Miami Herald Editor Apologizes for ‘Racist and Anti-Semitic’ Insert

The Miami Herald, one of the country’s largest newspapers, apologized on Monday for a column it called “incredibly offensive” that appeared last week in Libre, a paid Spanish-language insert included with copies of El Nuevo Herald, a sibling publication.

In a letter to readers, Aminda Marqués González, the executive editor and publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, and Nancy San Martín, El Nuevo Herald’s managing editor, said that they had “notified Libre that we are ending our relationship and will never publish, print or distribute its content again.”

In a column last week, headlined “Judíos americanos y judíos israelíes,” the author, Roberto Luque-Escalona, chastised American Jews who support Black Lives Matter and antifa by comparing those movements to the Nazi-led Germans who instigated a fatal pogrom against German Jews in 1938.

“What kind of people are these Jews?” Mr. Luque-Escalona wrote of American Jewish supporters of Black Lives Matter and antifa. “They are always talking about the Holocaust, but have they now forgotten Kristallnacht, when Nazi thugs razed Jewish businesses throughout Germany? The same is being done by B.L.M. and Antifa, only the Nazis did not rob; they only destroyed.”

In fact, during and after the night of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, in November 1938, many Jewish-owned businesses in Germany were looted as well as destroyed, and Jews were forced to pay for the damage, according to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum and research center in Israel.

“We are deeply sorry that inflammatory, racist and anti-Semitic commentary reached our el Nuevo Herald subscribers through Libre, a Spanish-language publication that paid our company to have the product printed and inserted into our print edition as a weekly supplement,” Ms. Marqués González and Ms. Martín wrote in their apology.

Libre, whose English-language motto is “For a Free World and a Better Community,” was founded in 1966 in Miami, according to its website. It did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

Libre’s publisher is Demetrio Perez Jr., a former member of the Miami-Dade school board. In 2001, The Sun Sentinel reported that he had been sentenced to six months house arrest and given 18 months probation after he was indicted on charges that he defrauded the federal housing program. A personal website for Mr. Perez Jr. identifies him as a Cuban-American educator and activist based in Miami.

A New York Times search of earlier issues of Libre found a number of false, racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and homophobic statements in columns by Mr. Luque-Escalona. His targets have included Michelle Obama, the former first lady; the Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris; and the basketball star LeBron James.

“The fact that no one in leadership, beginning with us, had previously read this advertising insert until this issue was surfaced by a reader is distressing,” Ms. Marqués González and Ms. Martín wrote in their apology. “It is one of a series of internal failures that we are investigating in order to prevent this from ever recurring.”

The newspaper’s leaders added that they were investigating The Miami Herald’s “business relationship with Libre” and “reviewing all inserts and our processes for these paid supplements that the company has printed and distributed with our news product.” The editors said the results of their investigation would be published by the end of the week, in English and Spanish.

In August, The Miami Herald’s parent company, the McClatchy Company, was sold in a bankruptcy auction to Chatham Asset Management, a hedge fund based in New Jersey.

Patricia Mazzei contributed reporting.

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