Friday, September 28, 2007

Linked, Unlinked and Relinked: RCAB and Uncommon Sense

In the short span of the Review of Cuban-American Blogs we have had a long history with Marc Másferrer's Uncommon Sense. It was the second blog to link to us after Killcastro. It was the first blog to unlink us, 2 weeks later. And, yesterday, it became the first blog to relink to us after unlinking us. All in less than 6 month's time.

We have always acknowledged our gratitude to Marc for those 2 weeks of past linkage and understood the pressure that compelled him to unlink us that first time around. During those 2 weeks, Val & Company and all the Babalunian satellites "discovered" us and got on board (and have never left since). Of course, we can understand their fascination with RCAB. It is, after all, about them. Many of them come here in the hope that I will notice them, even though they know that I, like another Marc, did not come here to praise them. Let me not discourage their hopes: I will get to them by the by. In case anybody has any doubt about it, I am here for the long run (knock on wood).

Everybody carves out his own niche in the Cuban-American blogosphere. I like to see myself as the iconoclast. Marc Másferrer's own niche is as the publicist for Cuban political prisoners. I use "publicist" in its 19th century meaning, which conveyed no trace of commercialism. A publicist then was a sincere and disinterested advocate, such as Charles A. Dana, editor of The (N.Y.) Sun and Marti's friend, who championed the cause of Cuba's independence for 30 years in the columns of his newspaper. In terms of sheer usefulness and commitment, it would be hard to top Marc's Uncommon Sense.

Of course, everybody knows (and he knows) by now that I don't like his blog's name and have on more than one occasion commented here that common sense is better than uncommon sense. I also object to the fact that he keeps repeating "300" as the number of Castro's political prisoners, taking that ridiculously low figure from renowned human rights organizations which, in turn, define "political prisoner" in Fidel Castro's terms. This is very unfortunate, to say the least. Perhaps now that Raúl Castro has in one fell swoop arrested 200 more in one day, the received figure will rise to 500, which is better than 300 but still less than 1 percent of the real total. I suppose that such spurious low figures are cited in the hope that more people will believe them. If you state honestly that they are between 50,000-100,000 political prisoners in Castro's jails, you might not be believed. Being believed is apparently more important than being factual.

I also object to Marc's two-tier ranking of the Cuban-American blogs to which he links (the "A list" and the "B list" blogs). This is not in keeping with his character or the character of his blog. If I did it (and it would perhaps be more expected of me), I should rank them across the entire spectrum of the alphabet (A-Z) and review their rankings often. But I have no time for such games. Besides, I am nothing if not egalitarian in my outlook and I am loathe to create artificial social barriers in any sphere.

There, then, is only a small part of RCAB's history with Uncommon Sense. Before I forget, there is something else that I like about Marc: he is not afraid of me. That is a rare quality among Val & Company.

As I believe that reciprocality is the glue of civilization, I have also added Uncommon Sense to the "Fraternal Links" at the bottom of the page. I hope our association is longer than the first time around.


Vana said...

We've all heard or read that there are at least 300 prisons in Castro's Cuba, impossible they are all filled with common criminals, where even stealing an apple will get you behind bars, if you are hungry because the regime keeps you that way, then stealing an apple is not a common theft, indeed even that I would call a political prisoner, I would venture to say, that thousands are political prisoners.

Manuel am happy Marc has linked to you, really they all should.

Fantomas said...

Closing time at RCBA ?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Guess what? CNN linked RCAB on the Elenita story. You can well imagine what that did to traffic here. Actually, you can't imagine it at all. Which is sad.

Fantomas said...

Elenita Who?


Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I see that wherever you are now they do not grant you access to newspapers.

Fantomas said...

you are reading too many newspapers manuel..dont believe everything you read