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Latino Daily News

Wednesday May 18, 2011

Excluded Candidates Angry They Were Not Invited to ‘Cuban-only’ Mayoral Debate

Excluded Candidates Angry They Were Not Invited to ‘Cuban-only’ Mayoral Debate

Photo: Florida International University

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Florida International University and a number of Miami-Dade mayoral hopefuls are outraged after non-Spanish speaking candidates were excluded from a mayoral debate.

Univision broadcasted the publicly funded debate, to which only four of the eleven mayoral candidates were invited.

African-American candidate and former rapper, Luther Campbell told CBS Miami that he was appalled at what he referred to as a “Cuban-only forum,” saying, “The university is having a Cuban-only forum, which is wrong to the students, because the students are from all different races and all different cultures and all the students don’t speak only Spanish.”

Another candidate that was not at the debate, Roosevelt Bradley, said he was “outraged” that the university would allow such a “polarizing and divisive event” to take place on the campus.

The university fought back against the allegations saying that it was not involved in running the event, and only acted as a venue for it.

Countering the school’s claim, Campbell said the university advertised the event to students with letters inviting them to attend.

An invitation from FIU Vice-President Sandra Gonzalez-Levy posted to students “We encourage you to attend and be part of the political process taking place in our community. Be involved!”

Univision said the four candidates, Julio Robaina, Marcelo Llorente, Carlos Gimenez and Jose ‘Pepe’ Cancio, were invited because they were the four highest fund-raisers in the campaign.