Culture

What It’s Like Being Cuban In Los Angeles

Los Angeles is an incredibly diverse city — Chinese immigrants, Armenians, Persians, Koreans, Thai folks, Filipinos, Salvadorans, Indians, Ethiopians, black Americans and many other groups have left indelible imprints on the city, its neighborhoods, art, food and culture. But it’s no exaggeration to say that the heart and soul of Los Angeles? Is Mexican. Mexican culture and identity forms the core of this city, so while there are countless places to get the best tacos, tortas and pan dulce you’ve ever tasted, it’s slightly more difficult to find, say, a good croqueta or tin of guayaba. It can lead to some interesting situations for Cubans living in and moving to this city!

Let’s take a closer look at what it’s like to be a Cuban who moves to Los Angeles:

1. It can get a little lonely.

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2. You feel a surge of pride whenever you see the José Martí sculpture in Echo Park.

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Credit: Flickr / CC / hullam

En junio como en enero.

3. …And very disappointed to learn about the community’s issues with it.

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Credit: USA Network

Well, excuse you.

4. You’ll enjoy many arguments over the authenticity of Porto’s Bakery.

Work hard, eat harder. ?? I ❤️ Portos! ??? #portos #burbank #whitechocolatemocha #fruittart #food #lunch

A photo posted by nashlyne ramos (@nxshlyne) on

Credit: Instagram / nxshlyne

Their croquetas are unfuckwittable, but how you gonna call pastelitos “strudels”? Come on.

5. And, in fact, arguing over the few good Cuban restaurants within Los Angeles becomes a regular pastime.

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Credit: NBC

Look, I’m just saying, if I have to go to Downey to find black beans hecho como en casa, I will die, no lie.

6. You have to take care not to offend everyone around you.

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Credit: CW

Because Mexican culture forms such a large part of L.A., you’ve got to be careful when using words like “fajar” and “cojer,” unless you want to get lots of horrified looks and nervous giggles.

7. You have tried and failed to find a specific ingredient you thought would be available in a Latino market.

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Credit: CBS Films

OK, so Vallarta doesn’t carry membrillo or guayaba paste. Lesson learned 17 hours after running all around this ginormous freaking city, I GUESS.

8. And yet you keep hearing about these mysterious, roving band of suburban Cubans in places like Downey and Burbank.

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Credit: Giphy / Reddit

OK, but where? And why don’t they have a ventanita on every corner, if that’s the case?

9. You will go through frita withdrawal.

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Credit: Google

Why. Can’t. I find them. In. This. CITY.

10. When you find a fellow Cuban, you suddenly become 99.7% more Cubanaz@.

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Credit: PBS

The voice gets louder, the hands move around more, and your tendency to exaggerate goes up like literally a million percent.

11. You get to celebrate holidays a little differently.

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Credit: 20th Century Fox

Lechón y congri can’t be beat, but Mexican-style tamales are DELICIOUS around the holidays. And while Cubans don’t typically go all out on Día de los Muertos, Los Angeles’ celebrations are truly beautiful and inspiring.

12. No one knows wtf you mean by “pastel.”

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Credit: Giphy / Reddit 

Nooooo, when I said “pastelito de carne,” I didn’t mean meat cake!

13. You realize no one except Cubans understand the Cuban accent.

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Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

“Why are you yelling incoherently?” I’M WHISPERING, MENG.

14. …And that we’re far more malhablada than most of our Latino cousins.

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Credit: Cartoon Network

Others: “Ow! Tripped on this pinche sidewalk.”

Us: “¡¡¡Coño!!! ¿Pero que clase de mierda es este sidewalk de carajo? Me cago en su madre.”

15. And you get lots of people trying (and failing) to guess where, exactly, you’re from.

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

“So you’re… Iranian, right? Armenian? Irish? Jamaican-Polish-Korean?” Sure. We’ll go with that.

But you know what’s awesome about being a Cuban here?

16. You get to learn about LOTS of cultures other than your own.

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Credit: RalphGM & RandyFX, via Gizmodo

And that is pretty damn great.


READ: Thanks to Mexicans, Los Angeles has the Sunset Strip

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Vanessa Bryant Suing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Over Leaked Photos Of Kobe And Gianna

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Suing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Over Leaked Photos Of Kobe And Gianna

kobebryant / lacosheriff / Instagram

Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department alleging violation of privacy. The lawsuit stems from behavior by the officers at the scene of her husband and daughter’s death.

Vanessa Bryant is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

On Jan. 26, a helicopter carrying Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Payton and Sarah Chester, Alyssa, Keri, and John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan crashed in the Calabasas hills. The sudden death devastated those who knew Kobe and the city of Los Angeles that mourned his death for months after.

