Mayor Francis Suarez: “All bull — no action”

Fabiola Santiago of the Miami Herald is one of the best columnists in town. I know, I know. Some will deride me for saying this. Ms. Santiago is not a big fan of the Cuban government and all things Cuba. But heck, that’s her right. The fact is that she calls them as she sees them, and one of her biggest targets, rightfully so, is Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. Her latest column is an example. 

I have written of Suarez and described him as “the pretty-boy mayor” and “Miami’s porcelain doll.” Santiago in her latest column writes that “there’s a Spanish word locals often use to describe impeccably dressed, fast-talking Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, these days both celebrated and mocked as “America’s crypto mayor.” 


“A poser, vain and preoccupied with the superficial (or personally advantageous) to the detriment of what matters.”

I laughed when I read this. Then thought twice and was saddened by the fact of Santiago’s words. Here’s a young mayor of a growing and important U.S. city, and all he’s done, all he has become, is a cheerleader for the rich, and hoping to be carried along on that wave of crypto-wealth of the future in order to become one who rides on super yachts, travels the city in helicopters and fancies himself a connoisseur foodie who drops thousands on dinners that he does not pay for. All the while ignoring, as mayor of Miami, the fact we live in a city being devoured by inequity, poverty, and the rising waters of climate change. 

Here’s more of Ms. Santiago’s column: “Where’s Suarez on important city issues? 

“Who knows! 

“Ask his nemesis, Commissioner Joe Carollo, who seems to have been left in charge of the asylum. 

“The flashier the issue, the more national attention it garners — using crypto currency as city tender, pursuing Elon Musk on Twitter to build a subterranean tunnel in a rising-seas city that can’t even keep resilience officers employed — the more Suarez is interested.”

She later adds: “Suarez was supposed to be the mayor who modernized the provincial city hall environment, but he’s gone way overboard selling Miami to outsiders while he abandons the issues of longtime residents.”

In the end, it’s our own fault. Miamian’s have a way of glorifying gilt — the flashier, the better. We applaud modern day carpetbaggers waving hundred-dollar bills to renovate neighborhoods, given them keys to small kingdoms, and they end up building their versions of 21st century palaces fit for the wealthy, but too expensive for those who live and work there. It’s a pattern we too often see in this city and one being promoted by the mayor of Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and too many municipalities in this area we call South Florida.

All the while, we fail to see that we’re building our own watery tombs.

What brought about the recent reaction, and column, from Ms. Santiago was a photograph of Mayor Suarez, as she describes it: “in Bitcoin-branded sneakers, as he disrobed the Transformer-like figure at the Miami Beach Convention Center.” The statue is of a 3,000 pound bull modeled after Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull.

She then adds: “But Miami’s most prominent salesman is out there peddling… the future — or a scam?”

The question is rhetorical. Any serious person from the area knows the answer.

I shall end with another of Ms. Santiago’s wonderful lines from her latest column: “That’s why the robot with the creepy glow-all-day blue eyes and golden horns is an apt metaphor for Suarez’s leadership — all bull, no action.”