Thursday, January 31, 2008

Notable & Poetical: "With Rue [Val's] Heart is Laden"

"With rue my heart is laden..."Val Prieto, [title of post], Babalú, January 31, 2008

Although we wish to commend and encourage all literary allusions which Val can recollect from his high school days, we feel rather perplexed by his choice of A.E. Housman's adrogynous stanzas. We do not pretend to know what Val means by quoting them. We know so very little of what he means and must content ourselves with deciphering what he says, which is hard enough. All we know for sure is that it is his tribute to Fred Thompson.

Still, here are Housman's immortal lines and you make of them what you will:

With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade.

Something for All to Consider (Yes, that Means You, Henry)

If John McCain is elected president, it will be his choice to govern as a conservative, moderate or liberal. Americans elect a president; they don't elect a political ideology.

Nobody Philanders Like Newt

In his latest diatribe at Cuban-American Pundits Henry Gómez comes to the defense of Bill Clinton, whose remarks on slowing the economy to decrease global warming Henry believes were taken out of context. He is far more generous to Clinton than he was to McCain whom he ridiculed in a recent post at Babalú for his embrace of economic disincentives to combat the phantom of global warming. Lest anyone should think that Henry approves of Clinton personally, he labels the former president the "Philanderer in Chief." Frankly, I think a man who is married to a lesbian and is not himself gay is entitled to a sexual outlet whether president or not. I find Newt Gingrich's own sexual hijinks more disgusting and inexcusable.

If Bill is a "philanderer" what shall we call Newt? I can think of no English word but canalla would fit him very well in Spanish. This wretch of a man asked his cancer-stricken wife for a divorce at the hospital so that he could marry his mistress whom he was two-timing with another hussy while calling for Clinton's impeachment for moral turpitude. Clinton may be no saint but he will not be in Gingrich's circle in hell, not for his sexual escapades, at least.

If Henry wishes to judge the skills of politicians by their bedroom antics — which he is certainly entitled to do — he should at least demand from his friends a higher standard of conduct than he condemns in his enemies.

Notable & Puerile: "It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To"

"This obsession with illegal alien workers is something I truly don't understand. Perhaps it's that I don't want to believe that America is as xenophobic as ever."

"I will not vote in an election that features Hillary Clinton vs. John McCain. If we're destined to have liberal policies then we might as well have the real McCoy in there so we can blame them when the shit hits the fan. [...] John McCain can not win in November. You can't beat liberals by parroting them. Sorry. Carter ruined the country and Reagan rebuilt it. Clinton was on his way to destroying it and Gingrich prevented it. We need to take our medicine every now and then."
Henry Gómez, Cuban-American Pundits, January 29, 2008

Xenophobia, America's oldest political tradition, was pretty much dormant for 50 years (1945-1995) before it was reintroduced into American political culture by Newt Gingrich, the very man that Henry Gómez credits with saving the Republic from the Clintons and vindicating the principles of Ronald Reagan. Except that Reagan was cosmopolitan not xenophobic, and looked on America as a land of ever renewable opportunity rather than as a besieged and dying idea that must be walled and sequestered to preserve the genomes that made it great.

Gingrich and his ilk (and you can count all the Republican candidates, current and past) have transformed the GOP into the new "Know-Nothing Party" and made Hispanics the new Irish if not the new blacks. Mitt Romney, the last candidate to win Henry's (begrudging) support — after Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson dropped out — was endorsed by Tom Tancredo as the candidate most representative of his own millenarian-xenophobic views. Yet Henry was willing to support Romney because he was the last "true conservative" in the race. His performance at last night's debate in California, when he reaffirmed his commitment to throw out 18 million undocumented workers in 90 days, which would wreak greater havoc on this country than 10 Iraq Wars, must have alarmed Henry the anti-xenophobe while it simultaneously elated Henry the conservative zealot who wants (or wanted) to win in 2008.

Of course, these two self-negating personalities cannot co-exist in one individual without ultimately paralyzing him, and this, in effect, has happened to Henry, the self-proclaimed "political animal" since the age of 5. He declares that he will sit out this election and hopes that Hillary or Obama wins so that the counter-reaction to them will bring back real Republicans in 2012. How pragmatic of him! But what of Cuba? Can it endure Henry's four years of real politik? In that time the Democrats will ensure the survival of Castroism by becoming Cuba's new economic sponsors just in time to replace the depleted Hugo Chávez and save Cuba from becoming a Venezuelan province by re-colonizing it themselves as Castro's partners in the exploitation of the Cuban people. And even Newt Gingrich – should be manage to resurrect his political career in 2012 — won't be able to do a thing about it. In fact, he won't want to do anything so long as Castro or his heirs can keep his people walled-up and sequestered.

Henry's eclectic politics, inconsistencies and tactics from Machiavelli 101 have done at least as much damage to Babalú's reputation — such as it is — as Val Prieto's repeated tolling of the bells for Fidel Castro. If we really believed that Babalú has as much influence and outreach as its editors contend, we would be seriously concerned that others might presume that all Cuban exiles are as maniacal, contradictory and irrational as Henry Gómez.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Giuliani Got What He Deserved In Florida

Rudy Giuliani put all his eggs in one basket, the basket was Florida and the eggs were Cuban-Americans. In his case it would have been wiser if he had filled the basket with Republican admirers of Janet Reno, that is, the anti-Cuban voters, a bloc at least as sizable in Florida as the Cubans. Unlike Cuban-Americans, who were featured in every story about the Florida vote, Cuban-haters were never mentioned although they are as much one-issue voters as Cuban exiles are reputed to be. Rudy's credentials as a persecutor of Cubans far exceeded those of the other candidates, whose xenophobia was generalized and, in some cases, even provided for exemptions for Cuban-Americans. Giuliani was anti-Cuban when Janet Reno was still wiping our collective arse.

As Assistant Attorney General in the Reagan administration, he was put in charge of the "clean-up" after the Mariel exodus and did his job with so much enthusiam that he even had to be called to task by the president for his ruthlessness. First, he ordered a freeze on all Cuban visas: 23,000 Cubans who had already been approved for admission to the U.S., including 1500 political prisoners and their families, were left stranded in Cuba. He refused to recognize the legal status granted to the Mariel refugees under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 and kept them all in legal limbo for several years while he decided which to deport to Communist Cuba. If most had not already been processed by the time Carter left office he would probably have tried to deport them all.

Giuliani set up a special camp for social "undesirables" who were not criminals: these included unwed mothers and their children, the physically handicapped, the mentally defective and homosexuals. The so-called common criminals which Castro infiltrated into the boatlift, which numbered no more than 2000 out of a total of 135,000, Giuliani wanted to deport en masse without reviewing their individual cases. What is considered a "crime" in Cuba is not necessarily a crime here. For example, eating a steak in Cuba is considered theft of state property punishable by 10 years imprisonment, since all cattle in Cuba are owned by the state and Castro does not allocate any beef to the Cuban people. There is very little activity in Cuba that Castro has not criminalized in some form or another; in fact, Castro has so ordained it that all Cubans are "criminals" under Cuban law and can at any moment be transferred from the "big house" to the "little house." This did not matter to Giuliani who shared Castro's penchant for criminalizing as much human activity as possible.

Very few Cuban-Americans at the time objected to Giuliani's draconian treatment of their compatriots because they were emotionally-crippled, indeed, paralyzed, by the national smear-campaign which was unleashed against them by both government and media. We had always been the model "immigrants," the "most successful immigrants in the history of this nation of immigrants," as George Gilder called us. Overnight and everywhere we were portrayed as a social scourge, the new mafia, the flotsam of a corrupt and irredeemable society whose Augean stables Castro was right to have flushed out.

In such a hostile climate, which was fostered as much by Rudolph Giuliani as by Brian de Palma (did these Italian-Americans have a vested interest in portraying Cubans as the new mafiosi in order to whitewash their own image?), there was little Cubans could do but try to ride out the wave of ethnic hate which engulfed the entire nation for the first time since the 1930s. It was then that Newt Gingrich, a college history professor, realized that xenophobia was still as powerful a demon in the American psyche as it had ever been and decided to reintroduce it into the American political culture through the "Contract (On) America," which excluded even legal immigrants from the social contract. Gingrich was the agent but Giuliani the catalyst for the rebirth of xenophobia in this country.

It was Giuliani also who, in 1981, in clear violation of the law — for the Cuban Adjustment Act is the law of the land, then as now — deported for the first time since 1959 a Cuban refugee to Communist Cuba. He was not a Mariel refugee, but, rather, a Cuban who had hidden in a cargo container aboard a freighter. This was 15 years before the implementation by presidential fiat, contrary to existing law and precedent, of the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy by President Clinton. There is even a connection between Clinton and Giuliani and her name is Doris Meissner. She was Giuliani's protegé at the Justice Department during the Reagan administration. Although Meissner was a Democrat, Giuliani sponsored her for acting director of INS, and when she was replaced by a Reagan appointee, secured for her the #3 spot in the department. It was Meissner, appointed director in her own right by Clinton, who oversaw the implementation of the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy and the kidnapping at gunpoint and forcible return of Elián González to Cuba.

Giuliani was not through with us when he left the Justice Department to become U.S. Attorney in New York. He made a name for himself in his future fiefdom by prosecuting Omega-7, the anti-Castro resistance group. It is interesting that in a city where the IRA and its "civilian leaders" were inviolate, feted at Gracie Mansion and not just on St. Patrick's Day, Giuliani should have aimed his guns at the Cuban group, which, unlike the IRA, had never been responsible for the death of even one innocent bystander. Of course, criminal prosecution comes with the territory if you are going to wage a war of liberation from American soil against American interests.

