"I'm so fucking sick of people complaining about the travel restrictions and the restrictions on remittances... If you're too fucking dense to understand that your family in Cuba is basically being held at gunpoint and that you are essentially sending the perp the money to buy the bullets to load into the gun he's holding at your family's head, then I don't think I can convince you otherwise. -- Val Prieto, "Make Check Payable to ...," Babalú, May 27, 2008
Val wrote another self-described "rant" today against remittances and exiles visiting their kin on the island. For once, however, he did not bring out his patented pressure cooker. I believe that some credit is due to RCAB for its disappearance from Val's bag of tricks. The idea behind it, that to increase the misery of the Cuban people is the best way to end it, has been around for a long time and will likely continue to guide those who believe that Castro cares about the suffering of the Cuban people and would diminish rather than increase it if he had the chance. The fact that all of Castro's hostages are expendable to him is no justification for regarding them as expendable ourselves. Starvation is a powerful weapon of control. Castro has used it against the Cuban people since the ration card was introduced 47 years ago. Denying food and other necessities to our brethren on the island is collaborating with Castro in their repression.
If Val still believes, as he once said, that only a river of blood could save the Cuban people, he is sabotaging his own fondest hopes by desiring to starve them before bleeding them. As I have pointed out on more than one occasion, a starving man has difficulty enough rising in the morning let along rising in arms in the afternoon. That's the reason Castro starves his people. That's also the reason Val should not wish to starve them since he believes that it is possible to topple Castro internally sans guns, tanks, planes, etc. Even I will acknowledge that it would be easier to topple Castro sans guns, tanks and planes than it would be to topple him sans food.
I'm sure that Val meant it sincerely, but conveying sincerity for him is a hard proposition without using the F-word and its variants. Sincere or not, this may just be the most unintentionally funny line that Val has ever written: "When I go to Cuba, when I step on Cuban soil once again, I don't want to be Valentin Prieto from Kendall. I want to be Valentin Prieto de Bayamo. An equal." Oh, brother. My first reaction is: "Val, you can be Valentín of Bayamo right now (or Valentín of Arabia, if you want). No one is stopping you." Of course, Val will not return to the Bayamo of his childhood till the descendents of our Founding Fathers duplicate the feat of 1868. If they only knew how anxiously he is waiting, his fellow bayameses would no doubt burn their city as of old and make its streets run red with their noble blood. Then Val shall have the red carpet that he craves when he "steps on Cuban soil once again" as brother and equal after that blood is congealed.
"Freedom isn't going to knock on [the Cubans'] doors and ask to come in. It isn't going to arrive in a package from Hialeah or in the suitcase of a family member coming from abroad. Freedom is going to hide behind hunger. It's going to hide behind pain, it's going to hide behind sacrifice. It's going to hide behind bruises and in a pool of blood. And it's only going to be found when it is painstaking[ly] sought after, sought after with extreme hunger and empty bellies, with broken bones and bloody hands and with sheer desperation. There are 11 million people in Cuba, yet you see merely a handful standing firm in their convictions and against their government. Until that handful exponentially increases, not a damned thing will change." — Val Prieto, judging the Cuban people and passing sentence on them, Babalú, October 25, 2007
Notable & More Delusional Still: "Patrick Henry" Prieto Rides Again