No Habla Espanol?

No Habla Espanol?

Florida university hosts Miami-Dade mayoral debate but excludes non-Spanish speaking contenders.

Published May 16, 2011

Seven candidates in the Miami-Dade mayoral race were excluded from a debate that was held on the campus of Florida International University last week and broadcast by the Spanish language television station Univision. Guess what they had in common.


If your answer is that they’re not Hispanic, you’re right, and mayoral candidate Luther Campbell is as mad as he wants to be. Univision said that it invited the top four fundraisers in the race, but Campbell said that’s no excuse and is particularly egregious because the event took place at a public university.


“I don’t want to hear FIU’s mouthpiece's excuse that the school had nothing to do with Univision's decision to only invite the four Spanish-speaking candidates,” he wrote in his weekly blog. If that was the case, then FIU vice-president Sandra Gonzalez-Levy should not have sent an invite to the entire university from her FIU email work account. I'm also not buying the network’s claim that it selected Julio Robaina, Carlos Gimenez, Marcelo Llorente and Jose “Pepe” Cancio based on the amount of money that they have raised. That’s [expletive deleted].


According to the Miami Herald, Campbell showed up anyway, but sat at the back of the room with a few students. Cancio, one of the candidates, acknowledged the missing contenders in the race.


“I am against the fact that the other candidates have not been invited, even if they’re American or African-American,” he said.


The election is scheduled for May 24. If nobody wins a clear majority, the top two candidates will face off in a June run-off election.



(Photo: Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Written by Joyce Jones


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