What Giuliani did, however, went much beyond the limits of his authority or the law. He essentially set up a star chambre along the lines of the House Un-American Activities Committee 30 years earlier except that he was fishing for anti-communists rather than Communists. Many Cubans with no connection to Omega-7were sent to jail because they refused to "name names" before grand juries. Using Omega-7 as a pretext Giuliani inflicted greater damage to anti-Castro organizations in the U.S. than Castro's agents and infiltrators, who worked in close collaboration with Giuliani, ever managed to do by themselves. Again it was Giuliani's cultivation of Castro's moles in the prosecution of Omega-7 which provided the precedent for the FBI to use Castro double-agent Juan Pablo Roque to infiltate the "Brothers to the Rescue" organization nearly 20 years later, which resulted in the murder of four Cuban-American pilots in international waters at Castro's orders with the coordinates provided by FBI informant Roque.

Later, as mayor of New York, Giuliani would undergo a Pauline conversion and become a vocal critic of Castro and friend (?) of Cuban exiles. He even renamed the street in front of the U.N. Cuban Mission in honor of the "Brothers to the Rescue." A guilty conscience, perhaps. Political opportunism, more likely.

He came to Miami last year to reap the rewards of his trajectory of 30 years. And he did, yesterday.

Of course, this is not the end for Giuliani. He's already on the McCain bandwagon and will go as far as it does. Personally, I would favor his appointment as War Czar in Iraq. Granted, Giuliani was studying for the priesthood, or something, during the Vietnam War, before he married his cousin and forgot his vocation. But some men, even without military experience, are born to lay waste to lands and annihilate populations. I believe that Rudolph Giuliani is such a man. Really, I would support Giuliani for any position but Attorney General, because Cuba is about to implode and the last man to deal with that situation is our "friend" Giuliani.


John Edwards dropped out of the Democratic race today. We never noticed him and now we are glad we didn't. Will the last WASP male to leave the Democratic Party please turn off the lights.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Best Choice in the Florida Primaries Today

The Democrats are fortunate in Florida; they can choose between two candidates (and an also-ran) and have it count for nothing in the end. The Republicans are only half as lucky, though they have made that half indivisible, which means that they will anoint one and only one candidate with their halved votes.

In the Republican primary, some are bad and some are worse, but none is good. For the cause of a free Cuba, which is the only cause that concerns us, the best that could be hoped for regardless of who wins is to maintain the (still unacceptable) status quo. I don't think that any of the Republican candidates will do even that. Their unanimous refusal to say anything concrete about their future Cuba policy, limiting themselves, instead, to the same rhetorical commonplaces that are no longer just stale but putrid, indicates that their real agenda is immediate and complete appeasement.

My advice to Cuban-Americans in Florida is to boycott this election which offers us no choice but to become complicit in assuring the survival of Castroism in a post-Castro Cuba.

The best choice when there is no choice is no choice.

Monday, January 28, 2008

On the 155th Anniversary of José Martí's Birth

Today marks the 155th anniversary of the birth of José Martí (1853-1895), Cuba's national hero and greatest literary figure. It is also the 50th time that we are compelled to commemorate this ocassion with Cuba under the rule of Fidel Castro, whose capacity for evil is certainly as great as Martí's capacity for good. It was our failure as a people to heed the humanistic lessons that Martí taught us which led to our country's perdition. Perhaps the merciless lessons of his antithesis will teach us what to avoid in the future. It was Martí who said that we must work with men as they are and not as we would wish them to be. We sought perfection in our leaders and condemned them for our own failings. Finally we elevated one to ultimate power who was indifferent to our disapproval or disdain. Martí idolized his people and attributed to us virtues that we perhaps did not possess; but Castro despised, vilified and degraded us till we acclaimed his vices as virtues and embraced them ourselves. Evil, of course, has no more certain a lease on men's affections than good. When the yoke of tyranny is finally loosened and dissolved, our people will thrive under freedom at least as heroically as they endured tyranny. Martí's writings will be read, understood and assimilated; and the great work of national redemption which he began will at last be complete and his faith in us and hopes for us fulfilled. May we all live to see that glorious day.

If You've Seen a Mount of Sea Foam

If you've seen a mount of sea foam,
It is my verse you have seen:
My verse a mountain has been
And a feathered fan become.

My verse is like a dagger
At whose hilt a flower grows:
My verse is a fount which flows
With a sparkling coral water.

My verse is a gentle green
And also a flaming red:
My verse is a deer wounded
Seeking forest cover unseen.

My verse is brief and sincere,
And to the brave will appeal:
With all the strength of the steel
With which the sword will appear.

A Selection of Quotations by José Martí (Translated from the Spanish)

Martí the Blogger

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Notable & Quotable: JFK Jr. Endorses the Clintons Posthumously

"I wanted you both to understand how much your burgeoning friendship with my mother meant to her. Since she left Washington I believe she resisted ever connecting with it emotionally or [with] the institutional demands of being a former First Lady. It had much to do with the memories stirred and her desires to resist being cast in a lifelong role that didn't quite fit. However, she seemed profoundly happy and relieved to allow herself to reconnect with it through you. It helped her in a profound way — whether it was discussing the perils of raising children in those circumstances or perhaps it was the many similarities between your presidency and my father's". — John F. Kennedy, Jr., Letter to Bill and Hillary Clinton, May 30, 1994 (2 weeks after his mother's death)

It wasn't difficult to find this. JFK, Jr. didn't write much. But at least his words were his own.

Caroline Kennedy Anointed Al Gore As JFK's Successor in 2000

Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama has been commented upon by virtually every blog in the nation. One would think that her father himself dictated it to her by means of a ouija board. It is, in fact, nothing more than the opinion of one individual. Except for her father's hagiographers her opinion would have no more weight in this race than Amy Carter's. But not all the presidents' children are created equal. For some reason Onassis-heiress Caroline, who has done nothing noteworthy in her life except sell all of the her parent's keepsakes at public auction from her mother's wedding ring to her father's rocking chair, is regarded by many Democrats as their party's Holy Grail. They would have elevated her late brother to the White House on the basis of his "Y" chromosome even if he failed the bar exam a dozen times. As JFK's sole surviving daughter she doesn't meet the requirements of the Salic law of succession, but is nonetheless a powerful Roman matron who has the power to anoint future presidents, or so she and Democratic operatives seem to believe. This time around her conceit is actually being taken seriously by those in a position to effect the change she wants.

Someone said (actually it was a blogger who ordinarily writes about working terriers) that "Caroline Kennedy has never said this before. It is the kind of thing that you say only once in your life." But not if you are Caroline Kennedy. In 2000, she endorsed Al Gore with just as much canned passion and I would say enthusiasm if you take into consideration that it was Al Gore she was endorsing:

"I know that when my brother, John, and I were growing up, hardly a day went by when someone didn’t come up to us and say, "your father changed my life. I went into public service because he asked me. I take great pride in knowing that one of those that he inspired to enter public service is the next vice president of the United States, Joe Lieberman."Endorsement Speech for Al Gore at the 2000 Democratic Convention

"Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama." Endorsement of Barack Obama in The New York Times, January 27, 2008


"I was lucky enough to grow up in a world where adults taught by example. They dreamed impossible dreams, yet they fought hard each day to make those dreams come true. They taught us the importance of faith and family and how those values must be woven together into lives of purpose and meaning. That is what my husband Ed and I want for our three children. That is what Al and Tipper Gore want for their children." — Gore in 2000

"I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility."Obama in 2008

Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's speech in support of Al Gore was aired in prime time and is remembered, if at all, because she revealed in it that Al Gore's parents had played matchmakers to her parents. In a way, JFK played matchmaker to Obama's parents, since as senator he drafted the legislation that brought Kenyan exchange students to the U.S., including Obama Sr., who met Barack's mother at the University of Hawaii. Caroline's father would no doubt be surprised that his organic heir and continuator is Obama Jr. (or leastwise his second organic heir and continuator).

Just Like Her Daddy and Worse

The Princess Royal of the Kennedy clan, who has herself accomplished nothing in life except being born to wealth and privilege, has draped her father's moth-eaten cloak on Barack Obama, who, in her father's White House, would have been a footman or cook. Say what you will about Obama, he got there himself without the benefit of a rich daddy or corrupt political machine. He may be more unprepared to be president and more disastrous for this country (and my country) than was JFK, but we hope, at least, that he will be impervious to "love notes" from middle-aged political camp followers who are still trying to be influential without ever being relevant.


Tomorrow the black sheep of the family, Sen. Ted Kennedy, will follow in his niece Caroline's footsteps and endorse Obama at American University. It is still possible that some Kennedy cousin might endorse Hillary; perhaps the other murderer or the rapist.

Barack Obama: The Future Is the Past

"¡Gracias, Michelle!"

In what must be a new height of self-importance even for him, George Moneo devotes a long post at Babalú to thanking a local newscaster for returning his lost cellphone to him. Does George wish to impress his readers with the fact that he owns a cellphone? Shops at a "little expensive" supermarket? Buys catfish and andouille sausage (and can spell same?). Eats sushi at Sushi Maki? Met Michelle Gillen? Who knows? Who cares? No Cuban angle. Faint human interest. Great personal indulgence. And Cuba? ¿Cuba que llora? No room for it on georgeslist, also known as Babalú blog.


