"I know there are quite a few Babalu readers out there that came to the US either as an adult or a teenager and thus never formally learned about the Revolutionary War and all its players. I urge you all to maybe use this HBO series [about John Adams] as a starting point because - despite the many flaws people perceive this country to have, historically and presently - it truly is an incredible, beautiful and inspiring history. - Val Prieto, "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" Babalú, March 18, 2008
Val is advising elderly Cuban exiles to learn U.S. history. The advice is superfluous on two counts. First, because they have lived American history and from the wrong end. Second, because they are obliged under duress to learn it in their declining years in order to pass their citizenship exams and be eligible to receive Social Security, Medicare and other benefits for which they have worked and contributed 40 years or more. For many, this is the greatest tribulation that could befall them in their great age. I should like to see Americans of all ages having to learn Cuban history in expiation for what their country did to my country and in the hope that they won't do it again. But this a vain and even ridiculous hope. Americans know nothing about their own history and can't well be expected to learn ours.
One who, apparently, knows neither is Val Prieto himself. What's this about "the many flaws people perceive [emphasis mine] this country to have?" So the United States is only "perceived" to have committed historical wrongs past and present? The Treaty of Paris (1898) is only a "perception." The Platt Amendment is only a "perception." Guantánamo Naval Base is only a "perception." The Bay of Pigs is only a "perception." The Kennedy-Khrushchev Pact is only a "perception." The "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy is only a "perception." And that's just the short list of "perceived wrongs" done to Cubans. If you include everybody else's short list, you have quite a long list of "perceptions."
If Val Prieto were acquainted with Cuban history he wouldn't be overawed by America's Founding Fathers as if our own were somehow deficient in glory. Martí alone is worth the lot of them and no U.S. revolutionary-era general, including and particularly Washington, could hold Maceo's riding crop, let alone his sword.
John Adams is the greatest of the U.S. Founding Fathers whose life you could film without including redheaded house slaves and thousands of others laboring in the fields.
Before declaring Cuba's independence, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes freed all his slaves. All the other rich planters who supported his uprising followed his example. They all preferred financial ruin to being hypocrites. Not so with the father of the American Republic who never told a lie except to himself about himself or the philosopher of the Revolution who wrote that "All men are created equal" but refused personally to accept that self-evident fact.
And don't miss this blast from the past:
Notable & More Delusional Still: "Patrick Henry" Prieto Rides Again