August l , 2003…Interview with
Commissioner JIMMY MORALES, District 7, Miami,
Florida, candidate for Mayor, Miami-Dade
county in 2004, on “LE COIN DE
CARL PARLANT DE TOUT ET DE RIEN, ” Radio Carnivale,
CARL.- Good morning, Lionel, Harold, Jacques, and
Myrlène, “CARL’S CORNER” today will be exclusively
in the American language as a courtesy to Mr. Jimmy Morales, of Puerto
Rican-Cuban descent, two term Miami-Dade Country Commissioner, District
7, 41 years-old, graduated from Harvard University, who is presently in
my company, in my home.
POSITIVE QUOTE OF THE DAY.-
“People want to see someone that provides for the community; someone
who can show people results and a man with a vision.” Signed:
Jimmy Morales. Good morning, Commissioner, welcome on “Carl’s
JIMMY MORALES : Good Morning Carl, it’s
a tremendous pleasure to be here with you,
especially in your lovely home. Thank
you for your
hospitality. Good morning to all the listeners. Bonjour, mes
CARL.- Welcome again Commissioner,
it’s a pleasure to have you.
It has been said that English is the business language; French, the language
of diplomacy; Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, the romance languages although
all of them, including English, derive from Latin.
As for the Haitian Language which is Creole, I would
dare say it’s a combination of all those languages, residue of a
colonial culture, with a basic flavor of many African tongues.
Although being yourself
a descendant of mixed cultures, Commissioner, it must be a difficult transition
for you in your
campaigns in those different communities, would you
JIMMY MORALES : Actually, Carl, it’s
one of the things I enjoy most campaigning across this county. As you
mentioned, I come from a mixed culture. My father is from Puerto-Rico,
my mother is from Cuba,
I actually married a woman who is not Hispanic. So in my own home there
is tremendous diversity. One of the things I love about Miami
and the reason I moved back to Miami
after going to study in Boston,
in Harvard and what not, is that diversity. In this community you
have the Caribbean culture, the Central and South
American cultures, the European culture, people from across the United
States, people from New
York, the Jewish
I imagine that one of my strengths is my ability to go to different communities,
try to understand their issues, and listen. Listening is so important
when you go to these communities.
Not talking, but listening to what their concerns are, and being responsive.
I think whoever becomes mayor of this community, I hope it’s myself,
needs to be a mayor of all people, listen to all of them and represent
them. To me the diversity is actually not a challenge so much but an opportunity.
CARL.- Correct, beautiful!
Miami and its surroundings is a
unique multi-ethnic city and all of us living in it are proud to be here,
and love it because of its diversity.
Commissioner Morales, it is a pleasure and a great honor
for “CARL’S CORNER”, Radio Carnivale,
and the Haitian community at large to have you
with us this morning. Welcome again, sir!
JIMMY MORALES: The pleasure,
Carl, is all mine. It’s a great opportunity
to reach out to people, through radio and Radio Carnivale
in particular. It’s a great media and a lot of people listening,
get a lot of information, news about the community at large and again
it’s part of the magic of the diversity we have such diverse radio
waves from here. Spanish radio to Creole. I think there are even Portuguese
programs, Colombian, and others. It’s the magic of this community
and I think it’s appropriate for folks like myself
who are elected officials to come here, give information to people and
to interact. Thank you for that
CARL.- Thank you, sir. Commissioner
Morales, “CARL’S CORNER”, commited
to serve the Haitian people, is only a 20 minutes segment and with all
due respect, sir, let’s come to the point. A two term Commissioner,
graduated from Harvard
University, where by the way
I had an older brother who studied administration there; presently a grandnephew
is a professor there. Top-notch university to say the
You are running for mayor of Miami
to replace the present incumbent, Alex Penelas. What do you
propose which could be different from business as usual
: Carl, there are a couple of things you’re
going to see me talk a lot about and hopefully focusing on as mayor. One
of the issues is economic development. I think we need to focus on two
critical issues that really have not been focused on in recent years.
One is providing access to capital to small businesses and they are entrepreneurs.
One of the problems I am sure people listening to this program face is
borrowing or getting access to the amount of money they need to start
a business, to meet the payroll Friday, to buy a new piece of equipment
for their company, to start their business.
The banks should start lending that kind of money. One of the things I
want to do as Mayor is try to create programs to provide access to capital
in minority communities. I think that would be particularly relevant in
the Haitian community. Secondly, I think we need to focus on re-building
the infrastructure of lots of these communities.
Part of the problem businesses do not want to come into an area or local
people who want to start a business, it’s hard when the land is
contaminated by old ground field sites, the roads are in poor shape, the
water sewage construction is not up to code. Then not only you have to
give that money to start small businesses, you have to spend all that
money to put the infrastructure in. We, one of the obligations of government
is not for us to create jobs, because that’s for the private sector,
it’s for us to provide the climate for business to do best.
