Magazine article The Nation

Where's the Brief?

Magazine article The Nation

Where's the Brief?

Article excerpt

Congressman Robert Torricelli is Washington's most aggressive anti-Castro politician, even though 90 percent of his northern New Jersey district is non-Hispanic (mostly of Italian, Jewish or Irish descent) and less than 2 percent is Cuban. These Cubans have yet to organize even one demonstration against Castro. But recently people have begun to demonstrate against Torricelli. Even The Bergen Record, his county's paper, has begun to question his stance: "It is an odd twist, perhaps, that Torricelli should find himself leading the offensive against Castro," reports Thomas Moran. "He represents a district that is just 10 percent Hispanic, yet he is a champion for anti-Castro voters nationwide."

Anti-Castro groups gave Torricelli $26,750 for his re-election in 1992, and about $10,000 so far this year. He has already secured the powerful Cuban vote based in Hudson County, adjoining his district, should he ever seek statewide office. And if he entertains higher ambitions, he can count on help from the Miami Cuban exile community's hard-line leader, Jorge Mas Canosa, as one of his biggest fans. "He is presidential material," Mas Canosa told the Record. "You have dinner and drinks with him, and you come to know him. There are very few people who have his sense of purpose, of direction, and destiny. He has been called for a bigger mission."

Torricelli defends his Cuba interest by saying that he is motivated by principle and commitment to a democratic ideal. …

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