"Ya no más" is 24 years old, which means that he is some ten years younger than Val Prieto was when he started Babalú four years ago. I find this a most encouraging development and I am happy and proud to see that the truth about Cuba concerns the generation that followed Val's, too. I think that it is Val's duty and the duty of every Cuban blogger to nurture such commitment not to thwart it. But Val could care less about nurturing anybody's interests but his own. To merit Val's support you must buckle to his authority. "Ya no más'" mere presence on this blog was sin enough, although this is a "sin" shared with all partners in Val & Co. His "sin" was no doubt compounded by commenting here which made his disaffection with Val's authoritarian vent a public rather than a private sin. "Ya no más" had also had the temerity to add this blog to his links, which others, including Val's cousin Tomás Estrada Palma, have done. I guess one has to be Val's cousin to take that risk, trusting that familial ties will trump Val's fear of betrayal. People like Val, who live always under the apprehension that they will be betrayed, usually are not adverse themselves to betrayal and are usually the catalysts for it.
As a consequence of asserting his intellectual independence and refusing the strictures which Val wished to place on his speech, "Ya no más" was expelled from Babalú's blogroll without warning or explanation, although he had received an earlier indication of which way the wind was blowing when Ziva asked "Ya no más" to remove her blog from his blogroll earlier.
This reminds me of my own contretemps with Marc Másferrer, who was the first in Val's circle to link the Review of Cuban-American Blogs, which originally alerted all the Valalusians to the existance of this blog (where they have moored ever since). Obviously the news eventually filtered down to Val himself who dashed one of his "Marc, why have you betrayed me, buddy" e-mails which immediately obtained the desired result, for Val seems to hold a curious power over men smarter than himself.
I was flattered honestly that Val was in such dread fear of RCAB that he felt the responsibility to "purge" this blog from the blogrolls of his acolytes. But I should not have been surprised. When Val posted his infamous attack upon me on Babalú which was deleted within 3 hours of being posted because it unintentionally cast Val in a much worse light than it did me, I should have guessed that Val far from ignoring the challenge we presented had us in his crosshairs. Mightily did the blog Goliath conspire against our David, but all his exertions against us have had the opposite effect; he awakened rather than stifled interest in this blog.
Of course, it is Val's blogroll, and he is perfectly free to demand from "Ya no más" or anyone else a blood oath before being included there. His policy has always been, as I long ago discerned, that it is good to hang an admiral from time to time because it encourages the others.
In all his actions Val has displayed an absolute disdain for freedom of expression and an attendant obsession with crushing it wherever he finds it. He is the first trans-blog censor. If he had his way, he would even limit access to the internet for his opponents in order more completely to control the agenda and quell all dissent. He does so already on his "island on the net" which doesn't have a bearded dictator unless Val now sports a beard.
Who will be the next blogger to merit Val's retaliation? I think we all know the most likely candidate at this moment is fantomas, BUCL's ambassador to RCAB. The quirky fantomas, who is always proclaiming here that he is his own man and beholden to no one (especially Val Prieto), has not been as active in Val's defense as Val no doubt expects and has even opened a cordial dialogue with "Ya no más" being by nature an includer rather than an excluder. This diversionist tendency does not sit well with Val and will surely lead to fantomas' expulsion from BUCL and Babalú's blogroll. The fact that I have mentioned this may actually save fantomas from expulsion from Val & Co. because such is the power that I have over Val & Henry that I have merely to suggest something for them to do the exact opposite. If I were a dime store Machiavellian like Val I could use this power on my own behalf but I prefer to use it on their behalf, which is yet another way in which Val Prieto and I are different and our positions irreconcilable.