"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