Sunday, April 29, 2007

One Month and Counting


Today marks the one month's anniversary of the inauguration of this blog. It is no exaggeration to say that it is already required reading for all other Cuban-American bloggers, fulfilling thereby its mission as the Review of Cuban-American Blogs. I really could not expect or ask for more, although it has in fact achieved much more. The near unanimous hostility, open or concealed, with which it has been met by other Cuban bloggers, anxious to maintain "unity" by hoeing to the Prieto-Gómez line, and the failure, with a couple of honorable exceptions, to link to this blog or even to provide a link in posts attacking it, have, we think, been important elements in its success; for every attempt to marginalize us has resulted in greater curiosity about us and hence more and more visitors every day.

What pleases us most of all is that this blog has become a vehicle for the disaffected to have their say without fear of expulsion because their opinions do not align perfectly with the blog owner's. Many are asserting here, for the first time, their right to "think and speak without hypocrisy," as Martí defined freedom. Many more less intrepid have nonetheless communicated to us in their e-mails the dissatisfaction which they felt with the status quo ante and their relief to have an independent voice confronting forthrightly and with no quarter the "disparates" (English needs that word) of Val & Company. To all who have encouraged us in this work and more than encouraged us, we reiterate our thanks and ask them to make their support public, so as to impress on their colleagues that there is, in fact, no united front among Cuban bloggers and no party line.

We are sure — in fact, in many cases, we know for sure — that this blog receives more visitors in a day than most "older" Cuban blogs do in a week, and this I attribute to the fact that it does not define itself in relation to the other blogs but charts its own course and journeys to wherever it wants. Only one other Cuban-American blog does the same — Killcastro and Charlie Bravo's. Those who read both our blogs know that our approaches and even our opinions differ in incidentals and even essentials, but one thing which we do have in common which overrides all differences, is our fierce independence and fear of no one and nothing. While our other fellow Cuban bloggers are afraid to define themselves on issues such as Posada, preferring rather to say nothing or even embrace the position of The Miami Herald, and while they are constantly looking over their shoulders to see if non-Cuban critics are pleased with them, and are taken aback, indeed, terror-stricken if one looks askance at them, we prefer to count our victories by the enemies we make not the "friends" whose loyalty we buy with silence or complicity.

And so, we are very happy and pleased to celebrate this milestone. It will be the first of many to come, but it will always hold for us fond memories and much inspiration. To Val Prieto, in particular, we owe a great debt which we have already acknowledged here but which we will always be pleased to acknowledge anywhere; it is thanks to his arbitrariness and injustice that this blog was born as an answer to it. Indeed, he even ordained the exact day and minute of our birth as a blogger. Val may not be the undisputed "father" of all Cuban-American bloggers (as he claims), but he is certainly our illegitimate "blog father." He made us and I hope he's at least proud. Can one be proud and eat one's own guts at the same time?

13 comments:

Lucy said...

Aplausos!

We are very happy you started this blog. As you know, I visit this blog daily.

Thanks Manuel.

Feliz Cumple-month!!

Email said...

¡¡¡¡Bravo!!!

Keep it up. I enjoy very much your well written essays and lack of self-serving comemierderia. You may not be the progenitor of Cuban-American blogs but you are El Papi.

El Caimán

CorgiGuy said...

Manuel

If val s the babalu of the ca/blogs, i like to nominate you as the Shango of the ca/blogs, i did some googling on Shango and here's what i found.

Shangó is the Orisha of fire, thunder, lightening, and the owner of the sacred batá. He symbolizes passion, masculine virility, and political prowess.

Historically Shangó is documented as the fourth king of the Oyó Empire in West Africa where he ruled for over four decades, this is the path of Shangó named Alafin. The rule of Shangó was so influential that after his death he was deified to the status of an Orisha.

In Cuba, Shango is an extremely popular Orisha known for his charming seductive nature and masterful dance skills. He also has a considerable temper and is said to have been born with war upon his head, as is symbolized by the double-edged ax that is his ritual implement

As far as your blog, though we don't agree politically on most everything, i find your posts are well thought out and illuminating.

I hope we get to the point where can discuss ideas not personalities.

CorgiGuy said...

Hey Manuel I invite you and your readers to my blog at

http://corgiguyblog.blogspot.com

I'm just starting out so bear with me.

Fantomas said...

When I need a good laugh , I come here first..

Thanks

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
congratulations on the milestone of one month on your own blog. You are a welcome addition to the blogsphere that addreses and comments on the Cuban dilemma.
Now that you have your own blog you have the freedom to review and comment on many subjects besides the one that caused you start this new endeavor. Is your pulpit and your podium and I urge you as one who reads and appreciates your postings and essays on a daily basis, to broaden your well written fire and brimstone on other subjects. There is much work to be done out there and you have the ability to express with words what needs to be said. Use it wisely. Don't dwell too much on one subject,namely Babalu, and bring us more postings like the one on Bonifacio Byrne or the future of Cuba. These were excellent postings which I am sure we all enjoyed and appreciated. I am in a hurry now but later will bring up a subject that is important to me and that I think you will be able to translate into words in your incisive and well written style. Keep up the good work.
Agustin

Charlie Bravo said...

Congratulations Manuel!
I just mentioned you and Corgi Guy at the Black Sheep of Exile.....

Steve ("Klotz" As In "Blood") said...

Thirty days? And no time off for good behavior? Keep at it, amigo. Glad you're here.

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
While I was browsing other blogs that address Cuban issues that were linked to the Penultimos Dias Blog, I came upon the Rui Ferreira and Armengol blogs. There I discovered articles related to "the disappeared one" that except for the fact that they has someone else's name on the home page, you could think they were written by Cuba's Granma editorial board.
The comments section is very revealing also. If these folks that make comments there are walking among us in Florida and other parts of the USA, we are in deeper trouble than I thought. Makes one wonders why these people did not remain in Cuba and defended what they believe in, if one judges by the loas and praises for the regime there. It makes for scary reading. The two above mentioned blogs authors also write for the Herald and that is even more scary.

Fantomas said...

Rui Ferreira and Armengol gets about 20% of their comments from cuba itself..Once they had the site meter opened and you could see the visitors information easily--Both blogs are a daily read for the upper branch in cuba.. Unfortunaley I was thrown out of rui ferreira's blog , but still welcome with Armengol

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

They no doubt find it easier (and safer) to admire Castro at a distance and have found a venue where their views are encouraged appreciated. The "diverse views" embraced by The Herald include anything calculated to offend Cuban exiles. The views which The Herald itself finds offensive are those that refuse to at least accord the benefit of the doubt to something about which there should be absolutely no doubts after 48 years. Perhaps some day I will have time for them; for now, however, I think I can do a greater service by keeping the faithful in line and correcting their occasional lapses in judgment.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Fantomas:

No doubt the Castroite "upper branch" accounts for most of the traffic from Cuba on these sites. Whether they wish to know if their propaganda has taken root or monitor opinion among those who oppose the regime, these Cuban visitors should not be assumed to be dissidents looking for orientation. No doubt there may be some who fit that bill, but I should think that most are somehow connected to the regime and looking to sow discord among Cubans here and on the island.

What surprises me is that Castro's propaganda juggernaut doesn't sponsor scripted blogs from Cuba to disorient public opinion in this country.

Or maybe they do.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

My heartfelt thanks to all who have expressed their appreciation and good wishes for the Review of Cuban-American Blogs and its editor.