Val Prieto said...
As much as I loathe even entering this den of sophistry, and, while I dont feel it necessary to respond to you or any slanderous post you write, since you are basically accusing me as the sole purveyor of starvation among the Cuban people, i need to set the record straight.
I believe my comment at PD speaks for itself and is more than resonant in its truth.
And, as with every piece you read in any major metropolitan newspaper and especially one like the NYT, they quote their interviewees according to their story line. My conversation with the NYT reporter in question was almost a half hour long. From that he quoted less than ten words. And, I might add, the least effective words to my argument and position.
While I do continue to believe that the remittances should not be lifted, my position isnt based solely on there "being nothing to buy" (Surely, once the humanitarian aid starts coming in, there will be plenty to buy at all castro stores.) but for a myriad other reasons which have been discussed and debated, ad nauseum at Babalu and throughout the blogosphere and other media venues.
Print this comment out, frame it and hang it on your wall in front of your computer and light a candle for it every day as it will be the very last time I venture into this blog for any reason whatsoever. There's enough shit going around, cuba-wise, to spend time coming to the internet's best purveyor of same.
9/18/2008 3:03 PM
Given your inability to draw logical conclusions or defend your positions rationally, I do not wonder that you would regard the vigorous practice of the polemical arts as "sophistry." Although you claim to "loathe entering this den of sophistry," you are certainly no stranger to it if that is your implication. Since the very first day that RCAB was inaugurated, you and your cohorts have been its most faithful visitors. Not that I blame you: If I had a Tellechea parsing my words and exposing their intent, I don't think I could keep away either. No need, then, for you to conceal as a culpable vice what is, in fact, a palpable virtue, though one from whose practice you derive no advantage.
Did it never occur to you for even a moment that The New York Times reporter who interviewed you for 30 minutes was only interested in entrapping you, and that, consequently, you should have chosen your words very carefully to avoid falling into his trap and taking all of us with you? When The Wall Street Journal interviewed you last year, you must no doubt have said something complimentary about Yoani Sánchez; but none of that made it into print; instead, only your suspicions about her were quoted. Did you assume, perhaps, that The Times would treat you any differently? Were you not aware of its historic disdain for Cuban exiles and the cause of Cuban freedom? Did you flatter yourself that you could outsmart them at their own game or even ingratiate yourself to them? If so, you gave yourself too much credit.
The Times got their "money quote" off you and it turned out to be literally that -- a quote about Cubans not needing money. I know you too well to suppose that this was your only faux pas. Your interview probably consisted of a litany of embarrassing gaffes any one of which might have served to discredit yourself and your fellow Cuban-Americans. But that "money quote" had the additional advantage of being so palpably untrue -- so divorced from all experience, and, indeed, from reality itself -- that not only did it succeed in portraying all of us as monsters but also as madmen.
There is no people on earth so miserable that their situation may not be alleviated with money, nor any spot on earth, however isolated from civilization, where money is useless. I could fill this page with quotes culled from Babalú about how important money is to you personally. But, really, that is not necessary because it is important in the lives of all men. Including Cubans. Is there anyone else in the whole expanse of the earth who does not know that except you or your soulmate Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutiérrez, former CEO of Kellogg? I am sure that his parachute wasn't lined with newspaper.
I am glad that you now realize that the "less than ten words" which The Times quoted from you in its story about hurricane assistance to Cuba "were the least effective words to [your] argument and position." If you mean that they were "the least effective" because they exposed your real motives when you would have preferred to conceal them, then I do not see that your regret matters much. The harm has already been done. When Secretary Gutiérrez echoed your now infamous words as the rationale for not eliminating restrictions on remittances, the suffering of the Cuban people was exponentially increased. The irony, of course, is that he attributed your opinion to the Cuban people. I can think of no worse spokesman for them than one who has repeatedly advocated starving them as the most effective means of overthrowing Castro.
That is still your position, isn't it? You have not repudiated your "Pressure Cooker Theory," have you? That being the case I don't see how you can accuse me of having "slandered" you for reporting your known intentions vis-à-vis the Cuban people. I have not accused you of being "the sole purveyor of starvation among the Cuban people." But you are certainly a purveyor, or, as I would have put it, a salesman of starvation; and -- what I would never have believed -- a successful one. What the elaboration of your inanities at Babalú over 5 years never achieved, less than ten words fraught with hatred for all Cubans did.
I do not for a minute believe that this "is the last time that [you] will venture to this blog for any reason whatever." Your last visit to RCAB? Do you think that anybody believes that? Do you believe that yourself?