A debate has broken out at Babalú. Those acquainted with that echo chamber will be surprised if not floored. It may explain things if we point out that the debate is between Val and Marc Másferrer. If it were someone other than Marc who raised an objection to Val's condemnation of remittances, his comment would have been deleted pro forma and the dissenter summarily banned. But because it is Marc, who by rights should enjoy Val's respect and gratitude, Babalú's editor-in-chief has consented to reply to him in a civil fashion.
Val is upset because he think that Castro's goons in Cuba are receiving remittances from their Miami relatives who may or not know about their activities. It is entirely possible that such amoral men would represent themselves as enemies of the regime in order to obtain the largesse of their families in Miami. It is entirely possible also that many Miami families may send money to their relatives in Cuba even if they know or suspect that they are complicit with the Castro regime in the subjugation of the Cuban people. What is not true, however, or even remotely possible, is that a majority of those receiving remittances in Cuba are Castro's goons, which is what Val is implying.
Of course, in Val's way of thinking, any Cuban who is not being beaten up in the streets like the "Ladies in White" must be a Castro goon or a coward. The obstinate refusal of Cubans on the island to shed their blood in rivers so that they can provide Val with a red carpet for his return to Cuba once that blood is congealed causes poor Val to be greatly disillusioned with his countrymen for failing to live up to his own heroic example. Has he not had to contend with coconuts and dead chickens on his lawn? Has he not received mysterious anonymous phone calls and supposed death threats from other bloggers? Have not Gloria and Emilio snubbed him despite his relentless ass-kissing? Truly Val knows the meaning of suffering. Too bad that the Cuban people don't, because if they did, according to Val Prieto, they would have already risen against the tyrant.
Val does not mention his famous pressure cooker. I have berated him about it so many times that he has obviously rethought the metaphors that he employs to condemn the Cuban people. Val and Henry's "Pressure Cooker" Theory holds that if you double-starve the Cuban people and make life even more miserable for them, they will have no choice but to rise up against Castro, that is, self-implode. An island bereft of Castro and the Cuban people is their fondest hope, or, as I once put it, the cherry on their brazo gitano.
Then there is this:
"If some creep grabbed your wife and a gun point told you "give me money or Ill shoot her." and you gave him money and he told you "give me more money or Ill shoot her." and you gave him more money and he once again tells you "give me money or ill shoot her." Where does it end? What impetus does that creep have to free your wife, given that each and every time he asks you for money you give it to him?"
I pity Val's poor wife who in this example stands for the long-suffering Cuban people. Can you imagine! Val would refuse to give the "creep" holding his wife at gunpoint more money because he (the "creep") is too greedy. Better a dead spouse than to be "fleeced" by such a lowlife. It's a matter of principle. His wife's brains splattered on the street are preferable to succumbing to blackmail or emptying out his bank account.
I pity his wife. I pity the Cuban people if their fate were ever in Val's hands. Thank God it never will be.
In an unusual but welcome display of autonomy, Fantomas has also challenged Val on his assertion that Cuban exiles support Castro's henchmen with their remittances. Since Fantomas once said that he could not "afford" to be booted from Babalú, this was a risky move on his part. We are glad that Fantomas finally took a stand at Babalú, and hope, for his sake, that it not be his last stand.