Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Bellman Never Rings Twice Except at Babalú

'Tis that time of year again when Val Prieto's fancy turns to thoughts of Fidel Castro's death, real or imaginary. Even now Babalu's Founding Editor and sometime bellman is furiously pulling at the ropes and soon there shall peel out a now-familiar knell announcing the glorious news of Fidel's death, again. If this were a sincere impulse on his part motivated by a genuine if uncontrollable urge to hurry the Grim Reaper along on his ineludible task, we might excuse or even applaud Val's enthusiasm. But we all know this instinct is strictly mercenary and manifests itself at periodic intervals, not spontaneously, but when it will do Babalú the most good. Ironically, though the rumor of Fidel's death has circulated more than any rumor in history, it still manages to gain traction every time it is trotted out. Val doesn't mind exploiting the hoary rumor even if it raises Bababú's stats at the expense of its diminishing credibility.

The last time Val killed Castro, back in August of last year, Babalú received 50,000 hits in one day and almost as many the next, which signifies a spike of 1000-2000 percent. The fallout from the hoax that time, when Babalú joined forces with PerezHilton to disseminate the bogus news, was the most severe to date and should have taught him a lesson. The patience and humor of most readers had long been exhausted. They didn't relish in the least being made fools of again, having their expectations raised for the expressed purpose of dashing them. Fidel's death is not merely an occasion for celebration. The joy is far from undiluted. At best, it is a mixed joy: the murderer will no longer kill, but he leaves a mountain of corpses in his wake which his minions will raise higher in his name before the house of horrors that he built crumbles in a heap to form his monument.

Val has perfected a way of insinuating Castro's death before announcing his hunch as a fact. Today we saw the first unequivocal step in that direction ("... And Then Something Went *POOF*... "). If precedent holds, Val will announce Fidel's death on Friday. Gusano was bold enough to poke fun at Babalú's weaver of tales while insinuating that the reason the regime has felt no compunction lately to prove that Castro is alive is because Val has not questioned it. The sycophants flatter Val even when they mock him. Perhaps they enjoy the spectacle of his self-humiliation. We would enjoy it, too, except that it plays with people's rawest emotions and plunges them into even greater despair by feeding false hopes to them when hope is all they have left to cling to.

The rumormongers do not profit as much as Castro does by their work. Such premature burials and untimely resurrections only contribute to the myth of Castro's invulnerability and reinforce the notion that he has cheated death too as he has all who have opposed him. The only thing that can prop Castro now is to represent him as dead. As a living man, he is all but finished. As a dead man, however, he is surprisingly spry and communicative.

I wonder sometimes if Fidel is Babalú's messiah because he keeps dying for their sins.

Also of interest:

Is Fidel Castro Dead? Babalú Again Has the (Wrong) Answer

The Pot Calls the Kettle Prieto

77 comments:

Anonymous said...

isn't it today MARTES 13???

pancho villa said...

I remember the first time he killed Castro:

1)Castro is dead.

2)Havana immediately contacted Washington. – The communists were being very courteous- they did want to cause ANY problems in the USA

3)Washington contacted Miami PD

4)Val’s received a call from a “ very reliable” source inside Miami PD

5)Todo VALeroso Prieto informed the world.

The worse part- some people believed him. Yes, Babalu was the first to report IT.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to your warning Val is not going to cry wolf this Friday.

CUBAWATCHER said...

Manuel,

I feel as though you might by generalizing the situation a bit. If we step into a time machine and head back to August, we might recall that Val had stated he had no absolute proof that Fidel was dead and that he was theorizing on the very distinct possibility of his absence from the world.

A good deal of the information Val used at that time came from those of us who were on the island. While part of the interpretation can certainly be attributed to wishful thinking, we should look at the circumstances as they were back in August 2007.

Fidel hadn't been seen in several weeks. Rumors on the streets of Havana were so rampant that many-a-family were already holding small impromptu gatherings to toast Fidel's death in their homes. Then we get to the constant movement (at the time) in and out of Punto Cero, Fifo's heavily guarded compound in Jaimanitas, just off the traffic circle on Avenida Quinta. And it WAS CONSTANT. Cars and officials entering and exiting repeatedly over the course of about three days. That, in-and-of-itself actually sparked a great deal of the rumors and convictions that he had died.

