Monday, November 5, 2007

Notable & Demonic: A Disagreement at Babalú on Whether Cubans Should Commit Collective Suicide

"It’s frustrating to sit on this side of the puddle and wonder why the Cubans living on the other side just don’t do something. Anything! Ok, so some kids wore some “cambio” bracelets and got arrested. Quietly. Big deal! Have you seen the protests in Venezuela? The hell with bracelets. We need protests like those. Thousands screaming with signs, tear gas, rubber bullets, brutality, beatings, blood." Gusano, "Cuban Philosophizing," Babalú, November 5, 2007

Babalú newbie Gusano is actually being sarcastic; he does not endorse this point of view but is merely illustrating its cynicism and cruelty. As he later comments, "The best swimmer is the one that isn't in the water."

Ironically, Gusano's boss, Val Prieto, also suggested last week that Cubans commit collective suicide but he wasn't ridiculing this position; on the contrary, he was advocating in deadly earnest that Cubans on the island submit themselves to "bullets, brutality, beatings and blood," to use Gusano's nice stretch of alliteration. Or, in Val's own inimitable words, which I compared then to an oration of Patrick Henry's slightly modified ("Give me Liberty and Give Them Death"), this is what Val wants Cubans on the island to do:

"Freedom isn't going to knock on [the Cubans'] doors and ask to come in. It isn't going to arrive in a package from Hialeah or in the suitcase of a family member coming from abroad. Freedom is going to hide behind hunger. It's going to hide behind pain, it's going to hide behind sacrifice. It's going to hide behind bruises and in a pool of blood. And it's only going to be found when it is painstaking[ly] sought after, sought after with extreme hunger and empty bellies, with broken bones and bloody hands and with sheer desperation. There are 11 million people in Cuba, yet you see merely a handful standing firm in their convictions and against their government. Until that handful exponentially increases, not a damned thing will change."Val Prieto, judging the Cuban people and passing sentence on them, Babalu blog, October 25, 2007

I suppose that Val is still not pleased. The Cuban people have yet again failed to live up to his lofty expectations. Last week he was excoriating them for not producing "torrents of blood" to sweep away Castro, or, more likely, to increase the number of his victims exponentially. Either outcome would be acceptable to Val: whether freedom for Val or fewer "cowardly" Cubans. Instead of the requisite "torrents of blood," Val got 70 Cuban young people wearing plastic wristbands emblazoned "CAMBIO." Castro's uniformed goons fell on them like Batista's soldiers on the terrorists who attacked the infirmary of the Moncada barracks in the first action of the Revolution.

Cambio: such an innocuous little word and subject to so many interpretations! Yet for the regime it has only one: its elimination, and so it reacted as it always does to all challenges great or small to its authority, swiftly, relentlessly and disproportionately. It requires an open and basically free society — as was Batista's Cuba — for a revolution to be launched and succeed. In a police state such as Communist Cuba, the option of revolution, at least from within, doesn't exist. Communism in Cuba must implode as it did in the Soviet Union, or it must be defeated from without. To expect hostages to free themselves, when their captors control every phase of their lives, and, of course, the means of repression (which is also the means of rebellion), is the ne plus ultra of cynicism and conduces to nothing but martyrdom, and more martys is the one thing that Cubans don't need.

Read more here:

Notable & More Delusional Still: "Patrick Henry" Prieto Rides Again


Ms. Calabaza said...

"In a police state such as Communist Cuba, the option of revolution, at least from within, doesn't exist. Communism in Cuba must implode as it did in the Soviet Union, or it must be defeated from without."

I agree. It would be suicide for these poor folks. I also think it's too late for Venezuela at this point. . . Too little, too late.

Fantomas said...

we are fucked Manny...What is your recomendation then

or are we doomed... another 50 years of one party control state


Manuel A.Tellechea said...


A very acute observation: we are royally "fucked-up." The last Cubans to have voted in an indisputably democratic election in Cuba are now 80 years old. The Cubans who left at age 20 in 1959 are now almost 70. Most who left who were older than 30 are already dead. We have in fact buried more Cubans over the last 48 years than lived on the island in 1959. For the first generation of exiles it's practically over already. The second generation are in their 60s. The average age of Cuban exiles is 45, or twice that of other Hispanics in this country. 45 may still entertain some hope of seeing a free Cuba — as old men, perhaps.

So, yes, fantomas, most of our lives have been sunk in waiting for that precious "Cambio" which children now sport on wristbands in Cuba to their great detriment.

There is no reason to hope except that hope is all that we have left. Fidel and Raúl will die and we will not have to wait another 50 years for them to die. Then we will see if the plutocracy they have created in Cuba can survive them or not.

The best hope — practically the only hope — is that the system will implode as it did in the Soviet Union. There were a few White Russians who lived to see the fall of Communism. There will no doubt be a few of us left who will also see that day in our country. "No hay mal que dure mil años..." as we have told ourselves for 48 years as if we had 1000 years to spare.

Vana said...

The Babalunians are growing madder by the day, it's so easy to ask for bloodshed when you sit very comfy in your air conditioned home, while eating a hearty meal, then to be searching for food to place on your table day in and day out.

Two days ago I had a conversation with a guy that arrived from Cuba 8 months ago, he told me that while eating they don't enjoy their meal, because they are already thinking what they will put on the table the next day, now I ask you how can a people that are so preocupied day in and day out, possibly think of revolution?

Ms. Calabaza said...

Yep, it's always easy to be an armchair quarterback. . .