We get letters…

Do we ever?!
Here’s a beautiful note that I received this afternoon:

From: madridjose27@yahoo.com
Subject: reaction to “The problem with self-proclaimed Cubanologists
Date: April 6, 2008 3:09:19 PM EDT
To: conductor@babalublog.com
Good points, with a bit of validity, but overall you are flat out wrong.(and ignorant)
-Phil is very smart guy who even works for a CONSERVATIVE – leaning thinktank
[sic]for State for REAGAN and BUSH- I! In other words, He knows more than you.
-He knows cuba
[sic] much better also b/c he has been visiting there for over the past 20 years! Unlike yourselves.
(1) If you had ever been to Cuba over past 20 years -you would know the majority of Cubans (from brainwashing or not) are true believers in
social justice and egalitarian ideals. Of course, they regonize
[sic]the current system brings NONE of that, and is repressive, still the popular culure[sic] is totally left leaning down there – you can’t change that.
(2) The reason Fidel has been able to stay around is the historical context, – Cubans truely believed he would bring social justice and more socieconomic
[sic] egalitarinism[sic] (result – all poor), but still this evidence is inconsistent with your story..
(3) You and your readers hostirlity
[sic]toward intellectuals and real academics is just class- envy –
Sorry you didn’t a chance to go to a good school .. your brain would work better if you did.
PS: i
[sic]write all of this as someone who recognizes the sins of the revolution. but also the sins of the exiles who want to push their view on a whole people.

Let’s see, where to begin? How about right at the beginning. I never claimed to know “more” than Phil Peters. I claimed to know better than him what motivated castro during his 49 year rule to enact policies such as the bans which his younger brother is now removing.
It’s precisely because Peters has been visiting Cuba for 20 years that I don’t trust the guy. I’ve never been in outer space but I know it’s a vacuum. Mr. Madrid’s argument comes from page one of castroism for dummies: “You can discredit opponents of totalitarian rule in Cuba by reminding them that they’ve never been there.” Well I’ve never been to Nazi Germany either but am smart enough to know the holocaust happened.
For the record I never said anything about what the Cuban people think. My post was about fidel castro’s supposed “hyperegalitarian” motivations. But the evidence does not seem to support the idea that most of Cuba would be left leaning if exposed to outside thought. I may not know more than Phil Peters but two million Cubans living abroad and rejecting that “free” world class health care and education must tell you something.
As for why fidel has been able to stay power, what I said doesn’t contradict what Mr. Madrid is saying which is that Cubans truly believed (past tense) what fidel never believed. He cynically manipulated them into accepting things they would never accept otherwise because of what they believed. If fidel had broadcast on Radio Rebelde when he was in the Sierra Maestra the fact that he intended to make Cuba a one-party communist state in which the act of disagreeing with the government, staying in a hotel that foreigners were entitled to stay or owning the latest piece of consumer technology would be forbidden, he would have never gotten out of the mountains alive. Instead he promised a utopia of social justice based on ordinary democracy and corruption-free leadership.
I am not hostile to intellectuals or academics, nor do I think the rest of our Babalu family is, nor was I hostile to Mr. Peters. I disagree with Peters. That’s still permitted, right? This is still America, right? I question what Cuban intellectuals on the island say because they are under duress. I know enough to know that many Cuban intellectuals change their tune once in exile.
As for the schools I attended, I was educated by some of the same good fathers that educated fidel. Also I attended the University of Florida where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Economics. Where Mr. Madrid attended school nobody knows but I’ll say one thing: on a Sunday afternoon he felt that I was important enough to refute. If what I say is so misguided then why is it so important to correct me? I’m just a man. Why does it seem that there are more and more people out there who think it’s important to dissect my every word? Whatever the reason it’s flattering to know that an “ignorant” person whose “brain doesn’t work well” like me needs to be refuted.
As for the supposed sins of the exiles who want to “to push their view on a whole people” nothing could be further from the truth. Liberty is having the freedom choose from many views and decide which one (or none of them) to believe. That’s a freedom we have here, and a freedom I want for Cuba.