Babalú continues its descent into greater and greater irrelevancy. Alberto Cruz, whose eloquent and well-reasoned posts have little in common with Moneo's, has now rivalled his self-indulgence by posting on a Chocolate Festival at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Babalú Shoots Down Another Comment

Saturday is always a slow day at Babalú as at most blogs, which affords its editors an opportunity to delete comments with a freer hand because (virtually) no one is watching. As we all know, Babalú deletes comments for content. I don't know if they realize just how bad this makes them look. Not just because it shows them to be despotic and noncollegial (after all, they do invite comments); but because it leaves the impression that the commenter stumped them with his powerful logic and they had no recourse but to make his words disappear because they could not refute them. This is in fact rarely the case. Most of the comments that Babalú deletes are stupid and easily refuted, as was this one. One of their longtime commenters, Doorgunner, blew this "Thomas Jefferson Martí" out of the water with his compelling evidence that the "Brothers to the Rescue" plane had indeed been in international water when it was shot down at Castro's orders. Doorgunner disposed of TJM's tedious verbiage with a few well-chosen facts. It was masterful but meaningless, because by deleting TJM's comment they also decapitated Doorgunner's rebuttal.

What is most remarkable, however, is that Henry's original post was dedicated to justifying the inclusion of pro-Castro spokesmen (and Castro himself) in Shoot Down, the controversial documentary about the aerial murder of the four "Brothers to the Rescue" pilots. As Henry writes in his review of Shoot Down, "I think I need to address some criticisms of the film. This film is a serious attempt to look at a controversial event in the contentious history between the U.S. and fidel castro. This is not a piece of propaganda like the so-called documentaries by Michael Moore. As such, Khuly [Kholy?] included interviews and excerpts of interviews with people that perhaps some of us don't like to listen to. Such people include castro himself, castro-apologist Saul Landau and former Clinton staffer Richard Nuccio. I think its unfair though to criticize the film simply for including people whose opinions the viewer might disagree with."

So Henry believes that the film's producer was right to present the other side in her documentary, though it contributes nothing to the film but lies and imposes on it the responsibility of refuting those lies. Nevertheless, Henry asserts, the documentary is more credible because it is not one-sided like Michael Moore's opus. Moreover, Henry believes that it is "unfair" to criticize the film because it allots a third or half its time to justifying, in effect, that monstrous and inexcusable crime.

But what is good and commendable in Ms. Khuly (Kholy?) is not acceptable at Babalú. There conflicting opinions are not welcome and will be excised according to the caprices of its editors. This need to control not merely what is written in the posts but what their commenters observe in the corresponding threads, so that no head sticks out higher than their own and no opinion contradicts their received knowledge, is totalitarian in conception and execution, and betrays a lack of confidence in their ability to defend their positions at least as effectively as their critics maintain theirs.

Read the comment that they chose to delete: what a pitiful and intellectually bankrupt utterence; how transparent it is in the worst sense; and how easy to ignore because its shallowness leaves no impression. But Babalú does not ignore it. Nor does it refute it (as Doorgunner did). It simply erases it. If it were possible to erase our enemies, Cuba would have been free long ago. But we must engage our enemies, not pretend that they don't exist. A decent respect for the intellect of one's audience, also, precludes the necessity of "protecting" them from the tendentious nonsense of idiots.

Here is the execrable thing and Doorgunner's refutation. Judge for yourselves (here at RCAB we actually let you do that):

I am looking forward to seeing the movie as well and draw my own conclusions. But what I do know is:

1. The planes were shot down by the Cuban government.

2. There is a dispute whether it occurred in international airspace. But the actions of our government suggest it did not occur in international waters. This I do know. If the planes were shot down in international waters the United States would have been in its rights to retaliate and perceive the shoot down as a provocation to the national security of the U.S. Deliberate shoot down of civilian aircraft in international airspace = provocation and act of war against the nation those aircraft are registered to. The U.S. did not respond militarily. Thus, that would support my hypothesis.

3. Those planes started the whole problem by flying into Cuba unauthorized and dropping leaflets to incite rebellion to begin with. That is a violation of international law and a highly provocative act. The U.S. did not act to stop these flights. Did Cuba warn the U.S. they would take military action against these aircrat? Those pilots should have known their lives were in danger from the get go. When we sent spy planes that were shot down, ie. Soviet Union - Gary Powers, or caught and disabled - U.S. China spy plane incident April 2001, those pilots and crew lives were always at risk.

4. Regarding whether or not to "engage". Diplomacy 101, Foreign Policy Foundations - You engage your adversaries and enemies to find solutions to disputes and avoid war.

5. There is a conspiracy theory that the shoot downs occurred in a mutuality of sorts - everyone got what they wanted. President Clinton was going to veto Helms Burton. The shoot down reversed Clinton's position. The hard line community in FL wanted to stop reapproachement and they got what they wanted. Clinton got Florida in the 1996 election. Castro also had to know that the shoot down would stop the developing reapproachement, playing into his plans to stop the progress. Castro needs the embargo and all the hostility to justify his police state. So this tragic incident served the needs of all the parties.
Posted by: Thomas Jefferson Marti at January 26, 2008 01:26 PM

As found by the UN's ICAO (hardly a right wing org) the ambush occurred in int. waters as verified by radar trancripts and eye witnesses' accounts, all that was again established at a civil court of law in addition to several Cuban officials indicted for the criminal activity of murder conspiracy, period. It was an act of war on the US by a an enemy power never responded to in kind because we had a government sympathetic to our enemy.
Posted by: Doorgunner at January 26, 2008 01:58 PM

The Republicans Snub the Cuban-American National Foundation

The Cuban-American National Foundation is not what it used to be. Maybe it never was. But everybody knows that already, and if one has any doubts then its use of "migrants" to describe Cuban refugees on its website should dispel all illusions. It seems, ironically, that only Democratic politicians still take CANF seriously, having believed from the first every calumny that was ever levelled against it in its heyday, they still see it as the "black hand" of the exile community and accord it more importance than it retains. The Republicans don't see it as a menace or an asset. They either know better or take the support of Cuban exiles for granted and need no intermediary.

The CANF sent the presidential candidates a survey with 15 specific questions on various aspects of U.S.-Cuba relations, such as the trade embargo and the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy. The only candidates to actually answer the questionnaire were Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. None of the Republican candidates did. Instead, they submitted canned statements on Cuba which avoided answering any of the questions in the questionnaire, which is a feat that defies the rule of probabilities but which, nonetheless, every Republican candidate managed to pull off (including those who ignored the survey).

We can only assume that their positions are more liberal than Hillary's, whose only unacceptable response was her support for the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy (which all candidates share in common). This is frightening. Hillary Clinton, at least on paper, is more supportive of la causa than her Republican opponents! Of course, paper will hold anything and her positions may well change for the worse after the election. In fact, I'll bet on it. Still, I find it amazing that the Republicans no longer feel the need to cater to us, or, if you will, lie to us in order to secure our support. They are clearly saying that they know what is best for Cuba and feel no compulsion to share their "vision" with us. This is more than disrespect; it is disregard.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mitt Romney's Ten Biggest Gaffes

Time Magazine has collected "Mitt Romney's Top Ten Gaffes." You will find there, of course, what may possibly be the greatest gaffe not only of Romney's career but in the history of American politics since "Rum, Romanism and Rebellion:" Romney's enthusiastic rendition of Fidel Castro's meme "¡Patria o Muerte. Venceremos!" before an audience of Cuban-American Republicans at the annual Lincoln-Martí dinner last year.

But there are others almost as bad. When asked on Fox News what was his favorite book, Romney replied L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth, the "Book of Mormon" of the Scientologists. Romney no doubt meant to say the Book of Mormon but checked himself. His alternate choice, however, was hardly an improvement and rather betrayed than concealed his real choice. He later claimed that "Huck Finn" was really his favorite book. Perhaps he was thinking of Mark Twain's classic debunking of the Book of Mormon.

Then there was the time that Romney denounced the French for supposedly instituting a contractual 7-year marriage, at the expiration of which the "contract" could be terminated by either party. The problem is that the French never adopted such a marriage policy; infidelity works just fine for them. It turns out that 7-year marriage contracts were the brainchild of Mormon science fiction writer Orson Scott Card, author of the Memories of the Earth series. Romney's fascination with science fiction can be traced to the Book of Mormon itself, which some claim is the first work of science fiction, where God lives on his own planet and all good Mormons can aspire to become Gods themselves and inhabit their own planets too.

On another occasion Romney praised Adolph Hitler's scientific achievements, specifically, his use of liquified coal as an alternative energy resource, and recommended its reintroduction ("the technology is still there") as the solution for rising oil prices. As the New York Sun noted at the time, "you wouldn't think that anyone running for president would have to be told, 'Don't mention Hitler in a positive light." Of course, they just didn't get it. What are you going to use to power all the millions of spaceships that the deified Mormons will need to reach their individual planets? Surely it must be something canonical like the "holy coal" that Mormon founder Joseph Smith once peddled in his New England youth.

There is more: The time that Romney claimed to be a "big game hunter" for "pretty much all his life." Later he was forced to admit that he had only hunted "small varmints, like rats and rabbits" and that "all his life" actually meant on two occasions. Or the time that he dismissed his wife's $100 donation to Planned Parenthood by asserting that "Her positions are not terribly relevant to my campaign." (Would that Hillary could say the same about her spouse).

