This hen house (Miami) is guarded by foxes (a Cuban mafia)

A year ago, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez skipped a national search to land, whom he called at the time, “The Michael Jordan of police chiefs.” His name is Art Acevedo. He was sworn in on April 5, 2021.

All was good in the land of cafe con leche, pastelitos, croquetas and crooked politicians.

Acevedo, born in Cuba, came to the United States in 1968. His family settled in California. At the time of his hiring he had been serving as police chief in Houston, Texas. He is described in his Wikipedia page as: 

Outspoken on gun violence and in support for the Violence Against Women Act and openness to decriminalization of some drugs. During the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Acevedo acknowledged that policing in the United States has had a “disparate treatment and impact on disenfranchised communities — especially communities of color and poor communities.” 

The new Miami police chief was brought in to clean up a department that for years has been mired in corruption, questionable street policing, and internal struggles between Black, white, and Hispanic officers. There were some on the Miami city commission, namely the three Cuban American Republican commissioners, who were not happy with the hiring. For years, at least two of these three unscrupulous career politicians — Joe Carollo and Alex Diaz de la Portilla (ADLP) — had been cultivating the police department assuring that controlling the troops were cops they controlled. 

Acevedo, they found out, was not one to be controlled. And apparently the commissioners feared what might result if this tough-minded Cuban, not from Miami and therefore not privy to the Miami way of politicking, took over a police department in need of being whipped into true law and order form.

Just months into the job, Acevedo made his first (and last) tactical error. Although an honest assessment, he mentioned a “Cuban mafia” that controlled Miami, which enraged the Cuban capos on the commission. Acevedo was fired and Miami taxpayers will soon pay for their actions; he is suing the city. 

Mayor Suarez, a peacock politician when things happen to run well and is able to show off his colorful feathers, suddenly became a scared, tiny mouse when things got tough. Terrified of Carollo, and fearful of ADLP, Suarez backed off and failed to defend whom months earlier he had compared to the world’s greatest basketball player. Although not a stalwart Cuban mafioso, Suarez demonstrated a willingness to look the other way (common among so many politicos in Miami) so as to be allowed to play in the mafia playground known as Miami. 

[As for the presence of a Cuban mafia in Miami, I suggest you read the T.J. English book, The Corporation, a book that outlines where this mafia had its beginnings. And you can also read some first-rate behind the scenes reporting on current-day Miami political wrongdoings by Elaine de Valle in her website, Political Cortadito.]

And the beat goes on…

Since elected to the Miami commission, Alex Diaz de la Portilla has lusted for the city’s Omni Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), an agency with a budget of $68 million a year, where a Miami commissioner is appointed to oversee it. Diaz de la Portilla tried wresting the post from another Miami commissioner a couple of years ago. He was quickly removed when it was learned that he had ‘employed’ a woman, Jenny Nillo, with a questionable past, to be his “eyes and ears at the agency.” The problem was that Ms. Nillo was being paid $53,000 a year and had been seen at ‘work’ possibly two times in about 12 months. Jason Walker, the agency director, had had enough and fired Ms. Nillo. Diaz de la Portilla was up in arms and threatened to fire Walker. When the city looked into the matter, Diaz de la Portilla was removed from his post at the Omni Redevelopment Agency and the previous commissioner in charge was put back in his place. 

But Miami being Miami — and YES, run by a Cuban mafia — Diaz de la Portilla made a comeback of sorts and two years later is back in charge of the Agency he had been removed from for questionable decisions. He immediately got rid of Mr. Walker, re-installed Ms. Nillo, and sources tell me that his intentions are to put former Miami commissioner Humberto Hernandez as executive director of the agency once headed by Walker. [For those who’ve forgotten, or were not here at the time, Hernandez served almost four years in prison for bank fraud and voter fraud, and was removed from political office back in the 1990s.] Hernandez, from what I’ve been told, seems to serve as Diaz de la Portilla’s part time chauffeur these days. It seems that driving this particular commissioner may pay off big for Hernandez. 

One last thought on the $68 million agency and Diaz de la Portilla’s lust for its coffers. This from the aforementioned journalist de Valle: “Expect a bunch of new employees and newly-created no-show botella jobs at the CRA. Why? By law, the CRA can use up to 20% of the earmarked taxes it collects on administration. Right now, it is using less than 7%. Because it’s been efficient. That means there are millions of dollars in potential salaries (read: favors or kickbacks) that can be doled out by someone who needs to raise funds to run next year for re-election…” 

Now, if that ain’t a mafia at work…

I’ll head outside the city boundaries and into the county of Miami-Dade where a county commissioner will soon retire because he is termed out — after nearly 40 years as a commissioner and state legislator. Commissioner Javier Souto has been a Miami-Dade commissioner since 1993. Before that he had served in the state legislature since 1984. During those four decades in office his outstanding achievement has been to keep Miami safe from communists. I remember seeing him speak once where he warned of commies hiding behind bushes in Miami (not kidding). At this stage, he must be close to 100-years-old, Souto is known to sleep through commission meetings (true), or putting others to sleep. When he speaks… well, nobody’s really sure what he’s said for more than a decade. His blabber peppered with “communism” and “Castro.”

Termed out now, Souto who has never worked at anything else, is seeking to incorporate a part of Miami-Dade known as Westchester, where he lives. The thing is, the majority of the people in Westchester have no interest whatsoever in incorporating, for among other reasons, because their taxes would surely go up to pay for constituent services. But Souto needs a job, and anyway, he wants to be mayor of the new city he’s trying to ram through. 

And how do you create a new city in Miami-Dade? The law states that 20 percent of Westchester homeowners must approve a Westchester Municipal Advisory Committee, a group of residents who will meet to consider the pros and cons of cityhood. The thing is, as I mentioned, Souto is old as dirt and does not have the patience to go through the process. So for some mysterious reason, the 20 percent rule was waived for Commissioner Souto in Westchester as he proceeds in creating HIS own little kingdom. But the residents of Westchester have had enough and have protested and have started to practically throw things at him during wild meetings where he can be seen in a video telling them that “I don’t give a shit about what people here might think.”

These are just two stories of the real Miami. A place where if you scare Cubans, the largest group of residents, into believing that there are communists behind every bush (I guess we’re not very smart as a group, are we?), it results in a get out of jail card and reelection, every time. A city where these two politicians — one in power for 40 years, the other going on 30 — have become rich at their jobs as politicians, employment which supposedly doesn’t pay well. 

Finally, Miami is fertile ground for a state attorney who wants to make a name for herself or himself for going after corrupt public officials. Our state attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, also a Cuban American, has been State Attorney for Miami-Dade County since 1993. And over those 30 years, on the corruption front, it seems that Kathy, at 72, welcomes the fact that our hen house (Miami) continues to be guarded by foxes (a Cuban mafia)…