Friday, April 27, 2007

An Exchange on the Future of Cuba

corgiguy said...


By reading your various posts and archives, I see that you are yourself a fighter for the freedom of Cuba.

What I'm not getting from your writings is your prescription for change. Do you think that constantly dwelling in the past and demonizing the bearded one brings you and your allies any closer to the goal of freedom for the Cuban folks? What is your vision for reconciliation with those on the island? What is your idea of freedom?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


There is no one prescription for the future but many, and this is as it should be. Cuba's problem for 48 years has been that only one Cuban's opinion has counted for anything on the island and, tragically, that one Cuban happens to be a megalomaniac and mass murderer; the one man, among all Cubans, whose opinion should never have mattered for anything. Once Cuba is free of him and the system he engendered, which feeds the needs and wants of such a man and no one else, then all Cubans, both here and on the island, will be free to choose whatever path best suits the needs and wants of all Cubans. I should prefer, of course, that Cuba once again became a constitutional democracy, and I believe, unless I am very much mistaken, that such is the hope of all Cubans whether here or on the island. Let me clarify that the only obstacle dividing us is Castro himself. There is no need to "reconcile" those who live on the island and those who live in exile because we all belong to the same family and are one people. Only those who support Castro and wish to divide and conquer our people as the best means to maintain Communism in Cuba after he is dead promote the self-serving fallacy that there is a breach between us; despite Castro's unrelenting efforts over half a century to destroy the Cuban family and all natural ties that unite us, he has only succeeded in bringing us even closer together; for the reaffirmation of the Cuban family, in the face of Castro's continuous attacks upon it, has perhaps been the only victory we have obtained over Castro in these many years, but it is the most important victory and the one which will insure a future for our country once our national nightmare is over. And freedom, as Martí said and you should know, is the right of every man to think and to speak without hypocrisy.

BTW, how exactly does one "demonize Castro?" That's like asking how does one make winter cold and summer hot. There is no need to "demonize Castro." All he has to be is himself.

Next question?


CorgiGuy said...


I'm trying to understand your vision for the future. What i got from your reply is that fifo is the root cause of the problem. I have no disagrrement whith that. Castro will soon expire, is just a matter of time. It seems to me that we need to look forward and not dwell on the bearded one.

How do you see the different cuban groups reconciling? How do we avoid the iraq scenario where there is no sense of national unity.

What is your idea of freedom?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


FYI, the "bearded one" is not dead yet. If wishes killed horses, Castro would be dead. But he's not nearly as dead as we desire. Therefore, we must continue to "dwell on the bearded one" until he dwells in Hades.

I have already explained to you that "reconcialition" among Cubans is not necessary.

I have alse quoted Martí's definition of freedom, which is also mine.

Agustin Farinas said...

Once again I find that I cannot add any comments because you have expressed in your own words what I think should be our attitude and wishes in the fight for regaining our freeedom and the future of Cuba. A constitutional democaracy should be the right course to follow. One with a multiparty system and countless different opinions. Democracy as Winston Churchill said, is the worst system of government, but it is better than all the others that have come along in the history of the world. I could not have said any better. I am for a new democray with many parties included, be them left right and center. Let the people of Cuba speak up in a secret vote and decide what is best for them.
Let me make an apart here and ask you to cut some slack to the guys at Babalu, I think they meant well and tried to insert the Cuban flag into the letter C and it just came out that way. Look at the bigger picture and lets wish them well in their new endeavor. I sure hope they succeed in their efforts. Every little bit helps and I wish them well.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I wish "the guys at Babalú" well, too. I don't think that they are dishonest or venal, just unprepared and altogether too comfortable with their ignorance. In fact, I have just saved them from making fools of themselves again by pointing out this BUCKLE and Vietnamese business. They will probably stand firm on this and make fools of themselves anyway rather than buckle to "His Superiorness."

CorgiGuy said...


I'm having trouble seeing the your vision for reconciliation, specifically the idea that there's a "CUBAN FAMILY" and that will take care of reconciliation.

In this "CUBAN FAMILY" of yours who will be the "FATHER",( you know the authority figure ). I think this family of that you speak of the children are very dysfunctional and are in dire need of an intervention.

