- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 13, 2001

New Spain
Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar Lopez had something to say to President Bush yesterday about the exploding Hispanic population in the United States.
"At present, many U.S. citizens have Spanish as their mother tongue a number which, in the next few years, will be more than that of Spaniards," Mr. Azner noted during Mr. Bushs first-ever visit to Spain.
To the surprise of Uncle Sam, the 2000 census revealed 35 million Hispanics had overtaken 34 million blacks as the nations largest minority group.
Thats one reason why Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican on the heels of one Texas town passing an ordinance requiring that all official business there be conducted in Spanish introduced legislation last month to make English the official language of the U.S. government.
Meanwhile, the American Journalism Review says the number of Spanish-language newspapers in the United States grew from 14 in 1990 to 34 last year, the number of weeklies increased from 152 to 265, and magazines doubled from 177 to 352. And if you think youre hearing more Spanish over the airwaves, youre right: There are currently 594 U.S. radio stations that broadcast in Spanish.
"The language which we hear the president himself speaking better and better every day," Mr. Azner said of Mr. Bush.

Fidel's flank
A few days before five Cubans were convicted Friday of conspiring to spy on the United States for Fidel Castros communist regime, Luis Fernandez, an outspoken official with the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, was seen emerging from the Capitol Hill office of Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, New York Democrat.
"He has frequent contact with Hispanic Caucus members of Congress," one high-level Hill aide informs us. "Obviously, to most of us its shocking that the representative of such a brutal dictatorship is allowed regular meetings with staff and members of Congress."
Among other issues, the Cubans have been busy lobbying Puerto Rican-American members of Congress to protest the Navys use of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques for military exercises.
It is worth noting that during the same week that Mr. Fernandez visited Capitol Hill, Ricardo Alarcon, the communist governments point man on U.S. relations, and other high-ranking Cuban government officials were denied visas to visit San Juan and participate in anti-Vieques activities.

Watergate Dean
John Dean, barely 30 when he was appointed counsel to Richard Nixon, says he gave his boss ample time "to get out in front" of Watergate, and after the president chose not to, "it became clear they were going to make me the scapegoat."
"Ive often thought in hindsight that I was brought to the White House because I was young," Mr. Dean tells the Catholic News Service in a rare interview. He says hes convinced that had he not come forward, Mr. Nixon would have succeeded with the cover-up.
"I was very uncomfortable when I saw things that I knew were wrong," says Mr. Dean.
Uncle Sam, in fact, was so concerned with keeping Mr. Dean alive during his Watergate testimony that he was placed in the federal witness-protection program hidden for 120 days in a government safe house in Baltimore.
Today, Mr. Dean lives a far more secure life in California, where hes a private investment banker, writer and lecturer.

Whos afraid of Phyllis?
Washington restaurateurs this evening will be able to ask longtime Washington restaurant reviewer Phyllis Richman now a culinary mystery writer all the questions they didnt dare ask her when she was an influential food critic.
Shes guest of honor at the Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Associations June social at the Christopher Marks restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue. Afterward, were told, shell be happy to sign copies of her latest mystery novel, "Whos Afraid of Virginia Ham?"

Law of politics
Respected political lawyers Cleta Mitchell and Paul Sullivan have just merged the Sullivan & Mitchell firm with Foley & Lardners Washington office.
Ms. Mitchell was heard from almost daily during postelection coverage of the presidential battle in Florida, and once served as director and general counsel of the Term Limits Legal Institute and co-counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court case on congressional term limits.
Apart from his private practice in Washington, Mr. Sullivan served four years as executive assistant to commissioner of the Federal Election Commission and was assistant legal counsel to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

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