Although it is widely known that the Cuban exile community of 'ore provides unwavering support for Posada Carriles, we hoped that the Versailles restaurant would offer us an opportunity to speak to Cuban-Americans about the danger this man presents and to enlist their help in exposing him for what he is.
The local media have been quite intrigued with the prospect of peace activists in pink arriving to their city to pressure the FBI into putting Posada Carriles on the Most Wanted Criminals digital billboards.
After being invited to a Spanish language tv talk show, believing it to be just an interview about this campaign,in fact it was Arrebatados,
a right-wing shouting match in which the two of us were pitted opposite three Cuban exiles who came with sheets and sheets of information on Medea and CODEPINK while we had no clue who the people were verbally attacking us. One of these "guests"accused us of being provocateurs and terrorists. This same individual when questioned admitted to planning and participating in violent tactics if nonviolent ones do not bring about the desired end. Off air he told Medea that "you might well get your head bashed in like a coconut." After leaving this show we thought better of going into Versailles and instead decided on holding a press conference across the street.
In preparation for our press conference on Calle Ocho across from the Cuban exile haven Versailles Cafe, an iconic restaurant in the heart of Little Havana, Medea, Ann, Nancy, Liz, Tighe and myself woke early to the lapping of the warm waters against Ray's boat and the swishing of Caribbean breezes over palm fronds.
The day before, after much discussion with local friends and connections, we decided that the pink police outfits could create unneccessary hostility and thought it best to be rather gaudy than gruff and put the power of PINK to disarm the "patriotas".
So taking advice from Tighe's buddy, Ray, we went to the Red, White and Blue, a superb second-hand clothing store in search of pink dresses.
Tighe, a veritable magician with a hammer and nails miraculously created our "float" by attaching a Wanted banner of Posada Carriles to an A-frame wooden apron. He lined it with a pink muslin banner of letters so huge they virtually shouted END TERRORISM! After hauling it into the bed of the fire-engine red Dodge pickup we "pinked" it up with plastic skirts, our hand painted "CODEPINK says NO to terrorism" banner, pink-painted messages of CODEPINK:women for peace and love and PAZ, adorned with childlike drawings of pink hearts, flowers and peace signs.
We didn't even make it to the intersection in front of Versailles before a mob of about 200 "mambistas" began yelling obscenities at us. As the truck approached the area, one older grey templed man took the six foot poles of the American and Cuban flags and came running towards us pointing their ends at the front passenger window as if he were a javelin thrower. If not for the younger wiser individual who held him back, Ann Wright or I would have had our heads speared. Another man attempted to jump onto the bed of the truck to rip out the frilly fringe to our sign. Yet another chased us about four blocks as we circumvented the mob.