If you look at a lot of communities even portions
of Little Haiti, the infrastructure has been neglected for so long by
government. We need to go in and do a massive public
works project, to bring the infrastructure up, so the people will
have a chance, a fair chance to compete and start a business. I am going
to try to be a lot more agressive and pro-active
because at the end of the day, it’s all about economics. If you
don’t have a job you can’t feed your family. It’s hard
to educate people. It comes down to the bottom line,
the economy is everything, as the president once said.
Carl.- Correct. I have read
the remarks made by a prominent columnist, Mr. Jim DeFede, in the Miami
Herald on July 29, 2003. In short, he declared quote, “ that if
Jose Cancela CEO of Radio Unica
enters the race, the biggest loser will be Jimmy Morales. Morales is viewed as the best possible alternative to Miguel Diaz de
la Portilla. However despite campaigning almost
non stop since last year, Morales does not inspire confidence. Morales
is a nice guy, but weak. He is not the person you
would want on your side going into battle….It
will be a long drawn-out bloody affair…Just the way politics in
Miami was meant to be. End of quote.” Any comments, Commissioner
: Oh, Carl I have lots of
CARL : (laughing)
JIMMY MORALES: First of all it’s sad that the Miami Herald
and one of its reporters is saying that politics
in Miami was meant to be a
bloody affair. I think we should be challenging our community to rise
above that. We should not have divisive, bloody, mud-slinging ugly campaigns.
We should be insisting that our politicians act with decency, civility,
focus on the issues and talk to the people directly. That’s the
kind of campaign I am going to wage. Mr. DeFede may not like that because
it does not make for good headlines, but it’s what our community
Secondly this issue I am not inspiring confidence I have raised contributions
from nearly 2000 people in this community nearly doubling my opponent
Mr. de la Portilla. I have been running for
a year, he has been running since 2000 when he ran against mayor Penelas.
The facts are we are very close in the polls. And as for not wanting to
be on my side going to battle I can direct you to so many different communities
in this county: the disabled community; women’s groups; in fact
even this very Haitian community where I have been there fighting on issues
with success by reform of campaign finance rules. I think Mr. DeFede talks
to too many insiders.
There is no question the insiders, the lobbyists, the special interests
don’t want me there because they know that they can’t control
me, because I am willing to respond to the people, and so they want to
spin that message but I know I have been getting great responses across
these communities. Mr. Cancela wants to come
to the race I welcome him. Anybody wants to run it’s a free country,
this is a democracy, but I am confident the responses I am getting from
people I have a tremendous opportunity. I challenge everybody not to do
what Mr. DeFede says. Let’s make this a decent, honest, fair campaign
where we focus on the issues and not on bloody, ugly battles. Miami
deserves better than that.
CARL.- Commissioner, I have also read your
eloquent response in the “Readers’ Forum” of the Herald,
yesterday July 31, 2003, and where the latest poll shows you
narrowly trailing Mr. de La Portilla, the so-called
Mr. DeFede, usually a keen observer, I believe this time
has dropped the ball. Any additional comments ?
I think you are exactly right.
I think he dropped the ball. I think the most important thing in his article
was that by Mr. Cancela running, the may or
of Miami Manny Diaz is not going to run. There is not questin
I think in most observers’minds that Manny
Diaz would have been a very formidable opponent. Mayor of Miami,
he is doing a good job, he is a friend, and certainly I think had he jumped
in the race he would have been a very different race, a very challenging
race. Now that he is not running, I actually think I am the big winner.
I think I have a very strong opportunity to reach out to all communities.
No other elected official in this community except for maybe mayor Diaz
has worked like I have to reach out not just to Cubans and Puertoricans but to Haitians, to blacks, to women’s
group, to Jewish groups, to all communities. And as result I am the kind
of inclusive person that people want in this community. I think I am the
big winner by the fact Mr. Cancela is the one
who is going to be running, not Mr. Diaz, and I look forward to that race
Commissioner Jimmy Morales, do not seem to be a weak political entity,
but being in the limelight for too long, people look for ways to give
you a sunburn. It happens to me too.
One can not please everyone. I feel your
pain sir, like president Clinton
Sir, just for you
to be on this Haitian radio and other times with the Haitian communities
of Kendall, Homestead, Little Haiti, etc, it takes courage. We, Haitians,
we have been and still are the underdogs due, let’s face it, to
being black, poor, speaking creole, and political
turmoil at home, resulting with Haitian refugees coming to South Florida.
Haitians are being returned to their native land compared
to our Cuban brothers being received in Florida
with open arms. It happened again yesterday in Key Largo
where 45 Cuban refugees arrived, with governor
Jeb Bush taking sides against his own brother, the president,
with the other Cubans which were returned to Cuba.
As for us, it’s not easy being Haitian, and it’s
not easy being a friend of the Haitian people. What are your
thoughts on that ?
