Friday, June 6, 2008

Yoani Endorses Obama and Val Endorses McCain

When Val Prieto attacked Yoani Sánchez in The Wall Street Journal last year as possibly a Castro mole and perhaps worse, no one could have imagined except those of us familiar with his erratic behavior that six months later he would be defending her prerogative to support the same candidate that Fidel Castro has endorsed for U.S. president.

Obama, who has stated repeatedly his intention to negotiate with Raúl Castro without prior conditions, in effect capitulating to him before they have even met, since negotiations without prior conditions has always been the regime's official position, appears to enjoy widespread support among Cuba's dissident community. I explained in an earlier post that the Damas en Blanco support him because they feel that Castro will release their imprisoned relatives as cover for Obama's unilateral surrender, which will very likely be the case.

Yoani's own support for Obama is somewhat more arcane and certainly less explicable. She believes that his color and age would shield him from criticism by the regime. Again, she is probably right. Why would the regime criticize a fellow traveller who is prepared to give it everything it ever wanted with absolutely no strings attached? But isn't it more important how the regime treats blacks on the island than how it would treat a black in the White House? Isn't having a strong anti-communist in the Oval Office who will denounce and hopefully redress the abuses committed by the regime more desirable than having an apologist for the regime there who will perpetuate and increase those abuses by removing all disincentives for them?

Yoani is more daring, more eloquent but not better informed than other Cubans on the island. She has committed the error of judging both Obama and McCain by meaningless external qualities (youth, color) while ignoring their personal histories, political trajectories and closest associations. I do not blame her, however, but her expatriate asesores, who are now in charge of "moderating" Generación Y, that is, introducing censorship to one of the world's greatest cybernetic bulwarks against censorship. I'm sure that they gave her the same "good advice" about endorsing Obama as they did about instituting moderation. The regime is not the only enemy of Cuban dissidents; they are also preyed upon by exiles who use them to advance their own agenda.

Although we are disappointed by her political naivete, there are others who are not in her precarious situation, who, in fact, enjoy every advantage that she does not and yet have the gall to say that there is no difference between McCain and Obama, implying what Yoani at least has the courage to say outright however misguided she may be.

Babalú's Henry Gómez is one of those political dilettanti and obscurantists: "In terms of Cuba," Henry writes, "Barack Obama's position today is not monumentally different [emphasis mine] than McCain's or even the President's." "Not monumentally different," he writes. What the hell does that mean? "Different" establishes an antithetical distinction between "A" and "B." A difference is a difference whether "monumental" or not. Difference does not connote degree but essence. And, yes, there is a very essential difference between McCain's (or Bush's) position on Cuba and Obama's, which is not limited to remittances or family visits. Put in the simplest terms: Obama wishes to make common cause with Castro and McCain does not. If that is a distinction without a difference to Henry then he might as well vote for Obama in Yoani's name.

Babalú's internationalist, George Moneo, has a decidedly nationalist take on elections: He believes that voters should only consider the interests of the U.S. when casting their ballots, not those of any other country. In fact, those who even consider, let alone give preference to, the interests of another country than this one, he believes should be deported to that other country. "One can not serve two masters," warns George sternly. This sounds a lot like the rantings of those who attack Jewish-Americans for "divided loyalties" vis-a-vis Israel. Although, of course, George would never use that argument against them. It is only Cuban-Americans who must be faulted for taking into consideration the 50 years of tyranny imposed on the Cuban people by Fidel Castro (with a big assist from the U.S.) when deciding for whom they should vote. Since this is a free country (at least until Obama is elected president), any criteria whatever in choosing a president is licit. If it were otherwise, then this would not be a free country. Following George's dialectics, Communist Cuba would be the most democratic country on earth because the people exercise no criteria whatever when voting. There one doesn't have to "serve two masters." One master suffices (and so does one candidate for every office).

Of the three it is Val, surprisingly, who is the most reasonable in his assessment of McCain vs. Obama. Perhaps he received the inspiration while staring at Ronald Reagan's portrait in the White House. Or maybe he concluded that it would be a long time between White House visits if he didn't contribute his mite to get McCain elected. For whatever reason Val used his post announcing Yoani's support for Obama to give the nod himself to John McCain. Perhaps he thinks that one endorsement balances the other.

