Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Many Colors of Val Prieto

From an interview that purportedly lasted 1 ½ hours, Telemundo was able to distill the essence of Val Prieto into 10 seconds. Clearly they need better editors if they couldn't hold him to 5. Val insinuates that he might have been on longer except for the fact that he generously directed their attention to Yoani Sánchez whose blog Generation Y was recently censored by the Castro regime. Since Telemundo was doing a story about that very subject it seems remarkable that they did not attempt to contact her themselves. Had they never seen her blog? On what, then, were they basing their story? Well, actually it is quite possible that Val may have put them in touch with the Cuba-based blogger since she links to Babalú on her blog. If so, Val has more colors than Benetton. Last year, "Architect" Val Prieto was quoted in a story about her in The Wall Street Journal (December 22, 2007; Page A1):

Others, especially the exile community, can't quite believe Ms. Sánchez gets away with what she does. They wonder if she is an unwitting dupe — or a complicit agent — in a campaign to make Raúl Castro appear more tolerant as he seeks greater foreign aid.

"From the bottom of my heart, I want her blog to be legitimate and be the seed that grows into something in Cuba," says Val Prieto, a 42-year-old Miami-based architect who edits an anti-Castro blog called Babalu. "The reason the exile community is wary is that we've been bamboozled time and time again. You never can tell when it comes to Castro."


Sometimes "you never can tell" when it comes to Val, either.

George Moneo, then the herald of Val's glory, posted the entire WSJ article at Babalú; no doubt because it is not every day that Val Prieto is called an "architect" or quoted on the front page of the WSJ. Of course, Val was not exactly the hero of the story. In fact, an argument could be made that he was the villain and not just because of his churlish remarks. He is the sole specimen of those "bloggers who dish out harsh opinions on Mr. Castro ... from the cozy confines of Miami" quoted in the article. If Val had not been churlish but given Yoani Sánchez her due, perhaps the writer from the WSJ would have been less likely to insinuate that he and all Cuban-American bloggers from Miami were cowards. But Val always puts his (our) worst foot forward. It's almost as if he consciously seeks to discredit all Cuban exiles. Certainly, the media seek him out now precisely because they expect him to and he does not disappoint — ever.

15 comments:

Vana said...

He sounds like the epitome of the Miami Mafia, "from the bottom of my heart I want her to be legitimate" he's so damn histrionic, never believing that anything from Cuba could be legitimate.

Do you mean Telemundo only gave him 10 seconds air time? LMAO..and he thinks he's so important, wish I could see that interview...lol..I need a good laugh.

Agustin Farinas said...

MAT,
This may be off topic, but there are some news happening in Argentina I think your readers should know about. There is a confrontation going on between the agricultural producers and the Govt. of Ms. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
It seems the Govt. of Ms. Fernandez wants to increase the percentage of the money they withhold in taxes from the farmers from 35% to 45% and they in turn, have decided to resist this arbitrary rule by the Argentine Govt. with acts of protest that are creating a serious confrontation.
For the last 14 days the roads and highways have been choked up and closed at certain key points by the farmers, exacting a great toll on the trucks carrying cereals, meat, and dairy products to the stores. These agricultural products are the main generator of convertible currency and as such, are the life line of the country. These actions by the protesters have created shortages of all of the above products at the national level on most of the stores of the nation.
Last night the Ms. Fernandez spoke on national TV and said:
“I will not be intimidated or blackmailed by the producers”
After hearing the speech, the folks in the Capital of Buenos Aires took to the streets in droves demonstrating with pots and pans creating a mass demonstration in the heart of the city protesting against the Govt.
So far, we have no gasoline at any of the stations where we live, nor meat, nor milk or cheeses and bread is very scarce. Luckily, I was prepared because I was in the right house at the right time and overheard about the coming shortages and consequently took precautions and stored up on powdered milk, meat, eggs etc.
Last night the protest turned very ugly and the left wingers that support the Govt. came out to challenge the crowds protesting against the Govt.’s actions and there a few ugly incidents. The streets of Buenos Aires became a battleground between left wingers and the middle classes.
Today one seems to feel an undercurrent of anger in the air and the roads are blocked in our province again. The farmers say they are in for the duration and that they will not falter in their demands to lower the export taxes and have said that if the Govt. uses violence against them, they have wowed to respond in kind. .
We were planning our vacations on motorcycle for this week but have decided to postpone them until this crisis is resolved. A crisis is brewing here like the one that brought down the Govt. in 2001 and judging by what I see on the streets, another one seems to be coming to a head in the next few days. God willing there will be no violence but the tempers are very hot right now and I expect some violence in the next few days. Thank God we are far away from the big centers of the protest but one never knows here.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Vana:

It would be a short laugh, anyway.

Fantomas said...

Agustin que tiene que ver eso con Cuba. Que se maten si es necesario

yo no soy argentino y no me gusta ni el che ni maradona

Vana said...

Agustin:

Thanks for the news, I had not heard anything about this, you are brave to live in a latin country, one never knows what could happen, please my friend take care and stay indoors, or get the hell out of the country.

Vana said...

BTW did you read KC's response to Val? I love it!

Ms Calabaza said...

