This is why we can’t have nice things in Miami: Politics. Divisiveness. Incompetence.

It’s painful to watch what’s happening with the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora — endearingly nicknamed “The Cuban” in an effort to tame that mouthful of high aspirations in the official name.

There are two dueling boards of directors, a fired founding museum director, allegations of mismanagement, nepotism, a board chairman being accused of staging a coup — and a lot of damage has been done to an already fragile institution.

What should have been a jewel of a museum — a permanent showcase of Cuban art and culture in Miami — is embroiled in scandal and a lawsuit a county judge is scheduled to tackle on Thursday.

Politics. Divisiveness. Incompetence.

This is why we can’t have nice things in Miami.

As a former arts writer and a member of the Cuban-American community, I knew this museum was going to implode from the beginning.

For one, it came into being with $10 million in voter-approved bond money, doled out by the Miami-Dade County Commission to renovate the Coral Way building where it is housed — and no independent, private endowment with which to operate a museum.

Lay the blame for that misjudgment squarely where it belongs: on the politicians pandering to a segment of the county’s largest group of voters — a demographic that’s either moving out of Miami to retire in a less expensive city or is, sadly, part of a generation leaving us.

I know of no museum that exists without steady, reliable patronage, but everyone involved assumed the old adage that “if we build it they will come” would come to pass. They didn’t come in large enough numbers — and, most importantly, neither did private funds.

What did the county do?

Pour more money — annual funding of $550,000 — into a museum only open on weekends.

Now the museum is under audit to determine how the first installment was spent. I should add that this money was given by the Commission after its hard-line Cuban commissioners became enraged when the independent but also county-subsidized Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) staged a fabulous multifaceted exhibition of Cuba-based artists alongside Cuban-American artists.

When I say Miami is a city of ghosts haunting us this is what I mean.

Underneath the woes and controversy is a throwback to the first Cuban art museum in Miami, which went down in political flames in another distasteful spectacle when those who wanted to show Cuban art made on the island fought with those who wanted to forbid it. Who wants to remember the times when a pipe bomb exploded at the little museum’s door?

Not I, but you know what happens when we forget history.

As for potential donors, there’s this reality check: Big Cuban-American money is funding a soccer stadium, social needs, immigration justice, education, and political campaigns. And it is committed to funding mainstream arts and culture with a track record. There’s little trust in this museum, which would benefit from being taken over by an educational institution that can run it properly, not as if it were a private fiefdom or a political platform for a party.

What little private money did come to The Cuban had strings attached: Donors want to dictate what the museum should show, what kind of museum it should be, a board member tells me. One faction wants it to be a showcase of exile history. The other wants it to remain as The Cuban was originally conceived: a showcase of art and culture with history as a backdrop.

Far from attracting crowds or funding, divisions only hinder the already handicapped museum with too thin an exhibition history during its first two years of existence.

A museum should be, above all things, revelatory — more urgently so in a metropolis like ours with an abundance of exceptional art and culture offerings that attract an international savvy crowd.

To survive and thrive, The Cuban’s exhibits must both appeal to the hometown crowd and serve as a destination for national and international visitors. It must be a bridge between generations and communities, not become the vanity project of any political activist.

When you have world-class private collectors showcasing high-priced Cuban artists, a Cuban museum must have the vision to exhibit with impeccable precision what we’re not seeing about ourselves.

For decades, Cuban artists in our midst who produce masterful and affecting work have been under-appreciated by the mainstream. They deserve a museum retrospective; they deserve expertly curated group shows. This should be one of the vital roles of this museum: to create something unique that other American museums will want to take on the road.

It is heartbreaking to see the dream of a museum dedicated to Cuban-exile art and culture falling apart.

Here’s hoping that Judge Reemberto Diaz deciphers the mess and puts the museum back on a lawful course. As for the warring factions, they should take a hard look at themselves, end the political nonsense, and come together for the good of this community.

The fate of The Cuban doesn’t have to run the ugly course of its predecessor.