Val's was not the most graceful endorsement to be sure. Still, he promised to "hold his nose" and vote for the "old foagie" not on account of McCain's virtues but Obama's considerable demerits (which he lists). Well, at least Val does recognize a difference between them, unlike Henry. He also considers it acceptable to take into consideration the effect that one's vote could have on Cuba's prospects for freedom, differing to that extent with George; but, like George, he places America's interests first when voting and would vote against Cuba's interests if these were in conflict with America's. In this election, however, no such conflict exists. In fact, I can think of no election since 1959 when Cuba and America's interests have been more closely aligned. As Martí put it, "together they are saved or together they are damned."


A visit from Henry in the "Comments."

Don't miss this debunking of Obama's "victory" which includes the best Obama quote yet:


Fantomas said...

Obama, who has stated repeatedly his intention to negotiate with Raúl Castro without prior conditions, in effect capitulating to him before they have even met,

Stop lying Mat , Obamas has capitulated nothing. People like you Mat are driving people out of fear to enter the voting booth

the truth will make you free someday

Fantomas said...

Ya tengo el show listo para esta noche

11.30 pm EST

go to my blog see the player

Espero que llamen no me dejen solo en un monologo

go to click on the air shows said...

Wow, you really did your homework on this and wrote the article very well.

A great read.

Henry Louis Gomez said...


Your characterization of Val's quote in the Wall Street Journal is yet another example of how you simply lie.

Here's a link to the article so that people can judge for themselves if Val "attacked" Yoani as you say.

"From the bottom of my heart, I want her blog to be legitimate and be the seed that grows into something in Cuba," says Val Prieto, a 42-year-old Miami-based architect who edits an anti-Castro blog called Babalu. "The reason the exile community is wary is that we've been bamboozled time and time again. You never can tell when it comes to Castro."

That's an attack? No, attacks are what you unleash constantly. And I have no problem with attacks except when they are completely unfounded. I'm sure there are many things to criticize us about that you shouldn't have to just make stuff up.

Fantomas said...

Mat no le cojas miedo al tocayo mio ahora sal y respondele como todo un hombre

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


A lie is identifying yourself to the WSJ as an "architect" when you are not. I am, of course, entitled to my opinion of Val's interview. You may not see it as critical of Yoani, but I certainly do. So did the reporter who wrote the article:

Others, especially the exile community, can't quite believe Ms. Sánchez gets away with what she does. They wonder if she is an unwitting dupe — or a complicit agent — in a campaign to make Raúl Castro appear more tolerant as he seeks greater foreign aid.

"From the bottom of my heart, I want her blog to be legitimate and be the seed that grows into something in Cuba," says Val Prieto, a 42-year-old Miami-based architect who edits an anti-Castro blog called Babalu. "The reason the exile community is wary is that we've been bamboozled time and time again. You never can tell when it comes to Castro."

Val might have done Yoani some good if had been supportive of her in the interview. But all he did was sow doubts about her, and, as usual, discredit the Cuban-American community to boot.

the truth will make you free someday said...

July 23rd, 2007, CNN's YouTube Democrat debate:

COOPER: Let's go to another YouTube video.

QUESTION: In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since.

In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

COOPER: I should also point out that Stephen is in the crowd tonight.

Senator Obama?

OBAMA: I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous.


mr. driven out of fear said...


"I believe that normalization of relations with Cuba would help the oppressed and poverty-stricken Cuban people while setting the stage for a more democratic government once Castro inevitably leaves the scene."

Alex Hernandez said...

I see we are still driving the horse to the water.hahahaha

serafin desde Hong kong said...

Alex, te dieron computadora en la biblioteca de la carcel?

Nos habian dicho que te metieron preso por haber destruido tu oficina en NY

Val tiene el video en Babalu

Que te paso, por que hicistes semejante cosa?

Caballlo de Troya said...

Hey Manuel, they can censor you at Babalu, but they come here and participate

I don't get it? Participation one way street.

