Latino News

Albor Ruiz, a Journalistic Voice for Latinos, Is Lifeless at 80

Albor Ruiz, a distinguished Cuban-born journalist whose columns for The Day by day Information, El Diario and Al Dia Information advocated for Latino immigrants and demanded that america raise its longstanding commerce embargo in opposition to his homeland, died on Jan. 8 in Homestead, Fla. He was 80.

His sister Enid Ruiz mentioned the trigger was pneumonia.

Mr. Ruiz reached his largest readership at The Day by day Information in New York, the place for 23 years he was an editorial author; the editor of its short-lived bilingual spinoff, El Day by day Information; and a columnist who wrote with ardour about immigration, politics, schooling, housing, artwork, literature and racism.

Focusing largely on the borough of Queens and its monumental vary of nationalities, Mr. Ruiz wrote usually about Latinos. However he additionally described individuals of different backgrounds, just like the 4 Polish immigrants who died in a hearth in an unlawful condominium within the Maspeth space of the borough — which reminded him of dwelling illegally with seven mates in a small condominium in Miami after his escape from Cuba in 1961 — and “individuals with accents who’re talking loudly as of late,” like Pauline Chu, a Chinese language-American girl who ran unsuccessfully for a Metropolis Council seat in 1997.

Individuals with “myriad accents,” he added, have been “including music to the sounds of New York.”

Sandra Levinson, the manager director of the Middle for Cuban Research in New York, mentioned that Mr. Ruiz “cared about being an immigrant and recognized with each one.”

Mr. Ruiz’s ardour and concern for Cuba remained a basis of his work. He wrote in 2009 with guarded optimism when President Barack Obama allowed Cuban-Individuals to go to there as usually as they appreciated. However he criticized President Obama and Presidents Invoice Clinton and George W. Bush for not ending the embargo imposed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

Mr. Ruiz returned to his homeland a number of instances. In 2000, he coated the extreme battle between Cuba and america over custody of Elián González, who had fled Cuba as a 5-year-old boy in late November 1999 along with his mom, who drowned on the way in which to Florida. Over the following seven months, Elián turned the main focus of dramatic standoffs between the 2 international locations’ governments and his kinfolk in Cuba and Miami.

Quickly after Elián’s return to Cuba in the summertime of 2000, Mr. Ruiz described his private connection to the boy, whose transfer again to Cuba he had championed. They have been born in the identical coastal metropolis, Cardenas, and attended the identical faculty.

“For the journalist all the time attempting to maintain his distance from his topics and to report as objectively as humanly attainable,” he wrote from Cardenas, “there are nonetheless tales that forcefully play his emotional strings, at instances making splendidly completely satisfied music, at instances terribly unhappy melodies. For me, the Elián González saga is a type of tales.”

Albor Ruiz was born on Nov. 27, 1940, in Cardenas. His father, Ricardo, ran a grocery retailer, and his mom, Micaela (Salazar) Ruiz, labored there.

At first, Albor was proud of Fidel Castro’s revolution. However his political view modified in 1961 when his father was sentenced to 5 years in jail on baseless prices. Albor’s subsequent anti-Castro actions — which, he mentioned, induced him to be sentenced to demise in absentia — led him and two mates to flee from Havana in a 14-foot boat in November 1961, a 12-hour journey.

A couple of yr later, Mr. Ruiz’s two sisters and two brothers joined him at a rented home in Miami. “He met us on the airport and had purchased us all the things we wanted,” Enid Ruiz mentioned in a telephone interview. “Even at 20 or 21, he was so accountable.”

Their mother and father joined them in Miami after their father’s jail sentence ended.

Mr. Ruiz graduated from the College of Florida with a bachelor’s diploma in political science in 1969 and earned a grasp’s in philosophy from the varsity a yr later.

Over the following decade or so, he taught English as a second language in Manhattan, philosophy in Puerto Rico and Spanish at Lehman Faculty within the Bronx. He was additionally an government of a bookstore and publishing home that specialised in Latin American books.

And he was a part of a Miami-based group of Cuban exiles, the Committee of 75, that helped negotiate and course of the discharge of three,000 political prisoners from Cuba in 1978.

In 1985 he joined the Spanish-language newspaper El Diario, the place he served as an editorial author, a columnist and information editor. He was additionally an editor of two Hispanic magazines from 1990 to 1993 earlier than being employed at The Day by day Information as an editorial author. After two years, he was named the editor of El Day by day Information.

“It was very thrilling,” Maite Junco, who was the metropolitan editor of El Day by day Information, mentioned by telephone. “This massive paper in New York was launching this paper. It was very massive for the Latino journalism group. ”

However low circulation and distribution issues induced the paper to close down after 5 months.

After it closed, Mr. Ruiz advised The New York Instances, “We really feel — and I’m speaking for the editorial employees —- that we did our job, and I feel in that sense we have now no regrets.”

Over his time at The Day by day Information, Mr. Ruiz developed a popularity as a newsroom mentor.

“Albor was all the time there believing in me, telling me I used to be an amazing reporter, usually once I wanted to listen to it most,” Ralph Ortega, a former Day by day Information reporter, mentioned by telephone.

Mr. Ruiz remained on The Information’s employees till 2013, when he was laid off, however continued as a contract columnist till 2016, when he was let go. He then started writing columns for Al Dia Information, a weekly journal, and continued till November.

He was inducted into the Nationwide Affiliation of Hispanic Journalists Corridor of Fame in 2003.

Along with his sister Enid, Mr. Ruiz is survived by one other sister, Lidice Lima, and his brothers, Ricardo and Elián.

Mr. Ruiz was additionally a poet. His first assortment, “Por Si Muero Mañana” (“In Case I Die Tomorrow”), was printed in 2019. Within the title poem, he mirrored on his love for Cuba — the place his ashes can be scattered — and concluded:

Volver al suelo, tierra cubana
Extranjero soy y ella me llama
Sepan todos que Cuba me reclama
Por si muero mañana

As translated, it reads:

Again to the soil, Cuban land
I’m a foreigner and he or she calls me.
Everybody is aware of that Cuba claims me.
In case I die tomorrow.

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