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Arts / Culture

Miami Defends Its Cuban with a "Swift Boat" Attack on Tampa

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An example of a Tampa Cuban sandwich including Genoa salami, but no mayo, no lettuce and no tomatoes.

Two cities -- Tampa and Miami -- are locked in a battle to claim the Cuban sandwich as its own.

WUSF's Bobbie O'Brien makes the case for Tampa on based on history and taste.

Reporter Kenny Malone from Miami’s WLRN took on the assignment to defend the Miami Cuban sandwich. For him, the best defense was an offensive strategy.

If we’ve learned anything this political season -- attack ads win wars.

 “Yes, I’m Dario Moreno. I’m a political consultant in Miami.”

Over café con leche at Versailles Restaurant on Calle Ocho, Dario and reporter Kenny Malone strategized.

Moreno said we should attack Tampa’s Cuban credibility.

“The truth is, you get better cigars in Miami,” Dario Moreno said. “At least our city commission is three Cubans. The most prominent politician that ever came out of there (Tampa) was former governor Martinez, and he spoke in a southern accent.”

Malone suggested, “We need to focus in on one or two nuggets. I think back to the great political attack ads, remember the Swift Boat ad? So, what’s our Swift Boat moment here?”

The political consultant honed in on one thing, Moreno said,“I think your Swift Boat moment is the salami.”

Dario said this is about salami and family-values.

Officially eat this, Tampa: Malone and his WLRN colleagues produced a swift boat ad attacking Tampa’s claim to have the official Cuban sandwich and its use of the Italian salami from Genoa.

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said, “If my abuela would have seen salami in the Cuban sandwich, she would do the signal of the cross and say, ‘that’s a sacrilege!”

The satirical swipe at Tampa ends with this: “You’re hundreds of miles from Cuba and a world away from reality. Brought to you by the Facebook group for Patriots for Sandwiches and Family Values.”