"Tio, [so] 'some Mariel refugees turned to crime because they were envious of what their friends and relatives in the U.S. had achieved during the previous 20 years and the newcomers did not want to wait that long for success or to drive a Cadillac.'
Yeah man, I saw that movie, I think it was called something like "Scareface" or something like that."
Posted by: Abajofidel on February 12, 2008 @ 12:45 AM
It seems almost incredible (not that I would quote fantomas with approval, since even he has his moments); but, rather, that Henry Gómez would resurrect the specter of Mariel to detract attention from his own despicable support for those who continued the persecution of the marielitos on U.S. soil which had begun in Cuba. It was Castro and his propagandists who resurrected the dormant specter of xenophobia in this country by depicting the Mariel refugees as criminals, social misfits and undesirables. It was not only the liberal media that bought into this canard but an indescript college professor named Newt Gingrich, who would use it to forge a career for himself in politics by revitalizing the oldest American political tradition and turning the Republican Party into the new "Know-Nothing" Party. Gingrich's success culminated in the "Contract [on] America" but its effects are still visible today with every Republican presidential candidate (except McCain) vying for the title of "The Biggest Xenophobe."
For the record: The Mariel refugees have replicated the success of earlier waves of Cuban exiles. By all economic and social criteria they are indistinguishable from them. The criminals which Castro infiltrated among them — and who should never have been categorized with them — were long ago deported without due process to Communist Cuba. Doubtless many of these were not in fact criminals as defined by U.S. laws but the victims of Castro's policy of criminalizing all human activity in Cuba. The marielitos identified as "criminals," justly or not, numbered at most 3000 out of a total migration of 135,000. Castro agreed to their return and lost nothing in the bargain since he had used them to turn the entire country against Cuban exiles (no just the marielitos) and succeded in cracking a hole in the Cuban Adjustment Act (1966) which Clinton and George W. would later use to deport not "criminals" but all Cubans who tried to flee Cuba and did not make it to U.S. soil through a gauntlet established to prevent them by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Cuban Coast Guard working in close collaboration.
Readers of Babalú or this blog know of Henry Gómez's support of the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy and his disdain for all "newcomers" from Cuba, whom he would prefer to see rendered in Castro's pressure cooker. Especially fresh in our memories is his complete abandonment of Elenita, the 5-year refugee girl whose craven father wanted to return her to Cuba so that Fidel could have a matched set of abducted children in his trophee case. Henry, who in 2000 had also supported the kidnapping and repatriation of Elián, is nothing if not consistent in his disdain for the hapless denizens of Castro's hell, making no exception even for the youngest ones.
My constant prodding of him on this issue caused Henry recently to declare himself against xenophobia. Still, the candidates which he supported in the Republican primary were the biggest xenophobes in the party. On certain issues, such as more government largesse for the rich and preserving Reagan's legacy, he is an uncompromising ideologue; when it comes to xenophobia, however, he is perfectly willing to ignore Reagan's support for amnesty and line-up with his party's biggest xenophobes. McCain, the only Republican candidate to have supported amnesty for illegal immigrants, who, in fact, put his political career on the line to obtain it for them, Henry despises more than Castro himself and he's turned Babalú into an anti-McCain blog in order to secure the election of Hillary and/or Obama, which he believes will "cleanse" the Republican Party of moderates and restore Newt Gingrich to primacy in the party. No matter, of course, that both Democratic candidates would be disastrous for this country and even more so for Cuba. Henry must prove his point at all costs. Because, of course, it's not about the future of the U.S. or Cuba. It's all about Henry, the political animal since the age of five, avenging himself on those who want to transform the Republican party into something other than a haters' club and hatred is all that Henry has to offer.