Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Notable & Sadistic: Val Says, "Let Them Eat Goldfish"

"Give a man a fish, and you will quench his hunger. Teach a man — or in this case — allow a man to fish and he will never go hungry again."Val Prieto, "Guarantees" (comment), Babalú, April 22, 2008

Give a man a rope and he may hang himself; teach him how to make rope and he will surely hang himself.

This particular chesnut is the darling of Val's eye. He has used this trite expression dozens of times when he wants to suggest that charity precludes self-reliance. Of course, to be self-reliant you must first be free. A regime that circumcribes your field of action and condemns and punishes individualism is not the ideal climate in which to "learn to fish." In Cuba, it is illegal for Cubans to fish in boats. They can hang a line from the Malecón and catch fish not much bigger than goldfish, which, incidentally, many do. I hardly think that teaching a man to subsist on goldfish is doing him any favor. Yet that is precisely what Val wants the already starving Cuban people to learn.

In the same thread, Henry "Economist" Gómez is convinced that if remittances are cut off abruptly Cubans will develop a distaste for goldfish and will overthrow the regime in 6 months. So that's the answer! After nearly 50 years of tyranny, the answer are goldfish! Why, of course! Only an economist like Henry could have figure that one out. Force feed the Cuban people goldfish for 6 months and they will break their shackles without the need of saws or other implements. Well, not quite break; perhaps slide out of them. After that they need only find guns, tanks and bombs and their deliverance will be complete. Or failing that, Cubans will be so wafer-thin that they will be impervious to Castro's guns, tanks, and bombs.

And what about the children?

Will they be double-starved for six months too?

Val's valuable lesson and Henry's "Six-Month Plan" could hardly work if an exception were made for them. Supposedly parents will become more desperate and liable to act if their children are starving too.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did they come up with this plan when their fat asses were sitting at lunch today?


lazy-ass Cuban

Anonymous said...

As Manny has said on many occasions, the Cuban people are helpless. They have no guns, no organization and no leader. Lets stop dreaming, Cubans will never get rid of the fidelistas because the fidelistas have it too good to give it all away. After 50 years of indoctrination, enough people will never revolt. They'll complain whenever they feel it's safe, but that's about it. Cubans were socialist-leaning even before the robolution (check out the 1940 constitution, its liberal by today's standards), imagine now.

I used to think that revolutions sparked when the level of misery and discontent of a people reached high enough levels to sub-consciously justify in enough minds the taking of extraordinary risks, even death, for a cause greater than themselves and their families. Basically the pressure cooker theory. Silly me, thanks to Manuel now I know that is just silly talk.

Without a sergeants or lieutenants level revolt within the Cuban military or an outside invasion, highly unlikely it seems, the best we can hope for is a kinder gentler totalitarian capita-communist state in Cuba for generations to come. And if that's what its gonna be, the sooner the better.

Thanks to the remittances of more recent Cuban exiles, and a few cosmetic changes from the regime in recent days, the level of unrest is lower now than its been in years. Even with today's remittance restrictions there are enough dollars floating around to keep the level of general discontent manageable for the ruling elite for decades to come. So what are we waiting for?

Now that "any Cuban with convertible currency" can buy cell phones, computers and microwaves and stay in hotels and maybe even travel, thanks to same relatives' dollar remittances...the future looks brighter than ever to the average Juan inside the island. Theres hope once again within the system...no reason whatever to take personal risks now. And no chance of lighting any pressure cookers.

So why hold back? Why limit remittances at all, there should be no limit. Unlimited travel to Cuba? Absolutely! Even more money for the Cuban economy, I mean, people. Embargo? Fogetaboutit, what for? Cuban Adjustment Act? We wouldn't need it anymore! Why should anyone leave the island with all that money floating around inside and free education and health care to boot!

And if that's the way Cubans in the island want it, who am I to deny them!

la esposa de popeye said...

Qué manera de hablar mierda desde un blog!

A la manigua , patriotas!

Anonymous said...

Manny,
do you agree with this?

"Cubans were socialist-leaning even before the robolution (check out the 1940 constitution, its liberal by today's standards), imagine now."

Is this true?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

anonymous:

Revolutions will succeed only against regimes which are not willing to mow people down with tanks or put the entire nation under house arrest. The operetta revolution against Batista involved very little fighting and even less dying. 184 casualties on both sides, and, in the end, the intervention of the U.S. State Department to remove Batista.

