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Open Letter To FAU

One alumnus’ opinion of university police forcing Venezuelan soccer fans to take down anti-dictatorship flags during a June 8 game against Ecuador at FAU Stadium.

A+sign+that+reads+%22No+more+repression%22+in+Spanish+is+removed+by+event+supervisors+during+the+match+between+Venezuela+and+Ecuador.+Photo+by+Alex+Rodriguez
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Open Letter To FAU

A sign that reads

A sign that reads "No more repression" in Spanish is removed by event supervisors during the match between Venezuela and Ecuador. Photo by Alex Rodriguez

A sign that reads "No more repression" in Spanish is removed by event supervisors during the match between Venezuela and Ecuador. Photo by Alex Rodriguez

A sign that reads "No more repression" in Spanish is removed by event supervisors during the match between Venezuela and Ecuador. Photo by Alex Rodriguez


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FAU Alumnus Roger Prunhuber, class of 1984.

Editor’s note: The following letter remains unedited and in its original form.

June 12, 2017

Florida Atlantic University

To Whom It May Concern:

As an FAU Alumni, I was appalled to learn that FAU officials censored a group of Venezuelan fans who were displaying anti-Nicolas Maduro signs alongside their country’s flag during the Venezuela vs. Ecuador soccer game which took place last week at the FAU Stadium.

Since when is the Right to Freedom of Speech denied to anyone in this great country of ours—especially by officials representing a Higher Learning Institution such as FAU?

Since when do the Venezuelan authorities—who have shamelessly supported the slaughter of 68 innocent students protesting the communist dictatorship Maduro is attempting to install in Venezuela—have the right to order FAU security to prevent anyone from exercising their right to Freedom of Speech?

Since when is it a crime to wave a banner that says, “Down With Dictatorship,” when a Castro Communist regime is currently being installed in Venezuela? When the citizens of that country have neither food nor medicine and can barely maintain their human dignity in the face of such oppression?

Many countries appear to have turned a blind eye on this nation’s plight, and now it is apparent that the Soccer Federations do not want the world to learn of what is really happening in Venezuela, which to me makes them complicit regarding the wanton murder of innocent students whose only crime is to want a better and free country for their future.  

The fans stated that they were first warned by a Venezuelan woman who had no affiliation whatsoever with FAU that they had to put away their banner or the police would be called—and they would be kicked out of the FAU Stadium.  This warning was later followed by the same from an FAU official, who made them take down the “Down With Dictatorship” banner.

As a citizen of both the USA and Venezuela, I am ashamed that my Alma Mater would stoop this low, to threaten a group of soccer fans who, in no manner presented themselves as violent, simply because they were exercising their Right to the Freedom of Speech.

I do earnestly hope that FAU officials realize their mistake and publicly apologize for attempting to violate the Right to the basic Freedom of Speech of these Venezuelan fans.

Sincerely Yours,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Roger Prunhuber Leon

Master’s of Business Administration Class of 1984

786-877-7034

[email protected]

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Open Letter To FAU”

  1. RICHARD BETHENCOURT on June 15th, 2017 11:35 pm

    The University must respond.

  2. Ricardo J. Alvarez on June 16th, 2017 12:00 am

    Florida Atlantic University , Waiting for this response request

  3. Joseph mishkin on June 16th, 2017 6:31 am

    The author is absolutely right. Shame on FAU,shame on its authorities,shame on all and on whomever was involved in such actions. Hypocresy at its best. The worst part is that surely it was some corrupt Chavista son of a bitch who convinced some schmuck to literally take a crap on the principle that has made America great,yea,freedom of speech. What happened,why it happened and who gave the order to hassle these silent and non violent protesters should come under investigation by the university authorities,and whatever “nazi” is responsable for this should be dealt with accordingly,yes fired. FAU,go quickly to wash your hands,lest they be tainted with the innocent blood of another Venezuelan whose plight for freedom in the country of the free and brave was denied.

  4. Zachary Rhoads on June 23rd, 2017 2:21 pm

    “Since when is the Right to Freedom of Speech denied to anyone in this great country of ours—especially by officials representing a Higher Learning Institution such as FAU?”

    Since when? At the very least within the last year on multiple occasions, I’m sad to say.

    FAU had a “free speech zone” on the Boca campus up until April 8th of last year. Meaning in some sense that free speech rights were only protected on campus if you were standing on the right patch of grass.
    upress article: https://www.upressonline.com/2016/04/students-want-all-of-boca-raton-campus-to-be-free-speech-zone/

    Later on in the year, a public lecture was cancelled by FAU because of threats of violence received in response to the event being planned and promoted:
    upress article: https://www.upressonline.com/2016/09/on-campus-event-featuring-public-figure-milo-yiannopoulos-canceled-due-to-threats-of-violence/

    Here’s a quote by Noam Chomsky, a well-known figure of the Left, which I think is appropriate in this case: “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”
    Once upon a time, universities used to be the most vocal champions of free speech, and today it seems to me they are the most vocal destroyers of that same ideal.

  5. Admiral General Aladeen on June 27th, 2017 2:16 pm

    I posted this to the other thread but this one clearly has more active discussion…

    FAU is clearly not “down with dictatorship” and is obvi all about “more repression” if you look closely into the many actions/examples like this… maybe not as blatant as the previous president’s maligned moves but still this top-level administration is just as bad and trickles all the way down to their demoralized and/or mediocre staff. Rise up students, alumni, and community!

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