Miami-Dade mayor says Carnival may be violating local discrimination laws

Hours after a lawsuit was filed in federal court alleging that Carnival Cruise Line is discriminating against Cuban-born citizens, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez asked the county attorney if Carnival is violating local discrimination laws.

Gimenez said he believes that the company is violating local laws and wonders whether penalties exist and whether Carnival is in breach of any county contracts.

“My kids, my grandchildren — they can all get on the cruise ship, but my wife and I can’t, just simply because we were born in Cuba,” Gimenez said.

Gimenez added his voice to an already loud choir of Cuban-Americans who think the policy is unacceptable.

Carnival has said that the company understands the concerns and believes that everyone should be able to travel to Cuba by ship. The company is asking Cuba to change its policy.

The communist government currently allows Cubans to travel to the island by air, but not by sea.

Some say the policy was instituted to prevent migration, while others say it is political vengeance against Cuban exiles.

But for the attorneys who filed the lawsuit Tuesday, the reasons do not matter.

“A company like Carnival, a company like Fathom, cannot look to another nation and say because they’re willing to discriminate, we’re willing to discriminate,” attorney Tucker Ronzetti said.

The lawsuit claims that Francisco Marty, who is an Army veteran and a frequent passenger on Carnival, was told that he couldn’t travel on Fathom because he’s Cuban-American.

“I was born in Cuba, and haven’t been back in 58 years,” Marty said in a statement. “I’m a Carnival Platinum Club member and unable to fly for health reasons. I wanted to go back to see my native country and share its culture with a surprise trip with my children, but Carnival will not allow my Cuban-born daughter and me to go on its ship.”

Marty claims that a cruise ship representative also told him that Carnival had been working on the issue for months.

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Demanda a Carnival pone en peligro viaje de crucero a Cuba

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Lawyer to be honored by American Jewish Committee

By Sergio Carmona

The recipients of this award are people considered to embody much of what the judge represented: the rights of the individual and the importance of democratic values in an orderly society.

“I’m extremely honored,” Tropin said. “Learned Hand is a legend in legal circles and the fact that AJC is giving this award to me is just an amazing honor for me and for my family.”

Tropin added: “Learned Hand was probably the most famous judge other than a Supreme Court justice and he’s still widely quoted and revered today. He believed in civil rights for everybody and that’s probably what he’s most known for.”

This honor is one of many awards and accolades Tropin has received for his contributions to the legal profession and community during the past 30 years. Under his leadership, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, which began as a three-attorney law firm in 1982, has grown over the years into a 25-attorney firm nationally renowned for its work in bet-the-company litigation, class actions, bankruptcy and massive financial frauds. In the recent $500 million Ponzi scheme involving disgraced Fort Lauderdale lawyer Scott Rothstein, Tropin and his team represented most of the defrauded investors in recovering more than 95 percent of their losses.

Tropin is also influential in the local community as he supports initiatives creating real change in the issues he is passionate about. He is a longtime supporter of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest.

“Almost 25 years ago, one of my clients got me involved in Federation and told me it was important to help Jewish people other than just my immediate family and myself and I found it’s been very rewarding,” Tropin said. “I’ve contributed some time and money and have tried to involve other lawyers, both in my law firm and the legal community, to support the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.”

Brian Siegal, director of AJC’s Greater Miami and Broward Regional Office, said “Harley’s combined passion to practice law and to help the community reminds us of the unique responsibility that comes with being a lawyer. There are few people in this city as deserving of this important award and we are thankful for the tremendous example he sets for the profession and as a leader in the community.”

Email for more information, including tickets to the event Tropin’s being honored, which is open to the public, as well as time and location and to RSVP. Deadline to RSVP is April 6.

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