Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Henry Explains Fred Thompson to Us

Whenever Henry Gómez has something particularly nasty to say about Cuban exiles, he does not do so on any of his numerous blogs and certainly not on Babalú, which is the holy of holies of dissimulation: no, he goes to one of the minor blogs in Babalú's orbit to release his bile. Previously he used the 26th Parallel to attack me for being the only Cuban blogger to raise a stink about the little abused Cuban girl whom Henry wants returned to Communist Cuba in a case analogous to Elián's. Because this pathetic milquetoast had his feelings hurt in the Elián case, he is now willing to drop any number of Cuban babies down Castro's black well if it only will spare him the trauma of his Anglo neighbors' disapproval. Of course, it wasn't true; I was not the only one who cared about this defenseless child. On Babulú itself numerous commenters expressed their solidarity with her. Really, what other response could any sentiate human being have when confronted with the plight of that little girl? Well, there is the normal response (mine and everybody else's) and Henry's response. When I asked Val (not him) to say one word in support of this little girl, he interposed himself and responded that he would not be manipulated or coerced by me or The Miami Herald into a replay of the Elián case. It was then that I learned that Henry belonged to a different order of humanity than Val, a much lower one. Val's emotions are open and undisguised and he does not control them very well, which actually attests to their depth. Henry is cold in that distinctly American way which is considered the epitome of manhood here. He keeps his emotions well in check, so well in fact that it is not difficult at all for him to turn his back on that little girl, or, indeed, as he has just demonstrated, on thousands of others like her for the sake of political expediency.

Having embraced the candidacy of the Fred Thompson only because his real darling Newt Gingrich carried too much "baggage" (he means 20+ years of using Hispanics as scapegoats), Henry's reaction when his idol by default Thompson uttered the most racist remarks ever directed by any politician of either party at Cuban-Americans was to fall to his knees and give Thompson's boots a good old-fashioned polishing with lots of spit. Such a spectacle would turn the stomach of anyone who saw it. But not Henry's. He is adept at humiliating himself in pursuit of questionable ends.

This time he chose another Babalú satellite, La Contra Revolución, for his defense of Fred Thompson and he framed that defense in the only way that a self described "AMERICAN-cuban" would:

Either we have Cuban spies in America or we don't. We can't have it both ways. You and I both know that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of infiltrated Cuban agents living and working in America. I don't think that everyone that's arriving on those "go fast" boats has good intentions. This statement is much ado about nothing. An overstatement of the obvious, that we don't know who is coming into our country and they could be dangerous. And [I'm] very pro immigration, pro amnesty. But I'm also pro securing the border.

Thompson accused Cuban rafters of being suitcase bombers carrying "greetings" from Castro. Nothing could be clearer or more provocatively said. No interpretation is required; no subtext is necessary. Thompson's words speak for themselves. But Henry won't allow Thompson's words to be the final say about what Thompson meant. He has to recast his candidate's words into something they are not — a defense of America rather than a Coast-Guard-like ramming of defenseless Cuban refugees whose only "crime" is to believe that this country's expressed ideals have anything at all to do with its policies. This misconception is a common one for those who have never lived here.

His "Either we have Cuban spies or we don't" is a non-sequitur. No one doubts there are Cuban spies in the United States. Castro himself admitted it in an interview on CNN 10 years ago. The question is whether the balseros are in fact "suitcase bombers" with "greetings" from Fidel. The fact is that no Cuban balsero has ever been accused or convicted of being a Castro spy. Cuban-Americans born or raised in this country have. Alleged defectors have. Even members of the exilio histórico have. Balseros, never.

Balseros are the most vulnerable among us. They can't vote. They come to America as fugitives from Castro's injustice and often end up as victims of American injustice. Thompson and Henry regard these bravest of men as undesirables and fit subjects for their cheap melodrama about suitcase spies. Henry even tells us — having pulled this rabbit out of his ass — that not all refugees have good intentions. Now, I don't know anything about their intentions other than escaping Castro's island hell, but Thompson and Henry's intentions seem pretty plain to me: to stir-up the nativists and xenophobes by waving fresh meat at them. And it worked. His mistake was to think that what was said in South Carolina would stay in South Carolina and not resound in South Florida. He was wrong. Cuban exiles are everywhere (Thompson's worst nightmare).