There are a lot more at:,28804,1621231_1621230_1621198,00.html

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Notable and Sycophantic: Bush Did It Because He Loves Us

"Well [Bush] certainly has said more about Cuba with nothing to gain from saying it than any other president.Henry "Economist" Gomez, "President Bush Meets Biscet's Wife" (comment), Babalú, January 24, 2008

I guess the presidency of the United States wasn't reward enough for his words, words, words.


On the same thread, George "Please Notice Me" Moneo asks abajofidel (fantomas) if his initials are M.A.T., "'cause you are sure the same kind of negative a--hole, never a positive thing to contribute..."

Except the truth.

I predicted long ago that Babalú would eventually excommunicate fantomas because he does not worship at the burning Bush. It appears that the recent torrent of abuse aimed at him from all quarters has that object. Fantomas, however, is not that easy to intimidate and his persistence is more than a match for their abuse.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Henry Muses

"[T]oday I'm doing two things that I believe are in the best interests of this cause, and that cause is, of course, a secure America. I am withdrawing from the race and I'm endorsing Governor Romney for president of the United States... At this point in time, he is the best hope for our cause."Tom Tancredo, December 20, 2008

It seems that Henry Gómez, Babalú's political commissar, is not quite ready yet to formally endorse his #2 choice for president (now, by default, his #1). Of course, we can't actually imagine anyone being gung-ho about endorsing Mitt Romney except Tom Tancredo, who annointed the Bay State's preeminent xenophobe as his political heir last month immediately upon withdrawing from the race himself. Maybe Henry is waiting to find something good to say about Romney. Or, perhaps, this "political animal" since the age of 5 is waiting for Fred ("Godhead") Thompson to offer some clue as to whom he will endorse (if anybody). Now, wouldn't it be grand if Thompson endorsed his friend McCain or shook up the race by endorsing the "Huckster?" Then I foresee a dark night of the soul for Henry, which may so transform him that he ends up voting for Ron Paul. Suddenly, the electoral system is fun again thanks to Henry. To see him writhing in the ranks of the Undecided is always a welcome diversion.


Like a thief in the night, Henry has made his decision. Not on Babalú — someone may actually see it there — but on his hugely unread blog Cuban American Pundits. He describes Romney as "the best of the rest" but doesn't explain how. He does say that he will "be voting for Mitt Romney in the Florida Republican primary a week from today," which is a kind of endorsement (or kiss of death, you take your pick). Henry is reserving his passion now for local politics, where he is waging a no holes barred BUCL-like campaign against former Hialeah mayor Raúl Martínez, Lincoln Díaz-Balart's Democratic challenger.

Val Prieto Receives an Invitation from Archbishop Theodore McCarrick

Val Prieto has received a personal invitation from Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington, D.C., to attend a Memorial Mass in honor of Venezuelan Cardinal Rosalio Castillo Lara, who is described in the letter as "an outspoken critic of the Venezuelan regime" and "a very good friend of Archbishop McCarrick." Well, it is indeed a catholic church if Cardinal McCarrick and Cardinal Castillo Lara could be on opposite sides of the political spectrum and still be "very good friends."

McCarrick has been a lifelong apologist for the Castro regime and inveterate enemy of the trade embargo and all sanctions on Cuba. Before being appointed archbishop of Washington, D.C., McCarrick was in charge of the Newark (N.J.) Archdiocese, which includes Hudson County, then home to 200,000 Cuban exiles (the largest exile population outside Miami). Showing little sympathy for Castro's victims or Cuban-American priests, McCarrick devoted most of his time to making trips to Cuba to promote "ecumenicalism," and every visit, of course, included a news conference to denounce the U.S. for its "inhuman blockade."

In fact, his advocacy for Castro is what McCarrick is best known for besides something else which should make Val very wary to accept much less publicize the archbishop's private invitation:

Notable & Still Unforgettable: Pope John Paul II Praises Che Guevara

This week marks the 10th anniversary of John Paul II's visit to Cuba. I wrote many thousands of words on his visit at the time, and were I to go back and review them, I am sure that many of my impressions then are still of some relevance today. But what I remember most clearly were the few words that the pope devoted to Che Guevara. They proved to me, at least, that John Paul II was no saint and not much of a student of history either.

From the Osservatore Romano, Spanish edition, 30 January 1998, p. 6:

"Otra periodista le preguntó [al papa], también en castellano, por su pensamiento sobre Che Guevara, un protagonista de la historia reciente de Cuba, a lo que su Santidad contestó: 'Ahora se halla ante el Tribunal de Dios. Dejemos a nuestro Señor el juicio sobre sus méritos. Ciertamente, estoy convencido que quería servir a los pobres.'"

"A journalist asked [the pope], also in Spanish, his thoughts on Che Guevara, a protagonist in recent Cuban history, to which His Holiness replied: 'He is now before God's Tribunal. Let's let our Lord judge his merits. I am certain that he wanted to serve the poor.'"

Is There a Mole On Granma?

Is there a mole on Granma's editorial staff?

What leads me to that conjecture?

Study this cartoon in today's edition of Granma. What does it say to you?

This is what it says to me: A superannuated rebel, in full regalia, including rifle, is casting his "vote." He looks a lot like Fidel would look if he could still eat solid food: old but fornido. Note that he is the only one voting. No one else in sight. Nor does it appear that there is much room for anybody else on the diminutive rock on which he stands, which is supposed to represent Cuba, a land big enough for just one man, one voice, one vote. The old rebel is pointing over his shoulder at the Florida peninsula, where the Republicans and Democrats are engaged in partisan politics, loudly and vehemently going at each other. Obviously, Raúl must be wrong when he said recently that there is not a whit's difference between both American political parties. The old rebel hails the "unity" of Cubans while scoffing at the "rebelliousness" of Americans. Weren't the Castroites suppose to be the rebels and the Americans the ones united in conformity?

See what else you can read into this cartoon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good-bye, Fred

We wasted a lot of time and words on you, but at least did not squander any political or emotional capital, or any other kind of capital. Those who did can now start sucking up to Mitt Romney in the hope that Tom Tancredo's boy, the Mexican anchor baby who hates Mexicans, will find a place for Thompson in his crusade for nativist purity.

Still waiting for Henry to shake off the sackcloth and ashes and officially endorse his #2.

Happy Birthday, Val

It's "El Jefe Day" at Babalú. Today 43 winters ago Val Prieto was born. With the passage of time I have come to regard Val as the benefactor who provided the occasion I needed to start my own blog. Praise would not have done it, for I received enough of that from other quarters and it never moved me to become a blogger. My eviction from Babalú for violating Val's injunction against criticizing the Estefans did the trick because it convinced me that it was impossible to open minds that were not only closed to reason but hostile to it.

If we rightly examine our lives we will all discover that not only those who wish us well have positively impacted them but also those who sought to harm us, for many who aim to kill miss their mark and rather warn us of danger than inflict it. It was so with Val. Only after I was booted from Babalú did I realize in its full dimensions the danger it posed to civil discourse and the terrible account it gave of Cuban exiles to the world. But, worst of all, Babalú's disdain for our countrymen on the island and its willingness to sacrifice them to Castro's bloodlust in order to obtain the boon of walking over their corpses on their triumphal return home, made it apparent to me that their schemes must be exposed and thwarted, and so we have endeavored to do over the last year.

The Review of Cuban-American Blogs owes much to Val's misshot arrow, and, on this his birthday, we acknowledge that debt and pledge ourselves to continue paying him dividends for many more years to come.

Happy Birthday, Val.

Notable & Quotable: The Theory of the Pressure Cooker

"T[he] theory of the pressure cooker ... worked wonders in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and North Korea. Everybody got cooked inside it, and it never exploded." Charlie Bravo, "An Old Theme" [The Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy], Killcastro blog, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Notable and Machiavellian: McCain and Henry Agree, Send the Cubans to Hell

"I disagree with McCain on a lot of issues, but to say he is backing the [Wet Foot/Dry Foot] policy based on that statement ['I think the wet-foot, dry-foot thing is a very bad policy, but I just don't know a better one'] seems a little much. I too have said that I don't like the policy but the alternative seems to be to return to the humanitarian crisis of the mid 90s. I know the greek chorus is going to pounce on me for that, but I don't care. I call it like I see it." — Henry "Economist" Gómez, "MacCain Backs Wet-Foot/Dry Foot" (comment), Babalú, January 22, 2008

What the hell is a "humanitarian crisis?" Does it mean that people are in need and we are in a crisis because we don't know how we can humanely turn our backs on them?

McCain's position on the Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy, which is also Henry's — that's why he empathizes with McCain — is the same as saying: "I think hell is a very bad place, but I just don't know a better one for them."

Yep, the humanitarianism just drips from both of them.

As Henry said, they just don't care.


Henry has posted a picture on Babalú of a dozen balseros occupying the surface of something no larger than a door and as easy to spot from land or air as a button, with the caption: "A Reminder." But a reminder of what? That he just agreed on another thread today that McCain is right about there being no alternative but to continue the Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy? A reminder that he regards them as no better than viands for his olla podrida (or should we say, pressure cooker)? A reminder that he is utterly shameless? We need no reminders.