The tyranny in place in Cuba today is as institutionalized as any that has ever existed in the history of man. You are right when you say that it can only be dislodged by military coup or foreign invasion. Castro has co-opted this military completely and the U.S. has committed itself to preverving Castro and his successors in power. First through treaty obligations and now because it is not in its interest to deal with a post-Castro Cuba.

Where we differ, however, is on whether Cubans are reconciled to tyranny. I do not believe that they are or ever will be. And yet they must accept — because they have no other choice — the prevailing conditions.

To add to their suffering will not spur them to suicidal action. Those who suggest that Cubans should be starved into rebellion are not really interested in a free Cuba but in punishing those whom they see as an obstacle to a free Cuba — namely, its people.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Anonymous @ 9:09 PM:

The 1940 Cuban Constitution was one of the most liberal and forward-looking of its time. It accorded Cubans social rights which Americans don't even enjoy today.

But it was not a socialist constitution insofar as power was decentralized and the state accorded no extraordinary powers that would repress or limit the action of the individual.

Fantomas said...

To add to their suffering will not spur them to suicidal action

Mat are you there , answer me?

Fantomas said...

Mat hace unos minutos me vi envuelto en una situacion en mi condominio donde vivo. Ayude a una muchacha que vive aqui se encaramo en el alero mas alto piso 11 del condominio para tirarse y suicidarse. Una muchacha de 24 años bella, casada y con un hijo menor de 2años. Gracias a dios que no lo hizo la pude agarrar por el brazo junto con el padrasto y la metimos para adentro.
cuando veo esto y pienso en todas las boberias que decimos aqui. Solo te escribo esto . Cogere un break no posteare nada for a long while
adios Mat

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

Life is a precious and fleeting gift. I am glad that you were there at the precise moment to save this young woman from squandering it.

What is most important now is that she receive psychological assistance, or it is likely that she will try again to commit suicide.

As for you, it is important that you rest, since such an experience will also affect you in diverse ways and intensify your own appreciation of life and its possibilities.

john longfellow aka lou dobbs said...

Mat said: Of course, to be self-reliant you must first be free




Val doesnt understand the simplicity of the statement above!!

Anonymous said...

Manuel, As far as Cubans being resigned to tyranny, it's all a matter of perspective.

In their hearts no one can be "resigned" to tyranny as far as liking it. At least I hope this is true. We can agree on that. But if there is nothing you can do about it, what do you call that? If you have another word for it then I'll gladly use it instead.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Anonymous:

Resigned but not indifferent.

That was a bold move of yours (you know what I mean). I hope that it does not result in yet another banning and the silencing of one more voice of reason at Babalú.

Anonymous said...

"But it was not a socialist constitution insofar as power was decentralized and the state accorded no extraordinary powers that would repress or limit the action of the individual."

But is was socialist-ic in the sense of supporting Agrarian Reform, workers rights and the underpinings of a welfare state as was the fashion in Europe in the 1930's.

To put it in perspective, Republican ideologues today, would call it leftist.

Propaganda works both ways sometimes, especialy after 50 years of an opposing view. Most people today don't know that Agrarian Reform was not a Castro invention. Batista did it during his first and second governments. Batista also had many members of the Communist party and in both his governments and he was very "progressive" even by today's standards. The Cuban Communist Party did NOT support castro, they supported Batista!

Charlie Bravo said...

Fantomas,
Do your best in helping that family and you need to rest after this experience. You did the right thing, which is great. That will take you to another level, and you know what I mean.

Vana said...

I'm getting back to the post here folks.

Nothing Val and Henry would enjoy more than handing a rope to every new arrival, of course so they can hang themselves.

Not sending money to our relatives will not topple the regime, Hello! the regime is rich, they don't give a shit if the common man starves, not helping our brethen who suffer and hunger makes us just as criminal as the castro brothers.

Vana said...

Fantomas:

you acted like a hero, I'm proud of you.

Anonymous said...

http://www.noticias24.com/actualidad/?p=13722

Mat could you elaborate with this info on the above link. This poor family in bolivia needs an American lawyer ASAP

Can we help them?

Ms Calabaza said...

Fantomas,
God has a way of using us to achieve greatness at times. What you did today merits my appreciation and respect for you.