Another thing that most folks noticed was the very overt change in patrols by police and Interior Ministry troops in and around Havana (I was in this area and won't speculate as to what was going on elsewhere). Where as the typical beat cop or perhaps a pair working in tandem was the norm, during this time, one saw more groups of four and five. I also witnessed something else that I had NEVER seen before - entire blocks in downtown Havna - specifically near La Rampa and on 23rd St. in Vedado - that were closed down by MININT troops, blocking all traffic in these zones within the area and cops, accompanied by the green-clad MININT guys, going from car-to-car, interviewing folks, checking IDs, etc.

I can also recall an acquintence of mine who was working for the Ministry of Information, shuttling paperwork back-and-forth from the Ministry to the Consejo de Estado - where Fidel is or was being housed in a private hospital suite - for use in the writing of his "reflecciones." These visits were constant and then, in late August, just stopped all of a sudden. As if his/her services were no longer needed.

Then of course, you've got the fact that most folks simply didn't believe that the "reflections" were being written by Fidel anyhow.

And we must recall that it wasn't just Fidel keeping mum, but Raul and ALL the government fat-cats. They just fell completely silent. Radio Reloj, and other Cuban radio stations, were suddenly making NO mention of Fidel at all. It was really very odd, and - as many of us though - very telling.

Val - as did many of us - misinterpreted the situation, that is true. But he said several times that he wasn't absolutely certain. Those of us who absolutely believed Fidel was dead used logic to come to that conclusion, and however incorrect it was, it certainly had nothing to do with any nefarious plan.

Anyhow, I hope that helps in understanding what was going on during those days.

Regards,

-Anatasio

Fantomas said...

Mat you are Back to your roots

the reason for having this blog opened

Anonymous said...

fanto,
ya te compraste ropita para el sabado?

Fantomas said...

ya la tengo no te preocupe mas por mi

Gracias

Zapatos nuevos y todo

Vana said...

No matter what Cubawatcher's statement, we all know Val rushed to get the news out because he wanted the ratings, he wanted to beat all other Cuban bloggers to the finish line, all he managed to do was lose all credibility, pair that to the way his readers are treated at Babalunia and is easy to see why Babalu is losing it's commenters.

Fantomas said...

Vana who is the enemy a cuban blog or the regime?

please answer me that one que me tienes loco

serafin el carnicero said...

cubanwatcher: this was the title of Val's post.

BREAKING: FIDEL CASTRO IS DEAD

Yes, those words show a lot of "theorizing".

serafin el carnicero said...

I noticed CubaWatcher, that you are not not part of Babalu's staff anymore, anything to say about that? Coño, you could have at least said goodbye, or talked about it in your blog. No por chisme, but hey, what happened there man?

joey "mugshot" giggles said...

As we say in the business, if you have no corpse you have no crime.
The old geezer's dead, right?
you'd need to show a corpse to prove it or at least a couple of fingers, a tuft of hair from the beard, or you get no cigar.
Castro's gonna be the new Jimmy Hoffa?

CUBAWATCHER said...

I just looked up that post. It was from August 24th. Two points – one is that Val was careful to state “we'll see if we've been manipulated once again or if today is the birth date of Cuba's liberty.”

That said, the headline should most certainly have included a question mark, so, point taken.

Still, I simply feel it wouldn’t be right to ignore the fact that a deluge of information pointing his death was assaulting the Cuban community from all sides. Again, this isn’t meant as a defense of that headline, but more as a simple explanation of how that all came about.

I was in Cuba at the time of that post and unable to read Babalu.

Anyhow, regarding my departure from the masthead. There were a few reasons – one of them being a simple lack of time. I was getting a bit burned out. The other reasons are more private and I’d rather not get into them. Hoping you can respect my wish there.

-Anatasio

serafin el carnicero said...

It's being said that you did have differences in philosophy with them, which is fine, about travels, money transfers, right?

CUBAWATCHER said...

Well, I don't believe there is any one blog that I completely agree with 100% of the time. I, like any of us, have my own views - some jibed with Babalu and some did not. Our ultimate goal however, was always the same - the end of Fidelismo and a transition to democracy and the rebuilding of that fractured nation.

Are you asking me as to what my opinions regarding travel, etc are?

-AB

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Anatasio:

The drumbeat about Fidel's death is Babalú's leitmotif. There have been dozens of "Fidel is Dead" rumours repeated, nurtured or invented by Val in the last 5 years. What distinguished last August's pronouncement was its lack of qualifiers; it was written as a news release (or "scoop"), not as mere speculation. There was, in fact, nothing speculative about it. Val could not have been more sure if he himself had taken Fidel's pulse. It was that kind of certitude in the absence of facts that called into question Val's judgment and motives. The "best" defense that anyone could offer for him at the time was that he had been duped by purveyers of disinformation possibly connected to the regime. Opportunism or even mendacity would be preferable to that.