Notable and Haughty: Henry Takes Credit for RCAB

"I've spawned at least two other blogs written by fuckhead critics who didn't like what I wrote."Henry "Economist" Gómez, "The Short Good-bye" [to Fred Thompson], Babalú, January 20, 2008

Henry should learn not to take honors unto himself that are not due him. The catalyst for RCAB was Val Prieto. Only Val's monumental presumption could have prodded me from the sleep of the righteous. Henry is merely the court jest out-of-residence at this blog, funnier than Babalú's founder because Val at least has placed healthy constraints of late on his disordered thinking, while Henry grows more unbalanced and reckless every passing day, and has, indeed, as gringotico asserts, turned Babalú into a political forum for Fred ("Godhead") Thompson, who traces his political lineage to Ronald Reagan, Roy Rogers and Tom Mix — the ideal candidate to appeal to puer aeternus Henry.

It was a treat, of course, to see Henry "engaging" John Longfellow on Ron Paul — mad and madder debating maddest. John (aka "gringotico") is like Bugs Bunny: he can don any disguise, however outrageous, and bumptuous Henry "Elmer" Gómez will fall for it. Time and time again. Longfellow doesn't frequent these precincts because he knows I can spot him a mile away on a foggy day. But Henry and Val, perennial suckers, are God's gift to someone like John. In their exchange Henry even trotted out his famous economics degree from U of F, which is the cherry on top of the brazo gitano.

Three blogs were founded in my honor by the Babalunians and ran concurrently for some time: all are now extinct. For the record, the three blogs were: Cuban- American Misfits Review; Review of the Review of Cuban-American Blogs and The Review of the Review of Cuban American Blogs [there's an added "The" in the latter). I linked them and gave them as much publicity as I could, but I couldn't save them; they died by the weight of their own boorishness. The Review of Cuban-American Blogs has survived its critics and continues to engage them daily, driving them to new and higher flights of insanity.


There was also a fourth blog which I could never decide whether it was a parody of mine or not. It was called RCAB, and its author apparently believed that my RCAB was the official blog of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. He quoted my posts on Review of Cuban-American Blogs as eminating from the Boston Archdiocese. Very strange. At some point he must have realized his mistake and quit.

The Cuban-American Misfits Review: Of Dead Blogs and Other Irrelevancies

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cubans Are Not Even Cubans on Cuban Territory

Uncommon Sense recounts the amazing story of two young Cubans who managed to evade the "no man's land" surrounding Guantánamo Naval Base, filled with millions of explosive devices and booby traps, and then, under tight surveillance and pointed guns, from both sides, penetrated the camp itself and asked for asylum. This they were refused because the U.S. military, wise judges all, no doubt, determined that the Cubans had no reasonable fear of persecution. So sure were they of the good intentions of the Cuban authorities that they did not even endeavor to secure a promise from them that the two Cubans would not be imprisoned for their actions. Arsenio Pérez Domínguez and Adroli Castillo Pérez were promptly charged and convicted (one always follows the other in Cuba) of "social dangerousness" for exercising the right to move freely in their own country. Pérez Domínguez was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and Castillo Pérez to 2.

Two Cuban citizens enter Cuban national territory (for Guantánamo is only leased to the U.S. and has never ceased to be Cuban territory) and are "deported," in effect, from their country to their country. They are imprisoned on the other side of the Naval Base's gates by another set of usurpers (exactly like the Americans because they have taken possession of something which is not theirs) and are sentenced to 2 and 3 years, respectively, for the "crime" of escaping from Cuba to Cuba. It used to be that the Castro regime punished Cubans who tried to cross the island's aquatic borders. Then the U.S. started doing the same thing. And now both are punishing Cubans who never set foot outside the national territory. It's hard to be a Cuban in Cuba.

This story reminds us that our country will not be free and independent until all who occupy it by force and to the detriment of our people are evicted from Cuban soil.

Bacardís for Giuliani

The Bacardís, who bankrolled Castro's Revolution, are now underwriting Giuliani's run for president. I guess that should make us all feel safer voting for Giuliani.

Tonto Says Good-Bye to the Lone Ranger

It's over. Henry's heart still beats in concert with Fred Thompson's, but after his defeat in South Carolina the pragmatist in him has told him that it's time to put sentiment aside and surrender hope: his one-dimensional "American hero" is not going to be the next president of the United States. Henry is "gravely disappointed. Not in him [never in him], but in Republican voters in South Carolina." Yes, the residents of the Palmetto State failed to vote as Henry wanted. Shame on them! Couldn't they have exercised the same "good sense" that they did in 2000 when they chose Bush over McCain?

Henry is now predicting Thompson's withdrawal before Super Tuesday. It will be interesting to see whom Fred Thompson endorses for president. Wouldn't it be a hoot if he endorsed Mike Huckabee? Would Henry feel compelled to subsume his wisdom in Thompson's greater wisdom? Or will he see that the enemy of the balseros differs little from the enemy of anchor babies?

Speaking of anchor babies, Mitt Romney is now Henry's choice for president. He is also Tom Tancredo's choice, who endorsed Romney when he pulled out of the race in December. Rudy "Cubans Are Scum" Giuliani is now Henry's #2. And, yes, he prefers even the non-conservative McCain to the toxic conservative Huckabee (or is "toxic conservative" an oxymoron nowadays?). If Huckabee gets the nomination Henry promises to cast a write-in vote for "Newt Gingrich," the worst of all evils being preferable to the most obnoxious of all evils.

And this is the guy who says he's been a "political animal" since age five? Parents, please buy your kids toys.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Who Is the Biggest Anti-Cuban Xenophobe in the Race? (You'll Be Surprised)

Which presidential candidate, as Assistant Attorney General, personally approved the first deportation in history of a Cuban refugee to Castro's island hell 13 years before the implementation of the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy? (the repatriated Cuban was a stowaway on a freighter, not a "criminal").

Which presidential candidate was put in charge, in 1981, of running the detention camps for the Mariel refugees?

Which presidential candidate refused to release 950 Cuban refugees detained at Fort Chaffee, in Arkansas, who had no criminal record, and, when prodded by the president as to the reason, replied in a June 6, 1982 memo that they had "problems that prevent their release," categorizing them as follows: "250 mentally ill and retarded; 400 anti-social; 100 homosexuals; 100 alcoholics or drug users; 100 women, elderly and handicapped." Imprisoning "anti-social" elements appears to be an anticipation of Castro's own "preventative incarceration" of dissidents for "social dangerousness" except that these captives were to be detained indefinitely.

Which presidential candidate, in charge also of 1050 Cubans jailed in Atlanta who had been labelled "criminals" by the Castro regime, wanted to deport them en masse without reviewing their cases on an individual basis and even went to court to obtain an order to that effect?

Which presidential candidate, charged with overseeing INS operations, refused to allow 23,000 Cubans whose visas were approved by the previous administration to enter the U.S., including 1500 political prisoners and their families?

Which presidential candidate, as Assistant Attorney General, was the first to refer to Cubans fleeing Castro's tyranny as "entrants" rather than refugees?

Which presidential candidate refused for three years (his entire tenure at DOJ) to regularize the immigration status of the Mariel refugees, whom, apparently, he still had hopes of deporting en masse to Cuba?

Which presidential candidate, then in charge of filling vacant positions at the Justice Department, chose Doris Meissner, a holdover from the previous Democratic administration, as Acting Commissioner of INS, which position she held for a year until Reagan appointed his own man to the job; and then, unwilling to lose her services, secured her appointment as Associate Executive Commissioner, the #3 position at INS? Meissner, notoriously hostile to Cuban refugees, oversaw the implementtation of the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy when Clinton appointed her INS Commissioner. It was Meissner, this man's protégé, who orquestrated the kidnapping and deportation of Elián González.

Who is this man, then an Assistant Attorney General in the Reagan administration and now a GOP candidate for president who hopes to revive his flagging campaign in Florida?

The notoriously pro-Castro Village Voice (Nat Hentoff exempted) dedicated its cover story this week ["Rudy's Alien Nation: Much as He Hates to Admit It, Giuliani Loved (Most of) Those Huddled Masses"] to reminding everybody that Rudy Giuliani was once partial to all immigrants except Cuban-Americans. Of course, the Voice has many accounts to settle with the former New York City mayor and is no doubt hoping that by turning Cuban-Americans against him they can secure his defeat in Florida, and, hopefully, his withdrawal from the race in which he was the front runner before the start of the primary season.

Although its motives are as dubious as its disdain for both Giuliani and Cuban exiles is apparent, the fact remains that Giuliani did everything which reporter Wayne Barrett enumerates in his article. It may be hard for Giuliani to transform himself into a xenophobe to conform to the expectations of a majority of Republicans. But, in the case of Cuban exiles, he was a xenophobe before it became popular to be one again, 15 years before even Newt Gingrich.

Something for Cuban-American voters in Florida to consider, certainly.,barrett,78878,2.html

Friday, January 18, 2008

Note to the Cuban Archive Project: There Are No "Common Prisoners" In Cuba's Jails

In Cuba, there is no such thing as a "common prisoner" because due process is not available there to any prisoner and all must therefore be assumed to be innocent, even those labelled "common prisoners" by the regime, until such time as their cases are reviewed, and, if necessary, adjudicated by a de jure state which obeys the Rule of Law. Moreover, it is often the practice of the Castro regime to label as "common criminals" persons whose actions would nowhere else subject them to prosecution or imprisonment.

In a list of Cubans killed "extra-judicially" in 2007 by the regime (that, too, is a misnomer since it supposes the existence of a competent judiciary in Cuba), compiled by the Cuban Archive Project and reproduced in Babalú by rsnlk, one prisoner's death is described thusly:

Manuel Diende Rosa, common prisoner, was reported to have committed suicide by hanging on September 2, 2007 in his punishment cell at the Kilo 7 prison in Camagüey. He was on a hunger strike to demand his rights.

