The Babalunians have retreated into their bunker with their beleaguered leader who still cannot recognize the magnitude of his predicament or accept the fact that he has been defeated as much by his own hubris as anything else. This is not a new Val Prieto that we are seeing but simply a darker facet of his personality which hitherto he took care to keep well-concealed. If he had continued to work in the shadows his real self would have been known to few. But in some moment of impatience, when he tired for once of doing circuitously what could be accomplished more quickly directly, he allowed himself to act with an unconcealed hand, carried away by a sense of his own invincibility (always the downfall of megalomaniacs).
Still, it is hard to believe that anyone could be so full of himself as to think that he could publicly dispose of a rival by dispatching his family without anyone noticing. Even mafia dons don't go there, and if they do, they take great care to hide their tracks. None is as brazen as Val, who appears to have watched Scarface one too many times in his youth. That, incidentally, is the favorite movie of all thugs and thug-wannabes, and we would not be surprised if Val, who is invariably described by others in those terms, has found a role model impersonating an Italian actor's steretypical impersonation of a fictional Cuban mafioso. Only in America.
We do not know yet the full extent of the damage Val has caused, but there is no doubt that he meant to cause it. We hope for Killcastro's and his family's sake that Charlie Bravo was able to disarm Val's little bomb in the knick of time. The uncertainty, however, is torment enough. We know that Castro could act tomorrow or a year from now. This information is his to use at his pleasure and in the manner best calculated to increase Killcastro's discomfort and extend it. There is something incredibly unwholesome, even unholy, in enlisting Fidel Castro as your personal avenger, the court of last resort for those who have scores to settle but would rather let somebody else do the dirty work while they rub their hands in anticipation.
Even Castro's apologists in the blogosphere are aghast at such behavior and condemn it, unaware, perhaps, that in condemning it they are also acknowledging the potential for evil that Castro poses; for outing Killcastro in the absence of Castro would still be reprehensible but not potentially lethal. So now Val is an object lesson to those who are ready and able to accept or ignore everything else vile about Castro but will not actually stick their hands in the blood.
It is ironic also that anti-Castro bloggers, Babalú's "magnificent cadre of writers," its satellites and even those who maintain an independent trajectory, have thus far refused to report much less condemn Val's behavior. Has it suddenly become acceptable to be a chivato (government snitch)? Betraying one's neighbor to Castro's gestapo is something that they would have no problem condemning if committed by a Cuban on the island. But when it is an exile that is guilty of a worse offense -- for the island chivatos are still Castro's subjects, unlike Val -- no anti-Castro blogger dares to call him out on it. There is no opprobrium too great for those who may commit such an offense under duress or even torture in Cuba; but, also, not one word of reprove for one who does so out of spite and without extenuating circumstances.
A certain "Eugenio" -- I wonder which of "Val's Pals" he is? -- criticized me (but not by name) on Killcastro's blog for holding Val's associates accountable for his reprehensible behavior. He may not be "Val's keeper" but no one compelled him to be his apologist (or perhaps someone did). I replied by quoting Martí: "Those who contemplate a great injustice and do not speak out against it are complicit in it." Of course, the blame is even greater if they have a personal association with the culprit. This is not "guilt by association" but responsibility for one's associations. These define us as much as anything else.
I refuse to believe that there is no redoubt of decency and honor in the Cuban-American blogosphere or even among Babalú's satellites but so it would appear. Their silence speaks volumes about their ethics but, above all, about the "compañerismo" that has enabled the Castro dictatorship for 49 years to govern our country. Is there no one here who will say: "¡Ya no más!" There are those in Cuba who dare to say it at the cost of their lives and freedom. Yet no one here dares to? And yet they have no difficulty calling Cubans on the island "cowards" and prodding them to "poner los muertos."