Of course, history is history. The best we can hope for now is that history does not repeat itself. As one commenter suggested, this post might just dissuade Val from making the same mistake again. If so, it will be yet another service which RCAB has performed on behalf of Babalú.

serafin el carnicero said...

No, but if you want to explain, go ahead, make my day.

CUBAWATCHER said...

Serafin,

You'll be seeing (or reading) soon enough.

-AB

joey "mugshot" giggles said...

Hey "carnicero", leave the kid alone.
He will say what he will say, whenever it's good for him. Why the agità?
Say thank you, you're a polite boy, and read what the kid have to say. You from Jersey, are you? Can you send me some steaks to Nevada? pack'em in dry ice, you know what I mean.

serafin el carnicero said...

hey I go away to Cracker Barrel for a few minutes and some gracioso starts using my name.
The only carnicero was 12:53pm the rest are inpostores. I don't write that good. Mat check the IP.
Inpostores Inpostores...

Vana said...

The regime is the enemy, also some Cuban bloggers!

Fantomas said...

tu sabes que eso no es verdad Vana
( claro) hay blogs que son favorables al regimen como el de yohandry del periodico pais, el de cuban triangle y el de armengol por citar algunos ejemplos

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

serafin:

Every police state keeps its purges secret unless it is in its interest to publicize them. Apparently, nothing was to be gained by putting George or Anatasio on trial for lèse-majesté. Their disappearance from Babalú's "magnificent cadre of writers" was unannounced and unexplained. Like "good soldiers" they swallowed the capsule and nary said a word again. It is the totalitarian way.

Anonymous said...

Fanto, que zapatos te comprastes StrideRites o Kids Keds para el sabado? Tienes un beret para que pegue con tus bermudas?

Anonymous said...

Y no se te olvide la flor en tu solapa.

CUBAWATCHER said...

Manuel,

Regarding:

"Every police state keeps its purges secret unless it is in its interest to publicize them. Apparently, nothing was to be gained by putting George or Anatasio on trial for lèse-majesté. Their disappearance from Babalú's "magnificent cadre of writers" was unannounced and unexplained. Like "good soldiers" they swallowed the capsule and nary said a word again. It is the totalitarian way."

I don't mean to burst your bubble but, I was in no way "ousted" from Babalu. There was no "pill to swallow," no "trials" to go through - or not go through (since we're talking about Cuba-related issues).

-AB

CUBAWATCHER said...

Granted, I realize you're trying to goad me into giving up some sort of "big scoop" to use against Val and Co. I'm not taking that bait, as I'm not here to become a pawn in a nonsensical blog war.

Sheesh.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Anatasio:

I am not trying to "goad" you to do anything. As a "good soldier" you fell on your sword and whoever told you that was the best thing you could do was the one "goading" you.

I must confess to you that I was not the one who noticed your absence from Babalú's roster of contributors. It was pointed out to me by another Cuban blogger long after the fact and I chose to ignore it. Like most historians I am more interested in the generals than in the foot soldiers.

George's ouster, however, I spotted immediately and devoted many posts to that internecine struggle within Babalú, which, except for RCAB, would have gone unnoticed.

I hope I have not wounded your feelings.

joey "mugshot" giggles said...

Yow!
hey Watcher, I don't think they are trying to string you up for nothing here... Maybe that carnicero guy who's not saying thanks or sending me my steaks.
People have questions, Watcher, they ask, and you don't have to tell. But kid, don't get so nervous. I just woke up from my nap, adjusted my ankle monitor and what I see?
the tempers here flaring up.... naw, that's not good.
Tell your story, if you want. But people will ask, and talk. That's the way it goes.

CUBAWATCHER said...

Manuel: You may think what you will. It is none of my concern.

Joey "mugshot" giggles (I'm sorry, it's hard to type that without cracking up): there are no hurt feelings here. No worries.

-AB

joey "mugshot" giggles said...

Watcher, I know you're watching me, while I in turn am busy watching the wheels. Whatever loads (or unloads) your truck is fine with me.... I can tell you a couple of stories that'd make you giggle and relax. But I highly recommend some Frank (Sinatra) and some scotch, while you watch the world outside that picture window. I know you like that, Watcher.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

anatasio:

I appear to have hurt your feelings, as I feared I would. It is unfortunate that political differences between you and Val (not me) caused you to leave (or be ousted) from Babalú. I am sure that the blame is all on Val's part and that you took whatever side favored the interests of the Cuban people rather than those of the Bush administration. Such "sedition" can never be tolerated at Babalú. But say not another word. Your case is well known to me.