At the very least, Diende Rosa should have been identified as someone "alleged to be a common criminal by Fidel Castro's outlaw regime," or, better yet, his patriotic conduct and martyrdom should not have been sullied by any reference to what his verdugos claimed he was.

Laudable as is the work of the Cuban Archive Project, it should be more careful not to create extraneous distinctions betweens Cuban prisoners or Cubans in general. This is precisely what the regime would want and what they should avoid doing.

Cuba's Political Prisoners: Forgetfulness Is Never Acceptable

Henry Defeats Evolution

Henry Gómez's evolution is over. It lasted less time than the sloth's and leaves him similarly situated — upside down, that is. We first perceived that things were not going right in his metamorphosis when he announced that Mitt Romney was his #2 choice for president after Fred ("Godhead") Thompson. Henry's #2 is Tom Tancredo's #1. But now Henry threatens that if Mike Huckabee is the GOP candidate he will write-in "Newt Gingrich" on the ballot in November. Gingrich is the original xenophobe. Worse than Huckabee, Romney, Thompson or even Tancredo, who are all xenophobes in utero compared to him.

So Newt is Henry's dream candidate? I predicted it last year. Many times.

Henry Gómez Crushed: Newt Gingrich Will Not Run in 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Miami New Times "Honors" the Bay of Pigs Veterans

Perhaps because they are used to so very little in the way of praise or just common civility from the local media, the Babalunians, and especially Val, go into paroxysms of joy when even the smallest crumb of recognition is thrust at any Cuban(s). Today he recommended as "excellent" and "a must read" Janine Zeitlin's "Bay of Pigs Vets Fight for Home" in this week's Miami New Times. The article is far from excellent. The author has a misguided idea of the Brigade 2506's place in history. She knows that they were betrayed by the U.S. government but also believes they were betrayed by "their country," as if the hopes and prayers of their countrymen were not entirely with them from the moment of their landing. Kennedy betrayed the hopes of both the freedom fighters and the Cuban people. The traitors who benefitted by Kennedy's betrayal of the Brigade 2506 did not represent the "Cuban people" but the negation of cubanidad, national sovereignty and independence. Castro's cohorts were the "anti-freedom fighters" who prevailed because the freedom fighters were not allowed to succeed.

Zeitlan writes that the men of Brigade 2506 hope their efforts will "be known worldwide as more than a botched attempt by homesick immigrants and American mercenaries." Not "a botched attempt by homesick immigrants[?]" but "botched," certainly, by Kennedy and his "best and brightest" who regarded deniability as more important than victory, and halted the invasion, reneging on the promised aircover and cutting off resupply lines, not because the Brigade 2506 was losing [in fact, they dealt 30 times as many casualties as they sustained in 3 days of fighting] but because Kennedy feared that he would lose face and popularity if American involvement in this American-enterprise were discovered. Ironically, Kennedy's disastrous conduct earned him the highest approval rating of any U.S. president in history. The only Americans who didn't betray the freedom fighters were the handful who fought beside them for Cuba's freedom, the men whom Zeitlan calls "mercenaries."

This article does prove that a Bay of Pigs Museum, in Miami, is desperately needed to combat the disinformation which still lingers about the mission of the Brigade 2506. Kennedy himself fostered that disinformation and his acolytes perpetuated it. It is time that the truth was known and commemorated.

See also:

The "Fiasco" that Wasn't a Fiasco
The Bay of Pigs Museum on Biscayne Bay
Arthur M. Schlesinger: The Devil in Mr. Kennedy

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Continuing Saga of Mitt Romney, Mexican Anchor Baby

Courtesy of an Anonymous commenter on Salon, where I have lately been sparring, here is the story of Mitt Romney's Mexican cousins, who returned to Chihuahua after the 1910 Revolution and continue there to this day. These are the black — or , at least brown — sheep of the Romney family, though entirely honorable and proud of their Mormon and Mexican heritage, unlike the anchor baby who's running for president and away from his past:
See also:

Henry the Backslider: Still Warming the Pressure Cooker

"Would this [Hukabee's proposal to ban immigrants from terrorist states, such as Cuba] then possibly stoke a fire under some who would not have the recourse to escape and [would] then be forced to make a change? [...]pototo, "Huckabee to Suspend Immigration from Cuba" (comment), Babalú, January 16, 2008


You are right, there might be some benefit to a moratorium on immigration from Cuba under the scenario you describe" [...]
Henry Gómez, Ibid

I was hopeful that Henry Gómez's recent evolution was irreversible and permanent. My hopes have been defrauded. It seems that Henry still has his little pressure cooker into which he proposes to stuff all the island's inhabitants. He is not as bad as pototo, however, who fantasizes with stoking a fire under them, or Val who has said that he literally wants the streets of Cuba to be awashed with the blood of dissidents, as if we needed more martyrs for martyrdom's sake. Confronting Castro's military is not like going down at lunch time to gawk at the CodePinkos although being caught in their "pressure cookers" would be no picnic.

See also:

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

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Salon Coddles the Tyrant Fidel Castro and Defames Cuba's Freedom Fighters

Tristram Korten and Kirk Neilson are contract journalists. Left-wing organizations such as the Puffin Foundation and The Nation Institute, which are veritable "clearing houses" for dead traitors like Alger Hiss and Phillip Agee and training grounds for new ones, regularly hire mercenary scriveners like Korten and Nielson to do hatchet jobs on the enemies of their friends. This time it was the turn of the anti-Castro Cubans, the left's hatred for whom is as perennial as their evergreen lovefest with the Cuban Revolution. Korten and Neilson are well-suited to the task entrusted to them, since they both live in close proximity to Cuban exiles and can nurture on a daily basis their contempt for them while, at the same time, living off them.

Their latest screed, in Salon, compares militant anti-Castro Cubans in Miami to Hezbollah terrorists. This takes a great deal of chutzpah if you consider that Fidel Castro is the great sponsor of Hezbollah, the PLO and Hamas, all of which have training camps in Cuba; the PLO for more than 30 years. Three of the participants in the 9/11 attack were trained in Cuba under Castro's auspices. Hezbollah, as one Salon reader pointed out, has a budget of over $1 billion and once fired 10,000 rockets into Israel from Lebanon, which they effectively control. The septugenerarians who train in the Everglades to overthrow Castro, the supposed Cuban "terrorists" of Alpha-66, Comandos F4, Brigade 2506, and Acción Cubana, must hold chicken-and-rice dinners to pay for the ammunition which they use at the firing ranges. Their other big expense are the legal bills of their members, who, despite what Korten and Neilson claim, are regularly indicted by federal authorities and just as regularly exonerated when brought up on charges of conspiring to free their homeland against the expressed wishes of Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Khrushchev. Cubans are the only people on earth whose right to rebel against a tyrannical regime has been opposed for 50 years by both superpowers. Even the demise of the Soviet Union did not lead to the scrapping of the Kennedy-Khrushchev Pact, which is still sustained by Russia, successor to the treaty obligations of the Soviet Union. The Cold War continues in respect to Cuba and both the U.S. and Russia remain the guarantors of communism on the island.

Cuban exiles, of course, have always been damned if they do and damned if they don't when it comes to liberating their homeland. Their enemies accuse them of being cowards for not taking up arms against Castro while at the same time branding them as terrorists for doing so. But, of course, it is their critics who are morally bankrupt. They have defended for 50 years a regime which has killed more Cubans, proportionally, than Hitler killed Germans or Stalin Russians. The Cuban Revolution, in fact, was a terrorist war from beginning to end. There were no battles between Batista's army and Castro's rebel forces and only 128 casualties between them on those rare occasions when they happened to coincide against the wishes of both. The Cuban Revolution was waged in Cuba's cities, where the July 26th Movement placed hundreds of bombs in public places, including schools, buses, theatres and cabarets, maiming and killing civilians at random. The PLO kills Israelis, or at least targets them. Castro's terrorists killed their own people. The rebels were also responsible for the world's first domestic hijacking as well as the first international hijacking, conducting three altogether, one of which resulted in the deaths of 17 passengers (most of them Americans). These hijackings, incidentally, were carried out under the direction of Raúl Castro. Besides terrorizing their own people before and after the Revolution, the Castro regime has sponsored terrorism on four continents and is responsible for at least as many deaths abroad as at home.

But, of course, no effort is made by the authors to compare the provocation to the reaction. The provocation, 50 years of terrorist rule by the world's oldest terrorist state, which was built on terrorism and has maintained itself through terrorism to this day, would make what is imputed against its enemies seem a moderate reaction by any measure. Indeed, most of the anti-Castro Cubans cited by Korten and Neilson have never been indicted, had the charges against them dismissed by judges, been acquitted by juries or had their convictions overturned on appeal. That is why the authors are obliged to refer to them as "terrorists" in quotation marks. This is something that has upset the most diehard among their readers who obviously do not understand libel law. Korten and Neilson understand it well enough though I don't know how much protection those little quotations marks will afford them when their intent is clear and unmistakable — to libel these men and the community which acclaims them as freedom fighters and upholders of the dignity of the Cuban people.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Notable & Undecided: A Dilemma Easily Resolved

"You guys tell me which advances our cause better, fighting with idiots or BUCL?"Robert Molleda, "No Quarter for Code Pink" (comment), Babalú, January 13, 2008

I believe you can fight both idiots and BUCL. You don't have to choose between one or the other. But if you feel that you can only tackle one, I suggest BUCL since it has both.

