From the mailbag

Yet another email that makes all the hard work worthwhile:

Dear Val,

I was born in September, 1960 and came over to the United States when I was 40 days old. Thanks to my parents, I speak and read Spanish fluently. I grew up in Miami Beach among many Anglo, Jewish and African American friends.

My weekends were more Flannigan’s disco beats instead of the expected Salon Azul salsa tunes. As I grew older the non-Cuban influences took a greater share of my growth and an emptyness developed inside. When I saw prominent Cuban-Americans in our community that wore their heritage proud, especially those that came to this country in the early years as I did, I felt as if I was missing something. I felt that I was missing a true Cuban core.

Actor Andy Garcia, musicians and entrepreneaurs Emilio and Gloria Estefan are just a few that always appeard to me to be more Cuban than I was. Some of this emptiness inside developed because I don’t smoke the Cuban cigars, don’t have a Guayabera in my closet, probably give myself a 3 at dancing salsa, but a 10 at any hip-hop or English language dance beat.

It must have been this past Tuesday morning when I stumbled on your website “” I was searching the internet for “castro (I’ve learned lower case) death watch” and there you popped up. As I read your postings and linked to some of the MSM articles that have been published during the last few days, I realized that my core is pure CUBAN. The sickening effect that I felt and disgust with the ignorance or socialist, leftist mindsets that partake in today’s media, felt as if “un punson caliente” was being inserted into each of our Cuban hearts with each pro-tyrant article that was written.

I THANK YOU because your website has demonstrated to me that I am 100% CUBAN-AMERICAN. I have no inner void!!! I may not smoke the stogie or dress that “guayabera de hilo” but my heart feels what many in our community feels….and with a passion!!!

Congratulations on hitting the 1 Million mark. I must admit, I check in with a minimum of 20 to 30 times daily to check in on the latest news. I don’t know why I check in so often….it must be my inner CUBAN CORE formerly known as that core that felt as if something was missing.

Congratulations and thank you!!!!

Sergio R.

BTW…..I found an excellent an excellent profile of Cuba and it’s dictatorship at the link below. You may have already stumbled on this in the past. For me atleast…it provided some history that I was never aware of and clarified other’s that I knew superficially.


10 thoughts on “From the mailbag”

  1. not to be a band-wagon jumper ….but..

    after taking a 25 year exile from the exile,
    i came across babalu last year, don’t even remember how.

    this island on the net has been an oasis for me.

    one’s cubaness isn’t measured here. opinions are welcomed and respected with sincerity and open mindedness. the EEUU is respected here. Facts are presented with cuban chispa and under the watchfull eyes of Tia Amanda.

    more and more, Val and babablu are becoming the face of the exile community in the blogosphere and even in some of the msm internet websites.

    that , i believe, is very positive for CUBA.

  2. Emilio and Gloria Estefan are the total opposite of what I would think as real Cuban American exiles. Their parents – that was a different story – they were valid. Plus Gloria doesn’t have a clue – she has shown us that many times, her lack of understanding.

    Remember, Gloria is to Cuban music as to what Chef Boyardee is to Italian food. Think about that.

    But apart from Gloria – welcome to the Cuban universe Sergio! Babalu is the place to be.

  3. This is one of my favorite websites and I’m not even Cuban, just an Irish kid from NYC. Congratulations on the million hits, Val. The way your writing moves people you will hit your second million in no time. Keep up the outstanding work!

  4. whenever I travelled in my younger years I always became acclimated to the local culture through cuisine. In San Diego it was carne asada and rolled tacos…mmmm…
    In Seattle it was salmon and in Chicago it was red hots.
    Then I crewed on a langusto boat in Key West (stock island) and found out from the first mate (a marielito) that anyone that thinks that Cuban food is a ham sandwich is an idiot!

    What a crime it was to have been taught that cafe con leche and some spartan version of a panini was all that Cuba had to offer. When we came back from pullin traps one night on the gulf we had a Cuban seafood feast with oven bag chicken mixed in with grouper,snapper all that. We had all the shrimp and lobster and vegetables and I refused to eat anything that wouldnt get you arrested in Cuba for catching.
    OF course the Cubans loved me and we all drank Ironbeer and laughed at fidelito and the pravda crap they played on the radio. I can still remember looking up at the twin tail “Brothers to the Rescue” planes flying over us.
    Real Cubans arent communists and if it werent for camelot and the politicians kissing ass in DC to the sugar lobby we wouldve freed the Cubans long ago. Acedeme has really helped either…

    If I were you, babalu, I would get some Cuban sea food recipes going Serges way so we can all taste what Cuban food would be like if free people there could just get into a boat and fish all the would want.

    Ham sandwiches my ass.

  5. Welcome Sergio!
    I found this blog by accident as well about a year ago. I always have it on my desktop while I work and check it about 4 times an hour. It is the best source of information about our country. I live in New York so you can imagine it’s very hard to get true and acurate news if it wasn’t for this site.
    you’ll soon have a PhD in Cubanismo if you keep visiting Babalu. 🙂

  6. I too came across this website over a year ago and have felt such a resurgance of passion for my Cuban roots. I was born in the year of the ‘revolution’ but in the USA. I was (and am) proud to be Cuban-American, but as a teen I didn’t want to stick out, so I didn’t go looking past the surface of my culture. The deeper excavation for meaning has come as an adult nearing middle age — better late than never. And muchisimas gracias, Val for your help in the dig.

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