Armando Salguero is missing.
Salguero, a sportswriter who covers the Miami Dolphins, hasn't had a story in the paper in over a month.
Where is Armando?
Herald bigs aren't talking.
Here's a timeline of events leading up to Salguero's "disappearance."
Following his May 7 column that accuses various local and state politicians of "crushing" the Dolphins stadium upgrade referendum, Armando gets into a heated email exchange with a reader named Billy Johnston.
Johnston insults Armando, his family, and his Cuban roots. Armando returns the favor by denigrating Johnston's service in Vietnam. (At some point, Johnston complains to Herald executive editor Mindy Marques about Armando's emails.)
Armando's last piece in the paper appears on May 22.
Three days later, on May 25, the Herald's Marques writes an email of apology to Johnston.
The following day - May 26th - I report on Armando's exchange with Johnston on my blog.
Two days later, Armando emails an apology to several local websites, including my blog.
But it's not until June 12 - a full 3 weeks after his last piece in the paper - that Armando posts an explanation for his absence on his blog, saying he's on "vacation." The time stamp on Armando's blog post is 12:39 pm
Readers start leaving comments.
Everything is fine until shortly after 2 pm when one reader mentions that Armando may have been suspended. Less than 2 hours later, at 3:52 pm, another comment is posted. And then someone at the paper pulls the plug on further comments.
As of this writing, it's been more than a month since Armando's byline appeared in the paper.
Ten days ago, I emailed executive editor Mindy Marques and several other newsroom leaders in an effort to find out what really happened to Armando.
I also asked why comments were shut down on Armando's blog post, writing, "closing comments on a blog post smacks of Soviet-syle censorship. And what makes it doubly ironic is that it's the kind of censorship that editors at Granma engage in to this very day in Cuba."
No one answered my email.
My sense is that the Herald honchos are relieved that this nasty incident didn't get any national attention.
But, just to be sure, they made Armando, ummm, "disappear" for a while.
And, like the editors at Cuba's Communist Party rag, Granma, Herald editors are keeping readers in the dark and stifling any kind of open discussion about Armando's fate. They've previously said they're handling the matter "internally."
Perhaps the Herald's party bosses should think about a re-design of the paper that's more closely aligned with its sister publication in Havana.
Here's my suggestion.