Will they ever understand censorship makes them little


Who Frame la flaca? said...

Yoani my ass

La Seguridad Del Estado owns her

Stupid I'm not

Vana said...

I'm sorry but that little speech of Val, from the bottom of my heart I want her blog to be legitimate, shows he thought her an agent of the regime, he turned on her without giving her the benefit of the doubt.

So Val is not an architect? he lies and expects others to be real.
Double standards anyone?

Agustin Farinas said...

for me the following was the best part of this article and it expresses my viepoint to a tee.

"Speaking personally, I don’t want to remake America. I’m an immigrant and one reason I came here is because most of the rest of the western world remade itself along the lines Sen. Obama has in mind. This is pretty much the end of the line for me. If he remakes America, there’s nowhere for me to go — although presumably once he’s lowered sea levels around the planet there should be a few new atolls popping up here and there".

He took the words right out of my lips.

Mamey said...

caballo de troya: This is news to you? Doncha know that Babaluland is a blog not a forum? At least that's their torture logic over there. We are indeed fortunate to be able to read (if we want) whatever Henry, Longfellow, Fantomas, et al., have to say without any censorship at all.
Thank you for that Mr. Tellechea

Mamey said...

I meant Babalu's 'tortured logic'

Angel Garzón said...

It appears that even in the so called Cuban-American community there are some people who have not yet learned to distinguish fluff from substance, even more baffling to me is the constant willingness to abide by political ideology no matter what, this kind of well presented, yet hollow and dangerous mentality was one of the factors that led our native homeland to its near fifty year regression and intolerable oppression of its people by the chosen "saviour" and his inner circle of lackeys.

It baffles the mind, that in this day and age there are some of our people who have chosen to follow in the footsteps of many of our parents' generation by ferociously defending a repetition of failed ideologies and responses to such extremism, it's just insanely inexplicable to me, some of our compatriots in exile are apparently unwilling to recognize the ability of communists to adapt in order to survive and expand, a new wave of the same failed ideology is now spreading throughout the Americas and has already been rehearsed in its "light" prototype in Europe and even Australia and New Zealand, it is the cloaked version of communism that I call neo-communism (new communism,) more cunning, more masterfully deceptive, more patient and more effective at subjugation and disguised propaganda than its twentieth century incarnation, it is a retooled ideology hell bent on global domination and the eventual enslavement of the multitudes that it sees as the prime source of labor for its global factories, mere cogs and sprockets that will perform their appointed function(s) and eventually be destined for the scrap heap, where their internal and external organs would be salvaged and sold to those in the upper echelon of this transformed menace's constantly recycled and renewed "leadership" all its powerful members emanating from the same privileged politburo. It does indeed baffle the mind.

CorgiGuy said...

Let's see unemployment up to 5.5%, stock market down 400 points yesterday, gas prices $4.50 per gallon and raising daily, people loosing their homes, food prices through the roof, a war that's not going anywhere.

Is all good, let's vote for more of the same McCain 2008!

Angel Garzón said...

Corgi, don't forget Ron Paul, the MSM has conveniently shunted him and his Paulistas, his movement keeps on garnering strength, money and numbers of followers, Tomás Estrada Palma can vouch for Ron Paul's character, it is due to his movement that I have not been active in the McCain campaign as I was back in 1999-2000, the Republican National Convention shall be very interesting this election cycle.

The stock market fluctuations are nothing new, the price of gasoline and the mortgage conundrums are the result of mostly the liberal policies of the Democratic Party that have prevented exploration, drilling and refinery construction within U.S. territory (land and sea) additionally, no nuclear or modern clean coal energy production facilities have been built despite the outstanding record that France has, we can thank the Democratic Party for that also. The sub-prime mortgage mess came to be as a result of legislation imposed upon the banking institutions by the Democratic Party, as well as, the market illiteracy of the populace that fell for such nonsense, in the period between 2003 and early 2007 my wife and me received countless offers to "upgrade" to a bigger home and blah, blah, blah, we did the math and read the fine print, conclusion: financial snake oil, we did not bite the numerous baits, many unqualified borrowers did and now they are paying the price for their own willingness to be deceived, there will always be someone trying to sell the Brooklyn bridge and people willing to fall for it.