Follow MaT's advice and take some time off. This will make you reassess what is really important in your life. Take care of yourself.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Anonymous:

The only Agrarian Reform that Cubans have ever known was carried out by Batista and it was all done within the framework of the law. Castro simply stole the land from its rightful owners and never distributed it, preferring to let it remain fallow for half a century.

Batista was the embodiment of the socialist ideal -- a genuine "son of the people" who rose to power by dislodging (and later co-opting) the elite.

He never forgot his humble origins and always endeavored to better the lot of the Cuban workingman and -woman and did. Thanks to him Cubans enjoyed the world's most advanced labor protections (including maternity leave, social security, a 35-hour work week with compensation for 40 hours, a month's vacation and a "thirteenth month" Christmas bonus).

I suppose you can call all this socialism with a small "s" in the same sense that FDR's New Deal policies were also socialistic.

At the start of World War II, Batista formed a unity cabinet which included Communists. However, they were all ministers without portfolio, which meant that they were not in charge of any departments.

Roosevelt, even bolder than Batista, chose a Soviet-sympathizer (some say Communist), Henry Wallace, as his vice-president. If Truman had not replaced him on the ticket in 1944, U.S. history might have been very different.

Anon E. Mouse said...

How is that they claim to want the freedom of Cuba when they rather help the Castros starve the Cuban people?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

anon e. mouse:

Because they believe, and would, if they were able, hang a banner over the entire island of Cuba that reads:

Starvation Will Set You Free

Work did not set the inmates of the Nazi concentration camps free.

And starvation won't set Cubans free.

KillCastro said...

How is that they claim to want the freedom of Cuba when they rather help the Castros starve the Cuban people?

Oh this is the latest in war strategies, man just brilliant .
It goes something like this:
You have a tyrant who has enslaved 12 million people, but hitting him directly is too chancy , cause them pesky UN rules and shit , right ? so this is what you do , you kill the slaves !
No slaves , no slave master! aint THAT fucking brilliant !? But wait as a bonus , you get a desolate chunk of land where you can stormtroop right down quinta ave. set your hand picked puppet in power and claim all the shit you want for yourself cause after all , whos gonna stop ya. I mean after all you ARE EL EXILIO HISTORICO? You never climbed a mango tree in your life or get a mamoncillo pit stuck in your throat .. but by george your diapers were totally filled with poopoo when you arrived in the USA and god damn it that has to give ya SOME rights!
'mon a thing o beauty! Gems like that can only come out of the most heartless buncha pricks you could ever meet. Gotta make Hitler proud!

Anonymous said...

i kinda bumped into this one googling a dubya crack. the gold fish rationale made me laugh and starvation will set you free even more... ja ja ja!
so there's life outside that babalu crap. can you imagine a bunch of retarded white-wannabe supremacists grabbing a name from a black orisha? that's like calling your tyrannic act patriot (oops!) or to bring back very recent memories - picadillo enriquecido! enriquecido con que?! ja ja ja! way to go! george orwell es un nin~o de tetas comparado con la creatividad semantica de esta gente...

think i'm gonna stop by once in a while.

saludos!
peyote.

h a s s a n said...

MT

Hello.

I heard that freedom of speech was allowed here so i wanted to see for myself.

*Please pardon the following experiment in free speech:

- Hands off Cuba!

- Cuba Si, Cuba Si

- Pedro Lazo is a better pitcher than Livan Hernandez

- I ordered five copies of Vamos a Cuba and sent them to my five favorite legislators' offices.

I don't know how many of the aforementioned would have survived ten seconds at babbleblog.com so i can't wait to see how long they last up here.

PS - Remember Flight 455!!

h a s s a n said...

MT

Hello.

I heard that freedom of speech was allowed here so i wanted to see for myself.

*Please pardon the following experiment in free speech:

- Hands off Cuba!

- Cuba Si, Cuba Si

- Pedro Lazo is a better pitcher than Livan Hernandez

- I ordered five copies of Vamos a Cuba and sent them to my five favorite legislators' offices.

I don't know how many of the aforementioned would have survived ten seconds at babbleblog.com so i can't wait to see how long they last up here.

PS - Remember Flight 455!!

h a s s a n said...

Mira eso!

I have not yet been banned.

Wow.

Anonymous said...

I loved your blog. Thank you.