Anonymous said...

manny, it should be a quiet weekend at RCAB since 2/3 of your anonymous comenters will be at the convention.

Fantomas said...

Fanto, que zapatos te comprastes StrideRites o Kids Keds para el sabado? Tienes un beret para que pegue con tus bermudas?

5/14/2008 4:11 PM

No me compre unas boticas de charol para elsabado y unas alpargatas para el domingo

Anonymous said...
Y no se te olvide la flor en tu solapa.

manny, it should be a quiet weekend at RCAB since 2/3 of your anonymous comenters will be at the convention.

5/14/2008 9:07 PM

MAt , I will not post anything until late next week

Watch out Mat how your real time numbers go down dramatically. You are well aware that fantomas y sus secuaces comments are the talk of the town and are the life support of this blog

Arreglatelas como puedas , write something extraoidinaire o pon una a mujer desnuda or start a rumor of raul's death, es lo unico que salvaria a RCBA Nation in my ausencia

Lol

see you next week

Me voy para el airport gate 15, Spirit Air salida A, primera clase asiento 4A ( WINDOW)

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

anonymous @ 9:07 PM:

You are right. It will be a lonely week-end around here. I am half-tempted to fly to the Nostalgia Convention myself. I hear there are many surprises in the offing. One in particular promises to be a hoot. If you go, don't forget your handkerchief. There is no greater joy than when a stray lamb is returned to the fold. That joy will fill the hearts of all Babalunians. I cannot say more. I could, but I would spoil the surprise. Besides, I am not supposed to know because I am not really as big a clairvoyant as I think I am, to quote Henry.

Anonymous said...

Manuel you should go Grandpa M Cain should be there, Senator Martinez, and many politicians as well, famous artists, painters, etc la creme de la creme should be there this year

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

Perhaps we will meet at the Convention. I'll look for a guy in Bermuda shorts, sandals, a flower on his lapel, a red beret on his head, liberally doused in violet water. That should narrow it down to a few hundred. If you are going with your mother (as I suspect you are), kindly describe her as I might have better luck finding her.

Vana said...

LMFAO Manuel your last comment to fanto is hillarious.

Fantomas said...

My entourage this year is going to be about 20 people ..Eso es sin contar con other relatives and friends that are planning to go about 10 more

we will meet at a certain time on saurday

have to taste that lechon and the mojitos..uhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

Val Prieto= a guy in Bermuda shorts, sandals, a flower on his lapel, a red beret on his head, liberally doused in violet water

Anonymous said...

Agustin Fariñas=If you are going with your mother (as I suspect you are),

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

anonymous @ 11:02 PM:

Surely you are not suggesting that Val and fantomas both have the same fashion consultant?

Anonymous said...

Henry Gomez = a guy in Bermuda shorts, sandals, a flower on his lapel, a red beret on his head, liberally doused in violet water

Anonymous said...

Fantomas' mother is h-o-t.

long john fellow "aka lou dobbs" said...

Manuel you are way overdue. I retired myself for a couple of days and know you are implying going to Nostalgia

Anonymous said...

Manuel please give us a hint

What is the surprise at Nostalgia?

I may even go if it is good

Anonymous said...

kill castro= chivato

Anonymous said...

ljf= kkk charter member

Vana said...

Manuel, Fantomas will be easy to spot, he'll be hanging out with Val,and his nose will be brown.

Fantomas said...

Vana come down, I would love to meet you personally ..maybe you can lick my nose

lol

dont worry i will not use the whip on you

long john fellow "aka lou dobbs" said...

I went to Nostalgia once and met a nice lady. She was from Ecuador. We became friends after that

Anonymous said...

Another 100 plus thread Tellechea

I always visit your blog because the quality of the commenters is top notch

Very smart

cheo el bolitero said...

caballero... piensen en el los numeros piensen en los numeros que van a jugar.....creo que voy a da suerte en nostalgia

Santero de la 5 said...