Fred Thompson Eats His Bistec Empanizado

I'm beginning to think that Fred Thompson really is a Reagan clone insofar as Cuba is concerned. No man — and certainly no president — ever did more for Cuba than the Gipper. No, he did not secure our freedom, as he secured that of all other Western communist countries. Cuba is still as much a captive nation today as it was in the Reagan era and the U.S. is still committed to keeping it so. But we Cubans are perhaps too concentrated on the political: there is much more to our nationality than freedom, democracy or human rights. Reagan recognized this as no other president had before, and by concentrating on one aspect of our national heritage and giving it his all, he positively impacted the course of Cuban gastronomy. Preserving the national cuisine is, according to Alex (formerly of SotP), the most important contribution that Cuban exiles have made to Cuban culture, and Reagan himself was at the center of it. He was introduced to it late in life but acquired an immediate taste for it, so much so that he had his favorite dish, frijoles negros (black bean soup), put on the While House menu and requested it up to three times a week. Very soon Campbell's had its own version and all 3+ star restaurants had added it to their menus, sometimes with rather odd improvisations. I especially remember "The Frugal Gourmet" making moros y cristianos on PBS, which constituted the only positive programming about Cuban-American shown on public television in the 1980s. Granted, he made white rice and frijoles negros separately and then tossed them in a bowl like a salad, but it was better than nothing.

I think when all is said and done, Ronald Wilson Reagan will be remembered as the best American president for the advancement of Cuban cuisine. I have no doubt, however, that if we cultivated Fred Thompson with suitcases of money (with nary a bomb in them), lit enough candles for him and plastered every surface in Miami with "Thompson for President 2008" stickers (including the flatland backsides of the CodePinkers), we could, no doubt, get him to say a good word about bistec empanizado.

Further proof of Thompson's affinity to Reagan is that his statements about Cuba sound exactly like Reagan's on an off day. That is, he is not able to ape Reagan's sincerity, which came naturally to him because he actually believed what he said however implausible; but Thompson has pinned down the empty grandiloquence and fervent noncommitalnesss that characterized Reagan's dialogue with our community.

We are indebted, again, to Babalú, and, especially, to the evolving Henry Gómez, for having solicited from Thompson a statement about his views on Cuba. He has likewise requested but not yet received statements from the other candidates for inclusion in his new blog dedicated to that purpose. Thompson is the first to provide such a statement, and he should have been ungrateful indeed if he had not been the first given Henry's marked preference for him. The statement, which I encourage you to read at doesn't meet my expectations, but that's hardly news. What is of interest is that it falls much below Henry's. He neither praised nor criticized Thompson's words; others took care of that. Henry's response to abajofidel (fantomas) and other critics clearly shows that even Henry finds it difficult to commend Thompson's lack of candor. Despite its spirited rhetoric (the Cuban people are "oppressed, terrorized and murdered" by an "illegitimate [2X]" and "unaccountable dictator" and "tyrant"), Thompson manages to say nothing concrete about what he would do about so much illegitimacy. He doesn't even promise to enforce past punitive measures. Doesn't mention the embargo. Says nothing at all except to express yet again en passant his irrational fear of Cuban "suitcase bombers" (i.e. balsero double-agents). We have pointed out before that there has never been one of those. Ana Belén Montes and Juan Pablo Roque did not come here on rafts. They wouldn't have risked their lives for a watertight alibi that might have ended with them waterlogged.

Henry intends Candidates on Cuba to "serve as a clearing house for the official positions of the various presidential campaigns on the subject of Cuba. We are only going to post materials submitted by the campaigns specifically for this purpose." He wants to know everything that Fred did not tell him, to wit, "where each candidate stands on things like the embargo, Helms-Burton, indictments for the castro brothers, travel restrictions, the political prisoners, human rights, the succession, etc. etc." Perhaps other candidates will be more forthcoming than Thompson; I doubt it. None, I am sure, could be more oleaginous.

Now there is good and there is bad in this approach. It is good to have each candidate define himself on Cuba. What is not good, however, is to take such a declaration as the definitive word on the subject especially when it is tailor-made for us and would naturally avoid saying anything that might displease us. It is certainly conceivable that one or more candidates might have something to say on the subject that might cost him (her) the Cuban-American vote. But they are not likely to tell us. That's why I wish that the pro-Castro lobby had also solicited from each candidate a position statement on Cuba. Comparing both might be the closest that we ever get to the truth. If I had to choose between one or the other, I should prefer to read their statements to the embargo-busters than those directed at us.

We have already dedicated several posts to Fred Thompson's spontaneous statements on Cuba and nothing he says in his canned statement shall cause us to change our opinion of him.

Also see:

Fred Thompson Shoots Himself in the Foot (And Cuban "Suitcase Terrorists" Have Nothing to Do With It This Time)

Henry Explains Fred Thompson to Us

Fred Thompson: Cuban "Immigrants" Are Suitcase Bombers

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Obama Needs This Like He Needs Another Cigarette: "Muslims for Obama '08"

It's not at all difficult to become a Muslim. All you have to do is utter one line and mean it: أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله ("There is only one G-d and Mohammed is His Messenger"). Of course, if you are the child of a Muslim (as is Obama), you don't even have to do that. Born a Muslim, you are a Muslim for life. Under Sharia (Muslim law), if you renounce Islam you are an apostate (murtad) subject to death. Apparently, Obama's Muslim followers believe that he is still a Muslim. Otherwise they would be apostates themselves for associating with an apostate.

His supposed Muslim brothers (the non-biological ones) have set up a new website, "Muslims for Obama '08:"

Notable and Darwinian: The Evolution of Henry Gómez

"You know what I'm done with pulling my hair and gnashing my teeth about things like this. No matter what anyone does, the exile community is never going to come out of it with positive press. Screw it. We can't control the actions of a few old men, and if the media is dumb enough to generalize, it's their problem. As far as those old men go, in my mind they've earned the right to tell those bitches exactly what they did and more. Don't come into the lions den with a stick, you might just walk out with it impaled in an orifice. Imagine if you had your house, your way of life, your country stolen from you and had to deal with some ugly broad telling you how great the guy who stole all of this from you is. You'd probably react violently too.Henry Gómez, "CodePink's 'Big' Protest" (comment), Babalú, January 12, 2008.

We may not be able to keep up with the pace of Henry's evolution anymore. He seems to be evolving by giant strides now, like Darwin on roids. Still, we will try. Today we are inaugurating a new feature on Review of Cuban-American Blogs: "The Evolution of Henry Gómez." It will chronicle Henry's tortuous journey from "American-Cuban" to Cuban-American. Our hopes stop there, but he may yet surprise us.

What about Val Prieto? Well, evolution doesn't happen in tandem and some species do go extinct. In any case, Val's recent "vow of silence" is at least as satisfying as Henry's evolution.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

CodePink Protests Posada Carriles in Miami (All Four of Them)

Henry Gómez continues his encouraging evolution. During the entire Posada Carriles trial, Babalú was conspicuous by its silence and its silence was echoed by the other Cuban blogs (yes, apparently silence can be echoed). Although they did not condemn Posada Carriles for the same reason that they didn't defend him (because they were afraid), their failure to stand up for one who has always stood up for Cuba, when he needed their support the most, was really shameful and inexcusable. If you are unwilling to defend the freedom of the most-maligned among us, then why bother to defend anybody else's? If some measure of injustice is acceptable to you, then you are not on the side of justice. If you are content only to fight the easy fights, you may forestall defeat but victory will always elude you.

I wish now that I had answered an e-mail which Henry sent me at the time, asking me if I thought Posada was guilty. I was just too indignant to answer. Was Martí "guilty" or Maceo "guilty?" Only an enemy of Cuban freedom or a complete imbecile would ask such a question. In retrospect, I should have answered him. Perhaps a timely rebuke would have clarified a lot of things for him and spared him many detours on the way to the truth.

Henry got there late but he got there, and as the the old Mexican song goes, "lo que importa es llegar." The ridicule which he heaps on CodePink, the San Francisco-based anti-war group which journeyed to Miami to protest Posada Carriles' freedom (not, of course, the Cuban people's lack of freedom), demonstrates the power of the well-placed adjective in a short sentence: "A pick-up truck draped with pink chiffon and a couple of ugly broads." It also shows, more importantly, that Henry finally got it. Posada Carriles' enemies are our enemies, whether they happen to be in Cuba, Venezuela or Washington, D.C., or obey Castro's, Chávez's or Bush' orders. Posada Carriles represents the right of the Cuban people to fight for their freedom. If that is unacceptable in him, then it is unacceptable in all of us, the struggle is lost and ignominy becomes the birthright of all Cubans in perpetuity. A people that does not reverence its heroes deserves none, and, as Martí put it, "is reared for the jackals."

Medea Benjamín and her ilk, besides being fit objects for Ripley's museum, are the living embodiedment of the moral corruption of our enemies; they literally drip with it and stink of it; you can cover them in pink lace and bathe them in a tub of Florida water and the result will only be more inhuman and offensive.

To hear them speak of freedom of speech, while behaving like performance artists whom you expect at any moment will introduce sundry objects into various orifices, is to experience the banality of evil. The pro-Posada counterprotestors, who witnessed the spectacle of their self-debasement, must have felt uplifted to think that these are our enemies, in the final throes of their satanic carnival (feast of the flesh-eaters).


