By Keoki Choo
The father of Hialeah teenager Juan Carlos Rodriguez appeared in court last week to appeal to the court to put his son up for adoption. The reason cited by the father, Mario Rodgriguez--“My son thought he could disrespect Pollo Tropical by calling it Tropical Chicken in English and then refuse to eat it. I didn’t paddle here on a wooden plank from Cuba for this!!!”
Court documents reveal that age 7 Juan began to deny his Latin culture. He threw tantrums when served Latin cuisine, declaring, “Yuca is Yucka”. He refused to speak Spanish at age 10. At age 14, he insisted on being called “John” versus his given name of “Juan.”
Father Mario stated of the famed Miami restaurant chain, "My family has been eating at Pollo Tropical since they opened in 1988. 'John' is no son of mine."
Fourteen-year-old John pled with the court to be put placed in an “English speaking home". He requested that he become a ward of the state and placed in a foster family until he is adopted.
Judge Julio López did not grant John’s request and mandated he be returned to his parents’ home where he should work hard to “learn to let his mother do his laundry.”
Keoki Choo is a staff writer for The Plantain.