Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Americanization of Val Prieto

Finally, the mainstream media publish an article that agrees with Val Prieto, and what does Babalú's editor-in-chief do? He attacks it. Not one of his premeditated attacks, thank God; but a casual dismissal. The thrust of the Chicago Tribune article is that the U.S. has acted in bad faith in not fulfilling its obligations under the Clinton-Castro Migration Pact (1995), which requires it to issue 20,000 annual visas to Cuban immigrants in exchange for Castro not unleashing another balsero crisis or Mariel. The U.S. fell short of the quota by one-fourth this fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, because, supposedly, the U.S. Interests Section in Havana is understaffed and cannot handle the volume of visa applications. (Or, perhaps, because an election is looming and the fewer immigrants, legal or otherwise, the better).

Cuban officials accused Washington of intentionally cutting the number of visas in order to "destabilize" the island. Val cannot see that the Castroites are actually agreeing with him and making his argument. Val has long held, as has Henry also, that immigration is a safety valve for the Castro regime which allows it to control dissent, and he has long advocated shutting the safety valve and letting the pressure cooker build up steam and explode (this is his analogy). Now a Castro official says that Val is right, shutting down immigration would destabilize the regime.

Of course, this is nothing but Castroite disinformation. Shutting down the apocryphal "safety valve" wouldn't destabilize the regime. It has been shut down in the past for protracted periods and no destabilization occurred. On the contrary, a reduction or elimination of migration is exactly what the regime does want because it allows it to tell the Cuban people: "Americans don't want you. They will even violate their own laws and agreements to beat you back into the ocean if need be. You have no choice but to cast your lot with the Revolution. It is no use to oppose us or even to try to escape. If we don't get you, the U.S. Coast Guard will fetch you for us; and you'll end up worse than when you started out. Behave and you might survive."

The regime's official extra muros position is the opposite. By claiming (falsely) that cutting migration will destabilize it, it is encouraging the "fight to the last Cuban" types like Val Prieto to support the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy and any and all restrictions on migration to the U.S. Val's pressure cooker, like Castro's rice cooker, won't hold water, though.

Really, I don't know what an anti-Castro exile's reaction should be if Castro's lackeys start singing his song. It has never happened to me and I sincerely doubt that it ever will because, unlike Val, I know what they really think.

Val's reaction was not to embrace the Castro official who confirmed his pet theory or to admit that he was wrong in so long parroting what is apparently the party line. No, it was quite another and we must credit him for the ingenuity in maneuvering his way out of this highly embarrassing situation. He didn't exactly reach for higher ground but at least managed to put some distance between himself and his unexpected and unsought Castroite allies.

When in doubt, take the bigot's way out:

"Here's a clue for Mr. Martinez [the reporter] and the castro regime: as a sovereign nation, the US is not compelled to allow ANY Cubans into the country whatsoever. Assholes."

Actually, the U.S. is compelled to do precisely that under U.S. law. The Cuban Adjustment Act (1966) has never been repealed by Congress and it does compel the U.S. government to admit Cuban refugees into the U.S. Although key provisions have been ignored by both the Clinton and Bush administrations, and despite the fact that the spirit of the Act has been violated repeatedly and all precedent relating to it ignored, the Cuban Adjustment Act is still the law of the land and this sovereign nation must obey its own laws. It is true that no other people enjoy that special dispensation, but that was not decreed by Cubans but by both houses of Congress and the then-president of the United States. It is the law: the only law in the world that benefits Cubans since no Castroite pseudo-law does.

So learn to live with it, Val. It is the reason that you — that all of us — are in this country today. Or do you think that the stork made a mistake by dropping you in Cuba and corrected its mistake by dropping you in Hialeah?


Charlie Bravo said...

As far as I remember, every Cuban in Miami came from Cuba, and all of us have benefited from the virtually scrapped Cuban Adjustment Law (Johnson, 1966) even those who came before 1966 have benefited, since many of them got their residence and citizenship under the provisions of that law. I have also to say, that due to the support to fidel castro offered by several U.S. agencies and the press before (and shortly after) 1959 (CIA, Dept of State< Ed Murrow, The New York Times, and Herbert Matthew) the U.S. has the moral duty of receiving every Cuban who flees the tyranny it helped to install. That unless we are suscribing to the views of Clinton and Bush of rejecting every single Cuban who tries to reach the U.S. territory. The reasoning of not receiving more Cubans in the USA is the reasoning that has put in place the dry foot wet foot, among other hurdles erected in front of the Cubans who leave Cuba or who defect abroad.