Vanessa was shocked to hear that the sheriff deputies took photos of her husband’s and daughter’s bodies at the crash site.

“This lawsuit is about accountability and about preventing this disgraceful behavior from happening to other families in the future who have suffered loss,” Vanessa’s attorney, Luis Li, said in a statement. “The department formally refused Mrs. Bryant’s requests for information, saying it was ‘unable to assist’ with any inquiry and had no legal obligation to do so. It’s now for a court to tell the department what its obligations are.”

Bryant is suing the department claiming damages for emotional distress, negligence, and invasion of privacy.

Kobe fans are upset with the LACSD and the allegations that the deputies took these photos.

According to TMZ, Sheriff Alex Villanueva knew about the photos taken by eight deputies and shared within the department. They were also shared in the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation. Sheriff Villanueva told the deputies to delete the photos from their phones and felt confident they did so.

A trainee allegedly shared the photos with a woman in a bar.

A witness to the event said that a trainee took out his phone and showed a woman the photos to impress her. The bartender overheard the conversation and filed an online complaint about the trainee and their behavior with the photos. The trainee showed the woman the photos a few days after the crash leading many to believe that the sheriff’s department was fully aware of the photos.

Kobe fans are standing behind Vanessa as she follows through with her lawsuit.

Reports state that the sheriff’s department told deputies to delete the images to avoid disciplinary action. The coverup is sparking outrage by Kobe fans who are angered that the department did not do enough to protect the dignity and privacy of all of the victims of the crash.

Mitú will update this story as it continues to develop.

READ: Vanessa Bryant Forced To Respond To ‘Beyond Hurtful’ Comments Made By Her Own Mom On ‘El Gordo y La Flaca’

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The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

Things That Matter

The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

@BillCorben / Twitter

Readers of the Miami Herald and the El Nuevo Herald noticed a racist and anti-Semitic insert in one of the latest editions. The column in the insert compared BLM activists to Nazis while talking down about the Jewish community.

The Miami Herald recently published a racist and anti-Semitic insert.

The offensive piece, written by Cuban exile Roberto Luque Escalona, received harsh and immediate backlash. Escalona expresses his displeasure for the Jewish community and those seeking racial justice by joining BLM with one column.

“What kind of people are these Jews” writes Escalona. He then continues to “teach” Jewish people the history of the Holocaust and claims that BLM supporters are worse than the Nazis during Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, because the Nazis simply destroyed things and didn’t steal.

The newspaper has apologized for the insert going so far as to admit that it was not properly vetted and that “internal failures” were at play.

According to an open letter, higher ups at the Miami Herald admit to the insert not being read and vetted by the staff. The obvious overlook led to a 40-page insert of right-wing propaganda to be distributed to the readers of both the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. Since the publication, the Miami Herald claims to have ended their relationship with Libre, the insert with the racist and anti-Semitic content.

Those responsible at the Miami Herald admitted to not reading the insert before it was distributed.

“We are deeply sorry that inflammatory, racist and anti-Semitic commentary reached our el Nuevo Herald subscribers through LIBRE, a Spanish-language publication that paid our company to have the product printed and inserted into our print edition as a weekly supplement,” reads part of an open letter to readers. “The fact that no one in leadership, beginning with us, had previously read this advertising insert until this issue was surfaced by a reader is distressing. It is one of a series of internal failures that we are investigating in order to prevent this from ever recurring.”

Readers are outraged that the newspaper would allow such offensive things to be published and distributed.

The right-wing conspiracies pushed by Libre are part of a larger Spanish-language disinformation campaign targeting Cubans in southern Florida. The community has been inundated with disinformation ahead of the 2020 election preying on the fears and ignorance within the staunchly conservative Cuban community.

“It’s difficult to measure the effect exactly, but the polling sort of shows it and in focus groups it shows up, with people deeply questioning the Democrats, and referring to the ‘deep state’ in particular — that there’s a real conspiracy against the president from the inside,” Eduardo Gamarra, a pollster and director of the Latino Public Opinion Forum at Florida International University, told Politico. “There’s a strain in our political culture that’s accustomed to conspiracy theories, a culture that’s accustomed to coup d’etats.”

The disinformation is targeting Cubans because of the growing Latino communities who tend to vote Democratic.

According to Politico, the campaign is Cuban specific. The Puerto Rican, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Dominican communities in Florida, which continue to grow, typically vote Democratic. These shifting demographics have left Republicans doing anything it takes to keep a strong hold of the Cuban community, even by means of racism, anti-Semitism, and disinformation.

READ: Politicians Need To Stop Assuming That The Latino Vote Is A Monolith Because It Is Not The Truth

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