Now Henry, trying his hand at damage control and as good at that as at anything else, labels Thompson's statement "much ado about nothing." So it is nothing, then? That is, there is nothing to Thompson's allegations? Well, I don't think Henry meant that, even though that is what he actually said. Henry often comes close to his meaning but derails before actually getting there, as in this case. He doesn't make things any better by calling Thompson's remarks in the next sentence an "overstatement of the obvious." Does the "obvious" need to be overstated? People generally overstate what is not so obvious or less than truthful, or what, as in this case, is an outright lie and canard.

Finally, it is good to know that Henry is such a great advocate of illegal aliens and supports amnesty for them. This is certainly unexpected in a supporter of Fred Thompson (don't let Fred hear about it!). Would that Henry could marshall some of that compassion and understanding for his own people.


Charlie Bravo said...

Thanks Manuel, for your passionate -and highly rational at the same time- defense of the most defenseless Cubans outside Cuba: the balseros.
Two blogs, KillCastro and the RoCAB were the first in cut Thompson's racist statements open and dissect them for our readers. I am glad you post this on the 4th of July, because we should remind the likes of Mr. Thompson and his cohorts that the American Revolution rose triumphant in great part due to the generosity of the Cuban ladies who sold their jewelry to finance George Washington troops.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


We are reading each other's minds. I had just e-mailed you seconds ago. In fact, I had considered writing a post about the Cuban contribution to the American Revolution. As you point out, the ladies of Havana donated 1.2 million livres to outfit the French Fleet stranded there, under the command of Admiral DeGrasse, which was employed to blockade Chesapeake Bay, forcing the British to surrender at Yorktown, the definitive victory of the American Revolution. Among those who fought at Yorktown were regiments from Cuba and Haiti (including many slaves).

Cubans also fought under General Bernardo Gálvez, the hero of the battles of Mobile and Pensacola (Galveston in Texas is named for him and there is an equestrian statue of him in New Orleans' Cathedral Square). My seven-times great-grandfather, Rear Admiral Juan María Herrera-Dávila y Raffaelini, commanded the naval forces in those battles.

Then there is the story of Don Juan de Miralles, Spain's envoy to the Thirteen Colonies, who was George Washington's personal friend and benefactor and lent more money to the American Revolution than any other foreigner (he never collected it). He died at camp with Washington in NJ and was buried with full military honors, Washington himself attending as chief mourner. Washington also wrote a heartfelt letter of condolence to Miralles' widow in Havana.

Fantomas said...

Two blogs, KillCastro and the RoCAB were the first in cut Thompson's racist statements open and dissect them for our readers

Kill Castro was also the first Blog to introduce Porno para Ricardo in the US.

Everytime I see the words I was the first one me da la impresion que estamos en un rat race....

A ver quien llega primero, quien tiene mas audacia ... Our struggle se trata de muchas otras cosas que ser el primero siempre. Ser segundo is not a bad thing

Espero que no lo borres como hacen otros censuradores por ahi

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


It doesn't really matter who speaks the truth first so long as everybody follows suit.

I was happy to see that Marc Másferrer, for example, finally got or borrowed some common sense, because he, too, has attacked Thompson on his Uncommon Sense blog.

Agustin Farinas said...

in my last job in Miami as a manager, I had an opportunity to come in contact with many balseros recently arrived from Cuba. I found the majority of them to be hard working people who hated Castro and his regime as much as anyone who had been in Miami for many years. They risked their life on a journey that I don't know if I would have dared to make myself. One case in particular moved me and tugged at the strings of my heart. A young lady only 24 yearss old from Regla who had come with a 1 year old baby and was 5 months pregnant. I asked myself how desperate can someone be to leave that Hell that she risked her child and herself to get away from Cuba ina raft. I heard horror stories such as hers many times during those last 3 years in Florida. And no, no one as far as I know, brought any bomb in a suitcase! Those words of Fred Thompson were the most stupid comments I have heard anyone make who aspires to the most important office in the world.