Regarding your idea of freedom, i don't see the marti's quote on the original post. In your idea of freedom is the individaul allowed to have a voice and what if that voice is deemed unpopular?

Songuacassal said...

I agree with Marti when he says that ideas purify. Hence, the more our ideas are discussed, published, and critqued the more our cause for a free Cuba is clarified and purified. With this said, I support any reviewing of Cuban-American blogs given that it serves as a forge to temper and sharpen the ideas given by those who speak for a free Cuba. However, it waries me that instead of challenging ideas present in the blogs, this site seems to give an unduely particular attention to people who write the blogs (especially the bloggers at

Here is my question: is this site a review about Cuban-American Blogs (an idea which I support), or a gossip column about Cuban-American Bloggers? In other words, is this about the clarification and challenging of ideas, or about the latest rant on people?

Now, you may be following in the footsteps of Thomas Paine with his attacks on Mr. Burke. And assuredly history has shown that Paine's tactic facilitates a book publishing (ala: Rights of Man) and an instant audience. However, Thomas Paine was not Jose Marti, and Marti did not write to get an instant audience, he wrote to send a message. Last I checked, Marti wrote about ideas and not people.

I support a review about Cuban-American blogs, however, I detest a review of Cuban-American bloggers.

Manuel, I respect you and your acuteness, and believe you have much to offer in the world of Cuban-American Blogs. Hopefully this strange obsessive focus on Cuban-American bloggers is merely a growing-pain.

A clarity in ideas leads to a clarity in action. Our struggle for a free Cuba requires a clear action. One could only hope that this site may one day help facilitate our much needed clarity of ideas, and not obfuscate points with the needless gossip of Cuban-American bloggers.

Un Maestro debe hablar muy poco, pero muy bien, sin la vanidad de ostentar elocuencia, y sin el descuido que sacrifica la precisión. –Felix Varela (Lecciones de Filosofia, linea 12.)

Ser justo sin ser vengativo.
–Jose Marti (Tomo 20:322)

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I think it is no exaggeration to say that no one has praised Val and Henry more than me in the past when their conduct merited it and they both know it. Even here, I have commended Henry for performing the greatest public service in Cuban-American blog history by creating Herald Watch to champion the cause of the Miami Moonlighters, and have acknowledged that compared to Oscar Corral Val and Henry are "monuments of disinterested patriotism and good sense."

However much I have commended and encouraged them in the past and even now, Val Prieto made it quite clear to me recently (as you know) that he personally has no respect for me or what I represent. Having booted me from Babalú in a disgraceful manner (to himself), he compounded his offense by dedicating a post to me, the longest in Babalú history, which can only be described as libellous and which others (perhaps you?) convinced him to delete within 3 hours of posting it. Although I was wise enough (or knew Val well enough) to make a copy, I have never reprinted it, because Val words in that "lost post" are far more humiliating to him than anything I could ever say about him.

In your comment, you forget the fact that I was not the instigator of this feud, but the wronged party. That is hardly an insignificant fact, nor one that you should ignore, not if you wish to judge this case impartially.

As for me writing a "gossip column" about Cuban bloggers, I never read anything more ridiculous. I don't know any of you personally, nor you me. I have never lived in Miami. How then can I write "gossip" about Val and Henry or anybody else in their circle?

Consider the case of Martí and the two Enriques: Gen. Enrique Collazo and editor Enrique Trujillo. Martí forgave Collazo (who had called him a coward) but not Enrique Trujillo, who betrayed his confidence and his friendship. His friends tried on numerous occasions to reconcile them: Trujillo was willing, but Martí was not. In fact, Martí told his friends to desist or risk compromising their own relationship with him. They desisted.

I have seen no indication or received any report that Val Prieto regrets his conduct towards me other than because it rebounded against him.

Maybe in the future he will think twice before he insults anyone again, in which case I shall have done him a very great service indeed.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


By the way, Val & Company must be greatly addicted to "gossip" because they seem to spend more time here than on their own blogs. It really is an obsession for many of them. They visit from 5-8 times a day and stay literally for hours on end. It is not hard to tell who they are by the inordinate amount they spend here. Perhaps I'll even publish extracts from the visitor logs to prove my point. I am, of course, very happy for it. Perhaps they'll learn something and they certainly have much to learn.