The war was terribly mishandled by Rumsfeld and the Bush administration's many unqualified advisors, they all refused to listen to McCain's advice and ignored the counsel of those who sided with him due to their knowledge of military and post-war reconstruction (wining the peace) experience, we can't blame McCain for the previous blunders, especially not now that his suggestions have been applied successfully, if another betrayal of an ally (Iraq) is the chosen path, millions will be massacred (again) and this country will never again find any allies. I have met Senator McCain and can tell you without a doubt that he is an honorable man that although some times can be stubborn, is not afraid to admit when he is wrong, additionally, he is not a xenophobe or introverted isolationist nationalist.

Agustin Farinas said...

I agree with you wholeheartly. It baflles the mind, but Obama is getting over on them with his rethoric and the so called Audacity of Hope.
God willing the American people can see through this false messiah and wake up before November and send the Illinois Senator back to his Chicago friends to bitch about how racist America is for not electing him.
They will say that anyway even if he wins, so who cares.

CorgiGuy said...

angel, ron paul hey i supported ron paul, i'm a libertarian type. but ron paul lost credibility with me when those bigot letters came out. his explanation and handling was weak and some arian nation supporters were a bit too much for me.

this war is immoral and is bankrupting the country. our foreign policy is a mess that's why we are so hated around world.

Ron Paul had right don't intervene in other countries affaris, a humble foreign and no entagling alliances, common prosperity, that's what founder vision was.

Fantomas said...

Manuel me quede esperandote

Vamos a hacer uno con todos ustedes

me avisas

Fulano de Cal said...

Yes, you are so right Agustin, this great quote: "This is pretty much the end of the line for me. If he remakes America, there’s nowhere for me to go" pretty much sums up how I feel too.

Vana said...

Tingles up his leg, please give me a break, are the trying to hail this flawed man as a Messiah? a healer? I feel no tingles when I hear Obama speak, all I feel is nausea.

KillCastro said...

The ONE thing I never expected in the USA was coronation by populism . a litany of promoses backed by NOTHING of substance.
What is Obama's GREATEST achievemnet ? he voted against the Iraq war , well should THAT in itself raise some flags.
Yes I'd love for Bush's ridicouly and inhuman rule stowards Cuba were listed , but in exchange of what ? an USA ruled by whom a declared acomodator. It is amazing that WWII has eluded all of these cultists following the Obama wagon. has ANYONE see Lord Chamberlain with the doucment signed by Hitker hiself that he would not attack the UK ?
A show weakness enboldens the enemy. Clinton set that precendent while a show of utter forces sends the enamy packing Truman proved that. So in 2008 we decide History will change that we need to be all kum-ba-ya kissy face with the enemy and it all be okey . Did ANYONE see the May parade in Russia ? Do you think these guys are fucking around ? The WORLD hates us , the world envies us and there is NOTHING they'd like better that to BURY us. Obama will give them the shovel and participate in the excavation.
I TRULY hate that Bush or the republican party insist in the pressure cooker thory, which by the way we already tried and it failed once before the pseudo opening the hardliners are so fond of quoting.
A vote for Obama "may" look like a solution to the Cuban problem , but a bigger problem looms dark on the horizon , and that is the USA as a third world country.
Peachy uh ? I guess that we can always move to a perfect Cuba if the shit hits the fan in the USA.
As far as Obama not being a communist , you dont have to be a communist , all you have to have isa total disdain for both the policies that made the USA great and those which did not. And THAT is OBAMA. Doesnt the fact that he embraces his black DNA and almost apologizes for the white one?
Doesnt it bother ANYONE the blatant lie that he was never present when his pastors had the ratial rants against white america? May my comments be interprted as that of a racist ? FUCK YOU. I would in a NY second vote for Collin Powell, because with this man color is not an issue , integrety , experince and patriotism trasncend ANY color. Can anyone say the same about someone whos family name includes Hussein ?