Friday, May 18, 2007

Henry Gómez Accuses Spaniards of "Exploding Cubans"


Henry Gómez declined to heed my advice about the unsuitability of the acronym for Bloggers United for Cuban Liberty (BUCL, pronounded "Buckle"), but perhaps he will be more amiable to a grammatical correction. The BUCL slogan, which now graces the wall of a bus stop shelter no more than ".66 miles [13 blocks!] from Spain's consulate" in Miami, is: "España: Explotando Cubanos Por Mas de 500 Años." Let's forget about the missing accent mark over the "a" in más. Since the slogan is in capital letters that "a" may be dispensed with. What cannot be dismissed, however, is the missing "a" between "explotando" and "cubanos." This "a" cannot be omitted in Spanish ever. Because it can be omitted in English doesn't mean that it can be omitted in Spanish. It can't. Because omitting the "a" changes the meaning from "exploiting" to "exploding." I won't try to explain to Henry the grammatical quiddities which make this so. Anyone who makes such a mistake has to learn or re-learn Spanish grammar from scratch. The greatest patriotic duty which a Cuban raised in this country or born to Cuban(s) parents here can perform is to learn Spanish correctly. Suffice it to say that Henry's whimsical phrase "explotando cubanos" literally means "blowing up Cubans." Unless Spaniards are actually putting dynamite under Cubans and blowing them up (not an inadmissible conjecture), the correct expression should be: "explotando a los cubanos." This actually means "exploiting Cubans," which is what Henry means to say.

I know that you think with your heart, Henry (except when it comes to an abused 4-year-old girl threatened with deportation to Castro's Cuba). But we must all observe the rules of grammar or risk making fools (or greater fools) of ourselves. Many Spaniards will read your poster and laugh, and that is not what I think you intended. More advice which is certain to be ignored.

POSTSCRIPT:

In answer to a comment by El Caimán:

Except for their horrible acronym, Bloggers United for Cuban Liberty (BUCL, pronounced BUCKLE), is not a bad idea per se; it is their methods which fall short of their expectations. If you are going to do a campaign against Spain's shameless re-colonization of Cuba, the place to do it is in Spain, not here. It might be well to remember also that American colonialism handed Cuba over to Castro, not Spanish colonialism (which in 1898 handed Cuba over to the U.S.). Since we happen to reside in the U.S., it would be easier and more effective to do an informational campaign about America's role in Cuba's tragedy, which, of course, is that of principal player. But, as Henry once said, he is an American-Cuban, not a Cuban-American. His loyalties, which are not even divided, will never allow him to castigate [t]his country for Cuba's woes. So Spain is the next best thing. Of course, Spain also deserves to be castigated; it deserves to be castigated a great deal, and in the fullness of time perhaps it will be.

12 comments:

Email said...

That explains the noises I heard at CubaNostalgia last night. They did seem like explotions. The event itself is an exploitation of some people's memories of 1958½.

By the way, why would a not-for-profit blog set-up a booth at very much for-profit event? Any ideas?

Saludos,
El Caimán

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

El Caimán:

Except for their horrible acronym, Bloggers United for Cuban Liberty (BUCL, pronounced BUCKLE), is not a bad idea per se; it is their methods which fall short of their expectations. If you are going to do a campaign against Spain's shameless re-colonization of Cuba, the place to do it is Spain, not here.

It might be well to remember also that American colonialism handed Cuba over to Castro, not Spanish colonialism (which in 1898 handed Cuba over to the U.S.). Since we happen to reside in the U.S., it would be easier and more effective to do an informational campaign about America's role in Cuba's tragedy, which, of course, is that of principal player. But, as Henry once said, he is an American-Cuban, not a Cuban-American. His loyalties, which are not even divided, will never allow him to castigate his country for Cuba's woes. So Spain is the next best thing. Of course, Spain also deserves to be castigated; it deserves to be castigated a great deal, and in the fullness of time perhaps it will be.

Charlie Bravo said...

We'd be better off directing those energies to the unconditional elimination of the dry-foot wet-foot

KillCastro said...