Vayan preparados a Nostalgia este año , ponganse chalecos antibalas, me dicen que hay un blogero cubano medio loco que quiere problemas y varios agentes de castro, de vigilia amambisa, gente de joe garcia,de obama , de los dias balart, fantomas y sus gangsters, haciendo actos de presencia

se va a formar la de san quintin

Anonymous said...

si ya me lo advirtieron Nostalgia 2008 dara mucho que hablar

Agentes y dobles agentes estaran alli , grabandolo todo y tirando fotos de angulos muy dificiles de descubrir

cheo el bolitero said...

fantomon: ya tu quisieras poder duplicarte en nostalgia como te duplicas/triplicas en el "mundo blog"

Fantomas said...

cheo no te entiendo explicate y dame el numero ganador del sabado

tengo $100 reservados para eso

cheo el bolitero said...

fantomon: me refiero a los dobles agentes que mensionaste- cuantos defraces llevas ?

Yo no tengo problemas -- siempre tengo gualda espalda-- pol si las moscas-- y en mi cuello tengo a chango-- ma que me espante de to mal.......

Fantomas said...

yo tengo mi gente que me cuida y protege estaran conmigo en Nostalgia observando desde la distancia in plain clothes, el primero que se acerque con malas intenciones sera pulverizado

cheo el bolitero said...

fanto: ya la noche se esta haciendo vieja y aya en el patio duerme una flor.......

fotos fanto bring muchas fotos from nostalgia....

good nite................

long john fellow aka " lou dobbs" said...

Bring Kleenex

I guess V Prieto and Manuel T will make up at Nostalgia

I can't wait to see that

Anonymous said...

my guess:

George Moneo will show up. predictable.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

John:

V. Prieto and Manuel T. will not "make-up" at Cuba Nostalgia.

However, and more importantly, will you attend?

Anonymous said...

George Moneo will be around. He will be there holding the Kleenex box for the Weeper in Chief!

Vana said...

You guys must tell us all what fun you had at Nostalgia, I too will be going to a Cuban Festival on Sunday in celebration of 20 de Mayo at Jose Marti Park (Echo Park)
it will be the last festival of the year, I never miss them, they are fun! and the whole family attends.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Vana:

Wasn't there a controversy about placing a monument to Martí in Echo Park? Didn't the (non-Cuban) community leaders actually reject such a monument which was offered to them for free? I'm glad to hear that the lunatics have shut-up and saner minds prevailed there.

Have a good time at the 20 de mayo festival.

pedro el timbalero said...

Vana: do you have more info on the festival ? did not find any on LaWeekly.

Vana said...

Yes Manuel placing the bust there was controversial but at the time a lot of Cubans lived in the are so we prevailed, I always go visit the apostle and take him flowers when I go, thank you I'll have a good time

Vana said...

Pedro:

The festival will be Sunday the 18th of May at Echo Park (Jose Marti) Silver Lake District from 11am til 7pm, do you live in So Ca? I found out from the vendors at the last festival, see you there.

Fulano de Cal said...

Echo Park: The most recent (~2001) controversy was to upgrade the Marti monument (put up in the 70's) by making it bigger and adding a long wall. Many residents in Echo Park opposed it, and it got a bit ugly. I lived near there at the time this was proposed. The drive to upgrade was led by a prominent Cuban-American here who works for the city. Many in the community said the Cubans had all moved away Echo Park, so it was not necessary to have this big monument to Marti. There are still a few Cuban restaurants in the area. Since the controversy, I have moved away too (at least to another area in LA with some Cuban "concentration"), so I have lost a bit of touch with the local happenings there. Last I heard, the organizers had given up for good. Anyway, we return this weekend for our own "nostalgia."

Agustin Farinas said...

Fantomas or anonymous of 11:03(both the same) )
If my mother were to visit the Cuban Nostalgia she will beat the living hell out of you with a hand tied behind her back. I will ask her to do that favor for me just to make the fight even.
Coward yellow pussies like you who hide behingd an anonymous monicker to attack others, need some kind of handicap to engage in a fight with an 85 year old Cuban woman, but even then I doubt seriously you could beat her to a punch.
In the meantime you can kindly step into your quiet hotel room and go fornicate thyself!

Anonymous said...

Agustin,

I think you mean "masturbate." Fornicate is not something fantomas has tried yet.

Anonymous said...

kill castro= chivato

Vana said...

Fulano de Cal:

yes we have our own Nostalgia, see you there.

pedro el timbalero said...

Vana: missed the last festival on San Dimas-- too far from the south bay. hope to make it to echo on sunday.

Vana said...

Pedro:

I too am far, I live in the Inland Empire, San Bernardino County, too bad you missed San Dimas it was fun, hope you can make it to this one, is the last one.

Vana said...

Hello Agustin hope all is well with you and yours, we miss you when you don't come around, don't pay attention to fanto, you know he's insane, he was lucky to be released from The Madhouse.

Ya yo lo tire a loco.