RCAB will not be here to congratulate Val Prieto on his birthday this Thursday. So with some anticipation we wish him a Happy Birthday and many returns of the day (he will need them if he's ever to outgrow his puerilities). I'm giving him the best present he ever got and the one he most wanted. His ordeal is over. It lasted 22 months, exactly as long as Castro's stay at the Model Prison, though Val's experience was not as pleasant. Batista amnestied Castro to celebrate his re-election in 1955, and Obama's election in November has secured Val's release. Now he has at least one reason to be grateful for Obama's victory. For my part, I am fairly certain that my act of benevolence will not have the same outcome as Batista's.
Sometimes when you step on a man's toe the whole universe crashes around you. I hope Val remembers that lesson whenever he is tempted to test another man's patience and forbearance. If so he may yet be able to turn this experience to good account. But whether he profits or not from it is up to him.
In any case, effective January 20th, Val is no longer the star exhibit in my menagerie. Jumbo has been cashiered. I don't need to annotate his inanities anymore and I am glad of it. I have exhausted the subject of Val Prieto beyond my sufferance, and, I suspect, everybody else's. Hundreds of posts devoted to someone who should be tied to one. I am almost ashamed of myself for having focused my talents on such a subject, but true patriotism demands that we sacrifice even our pride for our country's good.
For a time Val was clear and present danger to Cuba's future: when a cabinet secretary quoted him as the "voice of Cubans on the island" who supposedly "didn't need money because there is nothing to buy there;" when The Wall Street Journal quoted his doubts about Yoani; or when the president invited him to the White House so that an aide could feed him a quote about Bush being "the first Cuban-American president."
Val's stint in the footlights was short-lived and not especially rewarding, though he tried everything in his power to make it as calamitous as possible for our long-suffering people and as embarrassing as could be for his fellow Cuban-Americans. Given an inch of rope, he stretched it as much as possible. If anybody had actually confided in him or entrusted him with any real responsibility, I shudder to think what harm he might have done. But the greater danger that Obama poses has preempted the slight danger posed by Val.
I did not want to take on this uneven contest but was forced to because nobody else would. Now, at last, I can lay down the cudgel because Val is again as irrelevant as his "Human Pressure Cooker" is obsolete. He is no longer in a position to harm our country and our people. Others better situated than him will take his place and complete his work, with results even more ominous. I am far from certain that he won't eventually endorse those results. But Val himself is a spent force. No resistance to him is necessary anymore. So I give him back his peace of mind. No longer need he fear this blog; no longer shall it set the tenor of his day. My pen will not scratch the fibrous tendrils of his spongy brain again. He can be a carefree fool once more. This is what I believe he was destined to be anyway.
Happy Birthday, Val.