Anonymous said...

Mi cielito, I wouldn't go disparaging Hialeah while living in the rathole that is Union City, NJ...

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


No one is disparaging Hialeah. It is the capital of true undiluted Cuban culture in the U.S.

I said that Val thinks the stork just dropped him in Hialeah (fill in any other city you please). In fact, it was liberal immigration laws that facilitated his entry into this country. If xenophobes like Gingrich or Thompson (the idols of Babalú) had been in control then of the immigration agenda, none of us would be here.

mamey said...

Excellent comment, Mr. Tellechea. But it's the same old story from that little circle. I am indeed grateful to those U.S. Americans who made it possible for my family, friends, and all other Cubans to come to the United States after the beginning of the Castro dictatorship. Said little circle, however, apparently confuses our collective gratitude for the denigration of Cuba's quest for independence and sovereignty. 'Anexionistas' always give off a certain odor. Oh, and as you well know, they don't even believe in freedom of expression. When Cuba is free I hope they go hug jingoistic Republicans, or any other party hacks, in the Everglades, and stay out of our precious island. That's just a hope. I would not actually want to stop any Cubans from going back to the island, no matter how screwy (I am trying to be nice) they may be. I do believe in true freedom.

Fantomas said...

Seria muy dificil para American Cubans or Cuban Americans who came at an early age from Cuba or for Children of cuban refugees to goback to Cuba and live like a regular person there. Despues de estar acostumbrados al estilo de vida norteamericano. Esas personas tienen muy pocas raices con el cubano de alla y no seran bienvenidos con los brazos abiertos. Creo que esas personas se deben quedar en Miami disfrutando de los Dolphins y de los Marlins. Si quieren hacer negocios en cuba podrian hacerlo viajando back and forth. Pero manteniendo su nueva cultura americana en Los Estados Unidos...Claro todo esto es hipotetico ..Tendrian que pasar como 10 años mas hasta que no quede un solo comunista en el poder en Cuba ... Minimo 10 años mas en el 2017...pudiera ser

Tendrian que morir fidel , Raul y la generacion de la Sierra ( Ramiro, almeida, Hart, Ventura, etc

Albert Quiroga said...

The fact the US has ignored or rendered moot much of the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act should not surprise anyone. When it comes to Cuba, US policy has been schizophrenic since the 1950s. They have meddled when they should not have, and have not helped when they should have done so.

The government of a future free Cuba should have relations with other countries based solely on the Hippocratic precept of "first, do no harm."

My family will always be grateful to the honorable US Consul in Aruba, Richard S. Thompson, who recognized our plight for what it was: A family in flight for political reasons, seeking refuge in a great country from a toxic, criminal mis-government, and gave us the green light to come into this great nation. No hair-splitting "nuancing" about our status on his part, and he did not even have the Cuban Adjustment Act to work with; I have a feeling he would be appalled at the "dry foot-wet foot" policy.

Vana said...

I don't think Val would speak like that, if it was him and his family being kept from fulfilling their dreams of freedom.

Have you all noticed, or is it just me, that Val is obsessed with the word ass, is either kiss my ass, or assholes, and other variations of it, wonder what Freud would make of that.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Freud would probably have diagnosed Val as anal retentive. He may even have published a case study on him.

Vana said...

Lmao..Manuel, I do believe you are right

KillCastro said...

