against their religious beliefs? Why single out a particular business?
The phone book is full of other businesses that would perform the task, I’m sure.
The answer is very clear for all to see.
Sadly, it has become the norm in this country to constantly throw Christian faith under the bus and to attack it.
And I say to those 7 million-plus “Christians” who either voted for this administration or elected to just sit out the last election: Do you intend to make the same mistake again this year and in 2016?
“How should public schools teach the gay marriage movement?” This was the headline of an article I saw when scrolling Yahoo News. Really? This question and questions like it are glaring examples of where the public education system in the United States went off the rails. And it has definitely gone off the rails.
When schools relieved parents of their parental responsibilities, infused it into the school day and made it the responsibility of the teacher, the public school system in this country ceased educating students and instead began parenting students.
Sex, marriage, character, morals, ethics, religious beliefs, political ideology are all parental responsibilities!
Many programs such as sex education and character education are not only offered in school as curriculum, they are mandated by state or federal law.
Aside from the fact that none of those things should be a teacher’s or school’s responsibility, the liability involved for the teacher in even broaching those subjects is monumental. Seriously, how many times have you heard in the news that the information being taught to students in any of these areas has ruffled the feathers of a parent or a politician, or a civil rights group or a religious group? All the time!
And why is it that these people would be offended by the content of this type of curriculum? Because these are very personal, familial, religious and political issues in which people often feel very strongly one way or the other.
As soon as something their children are exposed to at school does not line up with their beliefs, they want the heads of the teachers, administrators and schools, and they usually call for them in a very public manner.
Sex, marriage, religion, political ideology and morals do not belong in the curriculum of the public schools.
Maybe if parents took back their responsibility and sent students to school ready to learn academics, then the state of the education system in this country could reflect the academic excellence that we are certainly capable of achieving.
Mandatory ‘open carry’
Not only should an “open carry” law be passed, it should be mandatory.
If I enter an establishment, be it a movie, bank or whatever, I can see who is armed. I would have the opportunity to leave in case the armed person may be a bit irritable that day, and perhaps become annoyed with someone’s behavior.
Even in the so-called “Wild West,” it was required to leave your guns at the door.