While the world awaits the story of "Mr. Prieto Goes to Washington," Val has regaled his readers with a "Cubanish Aesopean [sic] tale" about an old Cuban fisherman who doesn't use a lid on his crab trap. Why? Here's the punch line: Because they are Cuban crabs. "When one crab tries to climb out, the rest pull him back in."
Well, I've told Val's "joke" in 20 words instead of his 300 and it still isn't funny. And it certainly isn't "approproiate [sic] on many, many levels."
In fact, not only is it greatly unfunny as a joke it is also greatly uninstructive as a parable. But more than that, it is offensive and untrue on all levels.
No people in history have shown greater solidarity in the face of adversity, or given more signal proofs of their willingness to help their fellow man at great personal risk and even at the peril of their lives than have Cubans over the last 50 years. It would have been impossible for Cubans to have survived our long national crucible if they had not been able to rely on one another. Certainly they had no one else to rely on.
We all know that Val Prieto is opposed to family remittances or visits to the island by exiles who want to help their relatives survive the material privations that Castro has inflicted on them. (He might make an exception of cellphones since sending these to Cuba now has Bush's blessing). Val opposes these visits because he believes that Cuban exiles return to the island to carouse like other tourists. For him, Cubans helping other Cubans is an aberration whether it's Cuban exiles reaching out to their relatives in Cuba or Cubans on the island lending a hand to other Cubans. In his eyes, we are the most wretched people on earth, incapable of love, loyalty or empathy. That is, something below even the order of crustaceans. And, like crabs, Cubans are only fit to be dropped in a pot of boiling water or seethed in a pressure cooker.
Yes, we already have Val's recipe.
Perhaps he even shared it with President Bush.
There is apparently one Cuban family at least where love, (blind) loyalty and empathy have not been extinguished. Of course, it is the Prieto family. This is what Val's niece Amanda wrote about her uncle's trip to Washington, D.C. to witness the last Cuban Independence Day presidential charade:
"I do not have the words to express how proud I am of my uncle. I told him over the weekend that this is his calling. He was meant to be a voice for the Cuban people. I don't know anyone with as much passion and determination for a cause as he has for this one, and I'm an honored to be his niece. "
The poor child obviously expects that the next time her uncle visits the White House it will be as president of Cuba.
I didn't think there could be something worse for Cuba than a President Barack Obama.
I was wrong.