By Carlos Miller
First, Miami city and county officials approved a multi-billion public works plan that would build a port tunnel, a museum at Bayfront Park and a new baseball stadium where the Orange Bowl now stands.
All without the approval of the citizens of Miami.
Now, a group of Miami developers have broken out plans that would reconstruct seven kilometers of Havana’s famed Malecón seawall.
All without the input of the citizens of Havana.
Bankrolled by Miami cookie-cutter developers Sergio Pino and Anthony Seijas, the design of the project was drawn up by Florida International University professor Nicholas Quintana and announced Monday in a Miami Herald article.
According to the article, Quintana is an 82-year-old “prominent Cuban architect … who has become an expert on the way Cuba looks today by poring over textbooks, photos, illustrations, maps and virtual images of island scenes.”
In other words, he hasn’t seen Havana since before the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The article only describes Pino and Seijas as “Cuban American urbanization experts”, neglecting to mention key details like the fact that Pino is the president of Century Homebuilder and Seijas is the president for Lennar Homes in Miami-Dade County.
Over the last few years, Pino has given more than $100,000 to politicians, the bulk of it going to republicans. A search for Seijas name did not bring up any immediate political contributions, but it’s no secret that Lennar Homes is one of the most influential companies in the United States.
If these developers get their way with the Malecón, it would essentially be history repeating itself. After all, it was an American company that built the Malecón in the first place back in 1901.
My question is, when are the Cuban citizens going to get a say in what happens to their country?