Perhaps I should quote you what Varela said about stubborn and taciturn men who refuse to understand or acknowledge the truth more from obstinacy than ignorance. He has more than a dozen quotes to that effect. In fact, the Letters to Elpidio are addressed to them. But you know that.

Songuacassal said...

"In your comment, you forget the fact that I was not the instigator of this feud, but the wronged party. That is hardly an insignificant fact, nor one that you should ignore, not if you wish to judge this case impartially."

Thus instigation is a justification for obfuscation? I guess, though I now question your current contribution with your potential one. Gossip is talking about personal or sensational facts about someone. Read me what has been written on all these bloggers and illustrate how there is no personal slide or sensational twist that inheritely distracts from your point. Impartiallity? I am being impartial! I'm cordially writing to you and reading your site, whereas others have turned away. In the end, I feel that I am pointing out the obvious: you can do more and be better than this and you know it.

As for Varela if there was anything we ALL need today, it would be the lessons that Varela could've imparted from the topic of the proposed third tomo of Cartas a Elpdio. A tomo that was never published. You know the topic I'm talking about. ;-)

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


No one has "turned away." They all come here, several times a day. They could easily forget about me, but they don't. Analyze their obsession. For my part, they are welcome one and all. As I said, there is the distinct possibility that one or more may actually learn something. Obviously, what you teach them is not enough, though I should be pleased enough if it were.

I have taken your suggestion and will be re-starting my José Martí; perhaps we can exchange impressions on Cuban history and literature there. These things don't interest Val & Company, or anybody else today.


I agree with songuacassal. When I come to read this blog, 4 out of 5 times there is a post about Val, Henry, and/or Babalu Blog. I thought the title of this blog was: "Review of Cuban-American Blogs". It seems to me that only one blog is being "reviewed". If this stems from the problem you had with Val, then you should change the name of your blog.

Here's how it looks from an outside point of view: You had a fight and broke-up with your girlfriend of 2 years because she didn't want to deal with your shit anymore. In revenge, you talk bad about her to all her friends, but her friends are not listening to your rants. Any oppotunity you get to talk bad about her, you do it.

That is exactly what is going on with you and Babalu.

Get over it !! Obviously, Val and Henry have.

CorgiGuy said...

Guys, my 2cents, blogging is about individual expression. My view is that Manuel is not trying to be politically correct when it comes to Babalu, he's speaking his mind, he's blogging. Perhaps he is doing this for himself, for his own pleasure. If you don't agree with his views or his rants, don't read them go somewhere else.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


The point is that you do come to read this blog, and often, too. Why? How am I forcing you? Saguacassal didn't try to explain that one. Can you?

So you want me to stop reviewing Babalú and turn my attention to the other Cuban-American blogs. Yours perhaps? I bet Val and Henry would like that, too.

Contrary to what you think, this blog is not concerned exclusively with Val and Henry. Perhaps you think that because those are all the posts you read.

Your analogy must first mention that the "girlfriend" is a bitch. And that not only are her friends listening to her ex's "rants," but that they come to his doorstep every day, several times a day, of their own volition, to hear his "rants," as you yourself do, you old fishwife.

As for Val and Henry "getting over it," just read what Val said yesterday on his blog. Is addressing me as "omnipotent" and His "Superiorness" sound to you like he's "gotten over it?" Of course it does, because you are a completely biased individual whose opinion couldn't matter less to me.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


You have spoken golden words that Val & Company should take to heart. It's my blog and I will criticize anyone I please for any reason I please. If the crowd doesn't like it then let it disperse. I certainly have no need to stand down from my platform. Let them leave.


I come and read this blog because I hope to find something other that Babalu rants on it since the name is "Review of CUBAN-AMERICAN Blogs" not Review of the Babalu Blog".There are about a hundred Cuban blogs you can review INCLUDING Babalu. I never said not to review Babalu. All I said was for you to review other blogs also and if you were not going to do that, then change your name.

If I remember correctly, your problem with Val started when he did not make a supportive comment about the little girl who was about to be sent back to Cuba like Elian, correct? You harrassed him so much that he told you:


Tell you what. You write the post on the little girl and Ill review it and post it.

