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?