As he did when the racist commenters at Babalú started dumping on Mexican migrants (as if the xenophobes ever made any distinction between a Mexican and a Cuban), Henry came to Posada's defense when Ray and Robert Molleda defamed the old Cuban warrior in the Comments thread. These despicable cowards who wouldn't know dignity if it bit them on the heels as they were fleeing from the duty of defending freedom's champions, called Posada "a liability to the Cuban exile community" and "unstable" because he's supposedly "embarrassed the Bush administration, our congressmen and the late Jorge Más Canosa." In other words, Posada Carriles is not a political whore like they are and like their allies are ("our" congressmen, indeed!). Ziva was the first to point out that we should not abandon Posada because it is politically expedient as that would make us no better than opportunists. Henry agreed: "Posada Carriles is one of the few who has consistently put his life on the line to rid the world of the castro regime. fidel has fucking nightmares about the guy. I'd rather have Posada [on my side] than Cindy Shehan or that Meada bitch." Very true, Henry. May the world catch up with your thinking, or at least the other Babalunians.

Related posts on Posada and Babalú:

Henry Gómez Comes to Posada's Defense (Sort Of)

En Passant

Is Posada Carriles a Hero?

Babaloo's Waterloos: The Miami Herald Speaks for Henry Gómez on Posada

Mr. Prim and Mr. Proper Posada Carriles Is Free

Groundswell of Support for Posada Carriles at Babalú — Dignity Carries the Day

Posada and Oscar Corral:

The Wrong Reporter For the Posada Story

Oscar Corral: The Man Without Principles

Miscellaneous Posada Posts:

An Art Exhibit Worth Seeing

"Miranda Returns:" Hugo Chávez's Debut as a Sponsor of the Cinematic Arts (Chávez Is Also Producing a Film on the Life of Posada Carriles)


From Granma: More Toilet Humor

FLASH!!! African Jet with 114 Aboard Crashes

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ron Paul: "Where's My Hood At, Where's My Hood At?"

Sometimes a man is exactly what he represents himself as. And, sometimes, he is worse. Those of us familiar with Ron Paul's dismissal of the Cuban people's right to freedom, which he considers inferior to his own right as an American citizen to witness their enslavement at first hand, cannot be surprised that he holds or endorses equally contemptible views about blacks, Jews and everybody else who does not subscribe to his insane worldview. Although he was never a serious candidate, the fact that his fellow Republican contenders didn't sound very different from him on most issues concerned us because it indicated that the lunatic fringe of the party was now the mainstream. His exposure as a Klansman without a hood in The New Republic should have the salutory effect of encouraging other Republicans to distance themselves from his views, which are those of a severely disturbed and dysfunctional individual who should be submitted to the Ezra Pound cure before it's too late for him.

Read it at the source:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What Happened to Henry on Christmas Eve?

Did Henry Gómez receive a spectral visit on Christmas eve that changed his heart about illegal immigrants, because I've never seen such a transformation since Scrooge was reformed. He's now written a second post defending Mexican-Americans against the canards of Republican xenophobes, which he now recognizes are the greatest threat to the future of the GOP (and, I may add, this country).

If this trend continues, I may have to revise my opinion of Henry yet again.

I could link a half-dozen posts which I have written condemning Henry's support for xenophobes such as Newt Gingrich; but since I am hopeful that he has repudiated his former position for good (that is, for his own soul's good), I will instead link his latest post at Babalú entitled "Walk a Mile in Their Shoes."


Having read the comments which Babalú's readers have left in response to Henry, I will never again be able to say that Cubans are not racist. They have learned racism in the greatest school ever established to teach it. It has seaped through their skins into their marrow. Castro has introduced it to the island's inhabitants and Cuban exiles have been contaminated with it here.

Sad, more than sad, tragic.

Guess Which Presidential Candidate Was a Mexican Anchor Baby?

Guess which presidential candidate was an anchor baby whose father was born in Chihuahua, Mexico?

No, not Mike Huckabee. Irony is rarely distilled in such pure degree.

No, not Bill Richardson, either.

I'll make it easy for you.

He's a Republican who was endorsed by Tom Tancredo when the Coloradan withdrew from the race in December. You may recall that we observed then that whomever Tancredo chose would be the most xenophobic of the remaining candidates (a tight call for anyone but Tancredo).

Still don't get it?

OK, this guy belongs to a religion which he says is just like any other religion.

That's right. Mitt Romney.

Not only was his dad born in Chihuahua, Mexico, but three generations of the Romneys lived there and all four of his grandparents died there.


Because the U.S. Congress passed the Edmunds Act in 1883, which deprived polygamists of the right to vote, sit on juries or hold political office; in effect, it anulled their citizenship and made them renegades, subject to arrest upon detection. Diehard polygamists like the Romneys, who believed themselves to be latter-day Pilgrims as well as saints, fled from religious persecution in Utah to the promised land of Mexico, where polygamy was still tolerated. Since the Book of Mormon identifies the Aztecs as a lost tribe of Israel and God's chosen people, the Romneys must have had no qualms about resettling there with their multiple wives and legions of progeny.

Miles Park Romney, the literal patriarch of the family, established his extended family in Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1884. The Mexican government allowed the exiles to establish Mormon colonies there, which strikes us as odd since whenever Americans settled on Mexican territory (as in Texas or California) they usually set up their own outlaw republics and petitioned the U.S. Congress for annexation. I suppose the Mexicans must have thought that unlikely since the Mormons were fugitives from U.S. law who wanted no part of their native land and certainly didn't want the U.S. government to infringe on their asylum.

In 1895, Miles' son, Gaskell Romney, married Anna Amelia Pratt, whose family had also fled to Mexico ahead of U.S. federal marshalls. The couple, who were monogamous, were the parents of George W. Romney, Mitt's father, who was born in Colonia Dublán, near Galeana, in the Mexican State of Chihuahua on July 8, 1907.

In 1912, at the height of the Mexican Revolution, Anna and her son George were granted safe conduct by the rebels and left Chihuahua on the last train to Texas. To rejoin his family, Gaskell Romney had to undertake a perilous journey across the desert, walking hundreds of miles, until finally crossing the border at New Mexico, as migrants from Chihuahua still do today.

George W. Romney, the Mexican-born son of Mormon exiles, was the father of Mitt Romney. Mitt was George's "anchor baby" whose American birth and that of George's father created a bridge of citizenship for him.

George Romney, who became governor of Michigan and ran for president in 1968, was a champion of civil rights and an immigration advocate. His son Mitt would do well not only to recall his father's legacy but also his family's history, the generous asylum provided to the Romneys by Mexico and the protection afforded his family during the most tumultuous period in Mexican history. He should remember also that he, too, was an anchor baby.

And not only an anchor baby, but a Mexican, too. Under Article 30 of the Mexican Constitution, Mitt Romney, as the son of a native born Mexican, is himself entitled to Mexican citizenship and could run for president of that country if he fails to be elected here.

By the way, "Mitt's" real name is Willard.

See also:

Mitt Romney: The Buck Stops With the Landscaper (Dec. 6, 2007)

Notable & Commendable: Henry Gómez on the Side of the Angels

"These people" meaning the kids that are being born in the U.S. broke no law. Their parents arguably broke a law though as I pointed out it's not a criminal law, merely an administrative law. The simple act of being here illegally is not punishable with prison or fines. You simply get deported. But we are talking about the kids. Do you want to punish the son for the sins of the father? I think it is the bigotry of a Baptist that doesn't want to see his country overrun by Catholics. Spanish speaking Catholics no less. And, lastly, why a publicly funded windfall? If we did away with all these welfare programs and the education monopoly the only windfall to be had would be that which a person earned in a free country. The problem isn't the immigrants, it's the country they are immigrating to. Besides I don't believe the aspirations of the majority of illegal immigrants is to be live off of the state. That's merely empty rhetoric used by the nativists. The idea that "those people" could not conceivably make an honest living in America and pay taxes and be producers rather than recipients is certainly bigoted."Henry Gómez, "Despicable Huckster" (comment), Babalú, January 8, 2008

When Henry Gómez expressed his sympathy for Newt Gingrich last year and averred that he was supporting Fred Thompson because Gingrich carried too much "baggage," I gave up on Henry completely. Any Cuban who could even consider supporting Newt Gingrich for president, the father of the "Contract on America," the original Hispanic pogrom, had lost his bearings forever (not to mention his dignity), or so I thought. I don't know what made Henry see the light (maybe I did), but now he has taken a strong stand against the xenophobes who have hijacked the Republican Party. Perhaps he realized that if they succeed in co-opting the party's agenda it will mean certain defeat for his beloved Thompson in 2008. Or perhaps the "Cuban" in "American-Cuban" has, for once, gained the ascendency.

Just as shocking, however, is that certain Babalú commenters, who had not hitherto evinced bigotted tendencies, such as pototo and Claudia4Cuba, have backed Huckabee's insane proposal to denaturalize native-born citizens because of the actions of their parents. Should the children of felons also be stripped of their citizenship as their parents are? How about the children of tax-evaders? Or of drivers with too many points on their licenses? The difference, of course, is that being an illegal immigrant is not a crime in this country — yet. Perhaps Huckabee's next proposal will be to imprison all illegal immigrants. That would be far more expensive than leaving them alone but would certainly prove as popular as deporting them with Republican xenophobes. What would be done with their children then? Maybe they would ship them to orphanages in Guantanamo.

One correction for Henry, though: "Those people" (meaning illegal immigrants) already make an "honest living" in this country and work longer and harder for less than does any other group. They also pay taxes to finance a social safety net from whose protections they (and legal immigrants) are excluded by law and so are already contributors not recipients.