EXPLOTANDO CUBANOS .. Oh fuck I almost popped a vein!
This is the EXILIO HISTORICO coming up with this shit! So HISTORICO they have no families in Cuba, they know no one in Cuba some have NEVER been to Cuba and can hardly speak Spanish. Of course they WILL embed anglonisms a diestra y siniestra and therein lays the UTTER stupidity of the EXPLODING CUBANS!

They forget about the USA treachery that delivered Cuba to KaSStro and now they gun for the Spaniards? Why? Oh clearly, cause the AMERICAN/cubans (transposition and capitalization of nationality intended) resent the fact that the Spaniards have an economic beach head in Cuba. This is NOT about CUBA, Mr. T this is about economics, just like the fucking "contributions" and the dollar signs rolling on these people eye balls like a cheap slot machine.
This is about getting invites to dine with the Estefan's and Garcia's . This is a SELL OUT and so POORLY executed they should be ashamed of how transparent they have been, but hey, stupidity is its own worst enemy, and we are NOT dealing with "lumbreras" here. A PC and high bandwidth does not give you honor or literacy; it just spreads your greed and idiocy that much faster.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie & Killcasto:

If their first campaign had been against the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy they would have my respect and perhaps even my support (and at the least my respectful silence). But an ad at a bus shelter 13 blocks from the Spanish consulate where the only thing which is assaulted is the Royal Spanish Academy seems at best an (anti)-academic exercise and at worse a waste of time and resources.

You know from my writings on this subject on Killcastro that I would be the last to exculpate Spain for its abuses in Cuba. However, this is not the time to settle accounts with Spain because we do not have the instrumentalities to do so. That will come only after Cuba is a free and independent republic again. Perhaps when we have achieved our main objective these collateral issues will not seem as important or pressing anymore. But we will certainly never achieve that object if we continue to set up these sideshows which, if anything, distract attention from the central issue — the liberation of our countrymen, something which Spain, even if it had the best intentions, cannot give us.

Sadly, there are indeed many Cuban exiles who love Cuba but do not love their fellow Cubans, and, indeed, in the best of all possible worlds, they would prefer a Cuba without Cubans. In fact, many would gladly drop those bombs that kill people but leave the buildings standing so long as it enables them to "liberate" Cuba without having to rub elbows with its present inhabitants (gives a new meaning to "explotando cubanos," doesn't it?). For them, the ideal is in fact throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Just as I reject the presumption of those who suggest that Cuban exiles can only hope for second-class citizenship in a resurrected republic, I also condemn those who leave out the island's residents when formulating their plans for a future Cuba. We are one people divided by one man. The day we lose sight of that then all will indeed be lost.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

To the reader who asks in an e-mail:

"Why don't you pick on Val anymore?"

Because he has done nothing wrong lately while Henry doesn't seem to be able to do anything right.

Vana said...

That is a sad thing to read Manuel but you are right, there are Cubans that don't love their fellow Cubans, and I for one ask myself how can that be? for I love them all, los de aqui y los de alla, I believe that is one of the reasons we have a fidel

Enric said...

Umm, do you know how to read Spanish? The word "exploit" translates to "explote." Granted its very similar to saying someone "exploded" but your logic is rather flawed. Keep trying though.

Enric said...

Oh and by the way - yeah- you got 'em on the "explotando "a" cubanos . . ."

But again, why the witch hunt? This seems completely counter-productive to the cause of Cuban liberty.

-Enric

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

"Enric:"

You are asking me, José Martí's translator, if I know how to speak Spanish? Stick around, your sense of humor is welcome.

Explotar means both to exploit and to explode in Spanish.

Henry meant to use it in the first sense but by omitting the "a" ended up using it in the second.

Spain may exploit Cubans, but it certainly doesn't explode them (at least not since 1898).

Or do you disagree?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

"Enric:"

A witchhunt presupposes that I have the power to silence Val or Henry, which I do not. All my admonitions have absolutely no impact on them. I do, however, have the right — which I will exercise here or anywhere else — to opine on their trajectory as you yourself feel perfectly free to opine on mine here.

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