: Well, I have to tell you
I have tremendously enjoyed my friendship with Haitians. I have met, Carl,
so many people like yourself who have
been good friends, who taught me a lot, whom I have wonderful times, so
for me personally it has been very easy to be a friend of the Haitian
people but also because the Haitian people are on the right side of these
issues. It is wrong what this country is doing. It is wrong that we indefinitely
detain Haitians. It is wrong that we don’t let people in who have
risked their lives by crossing dangerous waters, that we don’t let
them stay in this country and seek the opportunities.
I am a son of immigrants. Far be it for me to ever close the door on other
immigrants and as a result of the last few years I have taken up with
many of my Haitian brothers and sisters this fight to try to change that
policy. I was there on Key Biscayne when the boat arrived last fall. Shortly
after that I was at that meeting of the county commissioners where many
of us signed the resolution to Washington
to please change the policy. I sponsored the resolution to have the children
freed for the holidays. Few months ago I was very proud to accompany many
Haitian leaders to Washington
and walk the walls of Congress and send a very strong message to congressmen
We even at a hearing had a chance to say a few words to John Ashcroft,
the Attorney General, about how this is wrong. We are going to continue
working on that. It is unfortunate what is happening to the Haitian people
in this country and I think we need to prevail on Washington to change
those policies and many of us here in Miami who want to be and are part
of that struggle, and we’ll continue to be. While it’s a hard
fight in Washington
it’s a pleasure for me as a member of the Caribbean
community to keep on supporting my fellow “caribenos.”
Carl.- Thank you
sir. Commissioner Morales I do respect you
for having the courage of being part of us Haitians in those difficult
times, and in addition to your response
to Jim DeFede in the Herald, please feel free to add any additional comments.
The mike is yours.
JIMMY MORALES: Well, again, I appreciate
that. I think that in my reaching out you’re
going to find me a tremendous ally. Not just on the issue of immigration
either. I remember a couple of years ago when the Haitian political action
committee and many other groups came to the Commission wanting a seat
on the county commission, I was very proud to co-sponsor with Commissioner
Carey-Schuller an item to add a seat to the county commission to
try to create Haitian representation. Unfortunately the rest of my colleagues
did not support me on this. Even though my district, district 7, has a
very small Haitian population I have understood how important it is to
reach out to every segment, to provide funding to Haitian communities,
to appoint friends like Mimi Tribié to serve
on the Minority Economic Development committee of the county, make sure
that the Haitian voice is heard on these kinds of issues. To support Haitian
womens’s groups, for example I helped
create a micro loan program and one of the agencies is now providing micro
landing because of my program to the Haitian Womens’s organization down in Homestead.
So I understand as a commissioner and you
can rest assured
that as mayor I will surely understand
how important it is to work with all communities including the Haitian
community to provide opportunities.
CARL.-I am glad to know that you
have Dr. Mireille Tribié with you.
JIMMY MORALES: Absolutely.
Commissioner, I understand that you
will be the keynote speaker tomorrow night at the Radisson-Deauville
hotel in Miami Beach at a get together by “SLN HAITI, INC.”,
a worthwhile organization which is raising funds to improve the little
town of Saint-Louis du Nord in the Northwest of Haiti.
I have already been made an honorary resident and will be present tomorrow
night to listen to you,
and partake in the festivities. Do you
have a last word, Commissioner ?
: I certainly hope that
folks listening who want to come to that event. It’s an important
event. Not only do we as a community in South Florida
have an obligation to help one another down here, but we also have an
obligation to take care of our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean
and in the Americas.
We are the gateway to the Americas.
We are the gateway to the Caribbean and I think as a result not only it’s
important that we benefit economically from that but that we also give
back and for me it’s an honor to try tomorrow night really encourage
people to partake, get involved and help this wonderful Saint-Louis du
CARL.- Well you
du Nord pretty good.
JIMMY MORALES.- Oui, oui…
CARL.- I have here with
me also Dr. Mireille Tribié who is on the staff
of Commissioner Morales. Welcome Mireille, don’t be so shy. Will
you please say a few words
to the Haitian community.
DR. MIREILLE TRIBIÉ: Good morning
my people. I am glad to be here, Carl, thank you
for letting me say hello. I know we’re running out of time. I wholeheartedly
support our Commissioner Jimmy Morales for next mayor in 2004 and we will
take the seat and I know we in the Haitian community we’re gone
be very safe and we will go first economically, socially, and in every
other way once we take that seat. I am really asking for your
support but we are only starting the campaign and the fight. Thank you.
know I did that program in English. First of all I love to hear Commissioner
Morales speak English. He speaks it so beautifully for the son of an immigrant.
have been living here for 57 years, I still have my Haitian accent. I
am proud of it but I still admire his. Commissioner Morales again thank
very much for coming to my home and to meet with the Haitian community
on Radio Carnivale. “Hasta la vista mi amigo.”
JIMMY MORALES: “Hasta luego. Au revoir !!!
amis, Radio Carnivale
LIONEL DUPERVAL.- Et bien merci Carl. C’était “LE COIN DE CARL” en ce premier août
2003. Merci Carl, Bonne journée et
END OF INTERVIEW.