It isn’t often that I go around excusing the USA for some of their well known infamies against the Cuban people and I mean the CUBAN PEOPLE, those who get up a 3AM everyday and wait under 100o heat and sol que raja piedra but on this issue I witnessed both the incompetence (I rather not think malice) of the USA govermentand the absolute evil of the KaSStronism.
First – the USIS is clueless as to the latest emigration reforms as defined in the USA,
They work on an archaic system of “faxes” waiting to contact people who HAVE qualified for the 2 pound of paper they get and must fill out. As far as the immigration department in the USA this is an automatic EMAIL notification they recive within minutes of a qualification decision and the fax , may or may NOT be sent! So a LOT of Cubans wind up waiting for a fax that will never arrive.
Now, I think my understanding of the English language is pretty good and so is that of my attorney and we sat there for hours trying to translate this mess of questions to Spanish so that my fiancé at the time would understand what DA FUCK they were asking.
Even the ¾ profile pictures are an onerous whimsical burden to Cubans who must depend on a guy with acamera from 1947 to get these pictures.
So far it all points to the USA as the guilty parties but…
The Kuban government DELIGHTS in making the life of those trying to leave the island a living hell.
When the USA put 36 extra phone lines (THIRTY SIX) so that people calling from Oriente and spending a fortune in long distance calls would not have to wait or call 20 times to get an answer , what did the BEAST do ?
He blocked the lines and you could only reach the USIS from within one blocks square of the building , since 2/4 of the building do not face any houses , those house which DID face the USIS were provided with brand new phone which for the modest price of $10 USD would allow you to call the USIS. So if you wanted to talk to the USIS you had to come to El Vedado and wait in line to make you 10 dollar call. And there were no guarantees! One call TEN BUCKS! , if you got disconnected or the conversation extended for more than ½ hour you were done.
Right there you have at least ¼ of the possible Visas voided.. if you can not speak to the USIS YOU AINT GETTING A VISA!
Then we have the incredibly stupid medical form . This form is 5 outta 10 times filled out incorrectly by doctors in the provinces or just a doctor who doesn’t give a shit.
The poor Cuban shows up with his/her form and the terrible news assaults them. SORRY wrong form, not completed correctly, parts are missing.
Since by Kuban law all of these people must go back to their assigned hospital based on where their live, that is another heart breaking sight . I witness an 80 year old woman who had to go back to Camaguey to get the form done correctly and there was no insurance it would get done correctly. My fiancé showed up at the embassy with a regular Cuban physical report… that is what she was given because she was told the USIS had not provided them with the right forms.
Of course at hearing this I went ballistic at the interviewer and asked if he REALLY expected my wife to go BACK to Holguin and wait to see if these forms materialized!
My simple questions “and WHY in the name of god do you NOT include the right form IN SPANISH in the packet of documents you send as the application.
Well er… hm…. Gee z… dunno”
But I was assured that these forms are given to the KaSStro Government every month in sufficient quantities for 100,000 visas so the logical conclusion is that they are in a warehouse some place in Artemisa gathering dust. But “asked I” if you KNOW this is going on why be so FUCKING anal about this form?! My wife had to take the same physical in the USA within on week of being here, something found wrong she was gonna be shipped back to Cuba.
So there just that simple piece of bureaucracy on both sides stops another ¼ of Cubans from getting the golden egg.
I later became pen pal (email pals) with my wives interviewer and he told me that only in India an Cuba the USA is this intransigent with the regulations. I can see this from a point of view of avoiding the entrance of spies, but I assure you the spies get in with PERFECT medical forms.
I was also made aware that there is ONE hospital in La Habana and VERY close to the USIS that will perform the tests and fill the information and that it is for VIP and emergency cases (like some apparatik member on his way to the UN)
Since the interviewer notices I was not one happy USA citizen he actually gave me the form (Breaking THEIR rules) and told me.. Bring this tomorrow.. I DO NOT CARE how you get it filled, who does it or who signs it just BRING IT . (Pretty much FORGE THIS THING IF YOU WANT) and your fiancé will get the visa.
A couple of phone calls later got me the info as to where this mysterious hospital was and in 30 minutes and $100 we had the form done.
But how many Cubans get to receive the form directly and how many know of this hospital and how many can afford the $100 ?

So SHAME to the USA for this ridiculous measure and FUCK KaSStro for making the ability of issuing Visas a living hell.
So you could say that the Visas that are NOT given are as much because of KaSStros stronghold as well as the USA incompetence.
And one last note .. The interviewer who handle our case said to me almost with tears in his eyes
“Why would *I* want these people to stay in this hell hole?” What I would give to be able to give a visa to every single person waiting in that god forsaken line. And you know what …
I believed him!