Agustin,
sorry to hear you had to cancel your vacation. You take care of yourselves and stay inside. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

name that building!
name that cuban-american!
name that coconut tree!

Manny,
your blog is just not as exciting as Val's. You must post some pictures of your remodeling project and maybe do research on a 20 year article of the Miami herald . . . now that's exciting.

name that dog! lassie, rintintin

Ms Calabaza said...

MaT,
Henry's posts on the Tropic article of 20 years ago reminds me of the Richard Dreyfuss character in Close Encounters. Obsessive - perhaps?

Didn't they make fun of SotP's name this building, street, etc posts? Now, they have taken to copying that which they once ridiculed. Love it.

Agustin Farinas said...

Ms. Calabaza and Vana,
thank you for your kind words. We have been keeping indoors just in case anything breaks out that will put us in harm's way. So far, the problem has not reach our area but here one never knows. Things are very fluid at this point in time, but hopefully the blood will not reach the river as they say in Spanish. My wife is Cuban, travels on a Cuban passport and does not have a visa to enter the USA at the moment but we are working in trying to resolve that little hurdle ASAP. The we will decide what the future has in store for us.
The confrontation is between the middle classes and the socialists and communists (same thing in my book) here that support the Govt. We do not tet involvced in politics here but we both watch with concern the left leaning Govt. here and are preparing plans for departing in case things get out of hand. Again, I thank you both for your concern.
And last, to the Comdom Head:. Who give a flying fornication what you think or what you like or dislike? I sure don't. Go back and crawl back into your cave in P.R. Better yet, why don't you go and help Val Prieto remodel his house. He may even invite you over for a barbecue at his house after the Cuban Nostalgia. Idiot!

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

Can it possibly be that there is finally a real "workers' revolution" underway in Latin America, one which does not enthrone the "representatives" of the workers but the workers themselves? It would be a remarkable development, but more likely the movement will be hijacked by political operatives with less honorable motives than opposing intolerable taxation. The last time Argentines elected as president the wife of an ex-president, Isabel Perón (Evita's clone), the country experienced its era of greatest corruption which led to the total collapse of the economy and the "death of Argentina." Wasn't the lady responsible convicted and jailed? No matter. They have found an adequate substitute in Madame Kirshner.

In many ways, Argentina anticipated our own national tragedy. At the turn of the 20th century it was the richest country in the world and a magnet for immigrants that rivalled the U.S. -- a "European" country lost in South America.

What happened, of course, was Peron(i). God grant that such will not also be our fate and that we don't get beyond the second Castro.

I have advised you in the past, Agustín, to quit Argentina. The far larger community of Cubans in Venezuela have learned to their detriment that no place is safe for Cuban refugees but the U.S. That is, unless Obama is elected. Then we shall have nowhere to go.

Take care and be safe.

KillCastro said...

In a previous (6 years ago) anti-communist effort, a group of friends who had been using forums ( yeah there were forums all the way back to 1983 in Compuserve, they were not called blogs then.. so anyone claiming dibs on "the first Cuban blog, is full of shit or lacks a tremendous amount of history)
my partners and I came up with something called
"POR AMERICA", our reasoning at the time was that not only Cuba needed to be free , but our experinces would help other countries avoid the Red Plague.
There were many paticipants and strangely enough Europeans participated in droves.
The point is , that ignoring the rest of the Americas, leaves Cuban with a much tougher way to freedom and survival. POR AMERICA lasted 3 years and I decided to angage in a full time effort towards Cuba , but I still feel , that we all need to realize that whatever you do for Cuba, should (at least in a small way) reflect an interest
POR AMERICA.

Fantomas said...

Go back and crawl back into your cave in P.R.

Agustin, the only caves Iknow here in PR are Las Cuevas de Camuy a tourist destination much visited

I see much hate in your words , I think livin in Argentine does that to you

I really though you will be in Nostalgia with your mother, but have notice it is another lie of yours

Why do we have to take you seriously anymore, I dont

El respeto comienza with one self

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

Since you love news alerts, the governor of Puerto Rico was indicted today and will be arraigned tomorrow on charges of campaign fraud. He is aligned with the Democrats and is a super delegate for Barack Obama.

Feel free to comment.

Agustin Farinas said...

MAT,
So the Governor for P.R. is a delegate for Obama? Wonderful news.
Don't wait up for Fantomas (of go Obbie go!fame) to comment of this news. He attempted to make light stuff of the Val Prieto disgusting act of chivateria, and was shut up by KC and Charlie Bravo very quick. In fact, they told him to take a hiatus from the blog for a while and stop commenting there.
As usual, he is a joker with absolutely no sense of timing or seriousness.
Now Fantomas, for the last time, you hapless twit and brain dead moron with a pea size cerebellum, the reason I don't bother with the Cuba Nostalgia stuff is because if Val Prieto and you are a sample of the type of idiots I would find lurking there, I would not waste one second of my time sharing the same room with either of you. When I visit Miami, I go to see my friends and share time with them. If I wanted to see pompous assholes making fools of themselves in a an orgy of backslapping and self praise, I just watch the news here. There is plenty of that going on right here. Why bother to go to Miami?