Every story must have a conclusion and this conclusion was pretty much inevitable. Marc R. Másferrer's name no longer appears on Babalú's list of contributors. As pro forma at Babalú and Stalinist organs of opinion, no announcement was made of his departure let alone an explanation offered as to the circumstances surrounding it. I suppose that Val & Co. pretty much rely on RCAB for that. In the past we were also the first to announce the departure of George Moneo and Anatasio Blanco (both since returned to the plantation). In Marc's case, however, he did not wait for the ax to fall. The ax had been swinging wildly around his head lately so he certainly had ample warning of the impending danger. He showed remarkable forbearance in enduring a barrage of abuse such as no member of Babalú's staff had ever been subjected to in the past. I had assumed that this kind of auto-da-fé was reserved for dissenting commenters not "one of their own" (a favorite expression of Val's when parrying criticism from fellow exiles).
What was Marc's transgression which so greatly offended the sensibilities of Babalú's sunshine patriots? He dared to suggest that the Cuban people should not be starved in Val's Human Pressure Cooker. His support for remittances and family visits won him the enmity of Babalú's biggest blowhards. The backbenchers, many of whom I suspect agreed with Marc, did not come to his defense, or, at least, declined to do so publicly. It was an inspiring sight, though, to see Marc upholding, alone and surrounded, human decency at Babalú.
I suspect that he held out as long as he did because he didn't want to surrender this valuable forum for Cuba's political prisoners (valuable, of course, because of its extension, not its content). He would have continued to endure the ad hominem attacks and malicious innuendos if that were the only price extracted from him for lending credibility to Babalú. But, in the end, Marc was left in an untenable position. By willingly participating in this Roman circus he was sanctioning it. One cannot stand apart from something if one is in the very middle of it. Even accusations of being a "fifth columnist" and others equally as ludicrous do not cleanse one of the taint of such an unsavory association though they do serve to sweep away what little reputation Babalú had left for anything resembling objectivity or fairness. I believe that, in the end, it was the fact that Marc was a member of the MSM which most infuriated the Babalunians and made him the scapegoat for the MSM's immemorial wrongs. The fact that Marc himself is practically the only advocate for Cuban freedom in the ranks of the MSM was ignored either from envy or intolerance.
I was amused, incidentally, when one of Marc's detractors alleged that I was his "master" and behind this schism at Babalú. Marc didn't get where he is with my help; nor does he need me to advise him what is in his best interest. Nor would I, in any case, be so presumptuous. In fact, throughout RCAB's extensive coverage of the Másferrer Affair, never did I suggest to him that he should stay or that he should go. That decision was his to make and he made it.
Marc was gracious enough to e-mail me after his resignation from Babalú to inform me of his decision. I suppose he feared that I might assume that he had been booted rather than resigned. Here we see again the measure of the man. Marc was concerned that an injustice should not be done to those who had treated him so shabbily. And, yes, he was right. I would have assumed that Val had ousted him. So would everybody else who is acquainted with Val Prieto and his modus operandi.
We have said in the past that Marc Másferrer, by focusing on the plight of Cuba's political prisoners at Uncommon Sense, provides the most valuable service to the cause of Cuban freedom of any Cuban blogger. It is our hope that Babalú will not ignore his work even if its big tent is not big enough to accommodate him. There is one positive sign at least -- they have not stricken Marc's blog from their Blogroll.
The Schism at Babalú Over Remittances
Deconstructing Henry Gómez's "Perverse" Attack on Marc Másferrer
Babalú Continues Auto-da-Fé Against Marc Másferrer Over Remittances (UPDATE)
The Trial of Marc Másferrer Continues