Posted by Val Prieto at March 28, 2007 09:18 AM

Here is what follows next:


Thank you for your confidence. But I have written at least 100 comments and several thousand words already on her. My position is known and needs no clarification. However, I will write the post if you will sign your name to it. Of course, that should be unnecessary, since you can do it as well as I can. Besides, I'm not asking you to write a post, but simply to state that you support her right to remain in this country and oppose her repatriation to Cuba. That's all.

Posted by Manuel A. Tellechea at March 28, 2007 09:30 AM


For the record, I support the right of every Cuban exile, child or adult, to remain in the United States and not be repatriated. I am against the repatriation of this girl back to Cuba as I believe it is in her best interests to live in freedom and under the protection of the Constitution of the United States of America and with all rights granted therein.

Posted by Val Prieto at March 28, 2007 09:40 AM



Posted by Manuel A. Tellechea at March 28, 2007 09:42 AM

Up to this point it seems that your beef with Val was settled and his comment satisfied you. So where do you get the inspiration to title yor first post "COCKSUCKER"? Did I miss something?

Before the comment below, Ziva wrote a long comment in which she wanted to explain the post she put up about the little girl.

Then you write to Ziva:


You are to be commended for being the first to post a thread about the little Cuban girl. The most commendable aspect of that post was that you did relate your reaction to the story. Others did not comment at all on your post or the subsequent one by Robert, but did leave comments on this subject in another blog. This refusal to commit one way or another seemed curious to me and highly uncharacteristic, so I asked Val on his blog what his opinion was on this subject. I asked him several times before I got an answer. It was a highly satisfactory answer, at least to me. Henry, whom I had never asked, volunteered an answer too. It was far from satisfactory, at least to me. And, of course, nobody was attacked in the process.

Posted by Manuel A. Tellechea at March 28, 2007 02:10 PM

You even mention that Val's answer is "HIGHLY SATISFACTORY" to you, but not Henry's.

I have noticed that Ziva and Robert M. are the only contrbutor's from Babalu that get a free pass here. I know why now. They are the only two that posted about the little girl.

It's time to grow up folks. We are ONE !!

P.S. - Before you post how long I was in your blog this morning. I'll say it. I have been in this blog for almost two hours now and trust me it wasn't because I was reading MT's rants. I have been writing this comment in pieces and took longer than usual. Sorry if I took some of your thunder there.


All of the above is in the March 28, 2007 post titled "Crow" at Babalu Blog.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Val did make a statement in support of the little Cuban girl who is threatened with deportation to Cuba. I had to plead, cajole and remonstrance with him, but eventually Val did do as I asked and as honor demanded. The statement was short but highly satisfactory and I thanked him for it. It was Henry who absolutely refused to say one word of support for the little girl because he "was not inspired to" (his words). On another blog Henry even accused me of being the only who was stirring the pot on this issue. Although not true, I have never been paid a higher compliment.

The little girl was not the cause of my dispute with Val. That matter had been settled already, as far as I was concerned.

The cause of this dispute is that Val booted me from Babalú when I agreed with a statement Vic had made, to wit, that not all Communists are fidelistas, and not all fidelistas are communists (this is not an exact quote, as I am writing from memory). It seemed to me then and it seems to me now that there is nothing objectionable with this statement; in fact, it is a palpable truth. But Val took this as a violation of his ban on criticism of the Estefans and booted me. Curiously, I had agreed with Vic before Val had laid down his edict against criticism of the Estefans and was booted from Babalu ex post facto. When apprised of that fact, Val rescinded the excommunication within 20 minutes, but by then he had sealed his own fate. It is obvious to me that Val was gunning for me and in his anxiousness to ban me from his blog made a fatal error in judgment that has and will continue to haunt him.

Now I would be very happy indeed if you would kindly explain, justify or excuse Val's conduct. If the excuse is that it's Val's blog and he can do whatever he damn well pleases, then I will avail myself of the same excuse to do whatever the hell I want on my blog.

You are, of course, free to spend as many hours on this blog as you wish and need no excuse to do so.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

P.S.: Robert gets no "free pass" here, far from it. I have praised on this blog Ziva and George Moneo, and, of course, Val and Henry. I have mentioned nobody else from Babalú here for good or ill.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

P.P.S.: Don't fool yourself; if you were here 2 hours it is because you were enjoying my "rants." Who the hell reads something he doesn't want to read except for money and I, of course, wasn't paying you.