20 thoughts on “We get letters…”

  1. Henry –
    The “commitment” with “Justicia” began with Sr. Marti. Comparing Marti to “The Castros” is like comparing Martin Luther King, Jr. to “The Reverend Al”

  2. (3) You and your readers hostirlity toward intellectuals and real academics is just class- envy

    Doesn’t one of the contributing writers go to MIT? 🙂

  3. He is amusing. Doubly amusing.
    First: “Sorry you didn’t a chance to go to a good school.” That’s rich from someone who cannot spell and does not know english: “they regonize” indeed!
    Second: “You and your readers hostirlity toward intellectuals and real academics is just class- envy” So, as an intellectual and a real academic I doubly suffer from class envy of myself. A question to learned Don Madrijose27: am I my own class enemy too? And am I one class enemy or two? Ah, the depth of Marxist thought!

  4. Hey madridjose, I don’t need to stick my nose in shit to realize that it is shit. Now you, otoh, may be a different story. lol Good thing I’m not near your nose. Judging from your letter, your nose must have a huge history in being in shit.

  5. “to push their view on a whole people” How is it pushing our views on the Cuban people by giving the Cuban people the liberty to decide? It’s called liberty, like Henry stated. I mean, you have the right to decide what type of government you want, right? So why do you give the negative connotation of “to push their view on a whole people” if all we are advocating is that the Cuban people have the same right that you have. And we are not asking for a one time decision, but we are asking for the Cuban people to make a decision every 2, 4, or 5 years continually so that they may continually choose their government, just like every other sane democracy on this planet. Now you may go back to your favorite hobby of sticking your nose in shit just to be sure it is shit. LMAO

  6. How wrong can the statements in this letter be? To me it seems to be written by someone who doesn’t read the Babalublog often. Class envy? Reader’s hostility towards intellectuals and real academics?
    Hey madridjose27, I did have a chance to go to school without having to kiss anyone’s ass for it (as my family has had to in Cuba) and my brain is working just fine thank you.
    I’m a loyal reader of the Babalublog, and while I don’t always agree with everything the contributor’s say about the topic of Cuba, the last thing that’s you will find here is class envy or hostility towards intellectuals and real academics. Indeed, intellectuals and REAL academics are contributors to this fine blog.
    I’ll answer this letter as a reader:
    1. I too have been to Cuba many times over the last 15 years to visit my family. I can tell you that it’s true that they are true believers in
    social justice and egalitarian ideals. But I can just as easily say that about most Americans. In fact, the very principles of our Declaration of Independence confirms it. The Cubans in Cuba I’ve spoken with are for social justice and egalitarian ideals because they are tired of living under the contrary. The are tired of social injustices and inequality. They may talk the talk of “The Party” but from my experience don’t hold it true in their hearts as I hold the basic American principles true in my heart. They have no choice but to say the words and act the part in order to fit in. Not everyone has the heart of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet to stand up to the ruthlessness of the Cuban government. In my great country, with it flaws, you and I have the ability to speak our minds without fear. Cubans don’t have that right.
    2. There is some truth to your second point; Cubans did believe castro would bring social justice and more socioeconomic egalitarianism. But he lied to them. Heck, my family use to smuggle food, coffee and news to castro and his crew when they were in the Sierra Maestra. They believed him too. Now they curse him and have remorse and regret for having helped him. The real reason he has been able to stay around is because once he had power, he eliminated the weapons from the hands of the people, executed his perceived foes (including some who actually helped him) and repressed everyone else with fear. Fear permeates the island of Cuba.
    3. Don’t confuse hostility with a passion for a free Cuba. As I’ve already said, if you are a regular reader of the Babalublog, you would know that almost all of us celebrate both those who have achieved much (both financially or intellectually) and those who haven’t. All are welcomed and treated as equal. Is it class envy or hostility to express an opposite opinion of someone you see as an intellectual? A true intellectual would be open to criticism without the name calling. Is it your hope to use this technique so that the reader of your letter will reject an opinion based on the negative “class envy” symbol? I think the Babalublog readers are above that. We can see through your failed attempt to label us as hostile or having class envy. We label ourselves. Intransigente!.
    I’m glad you’re able to recognize the sins of the revolution. But is it a sin to want to “push,” as you say, the views of the exiles on a whole people? No, it’s not. It is no sin to try to correct a distorted truth and educate those that are unaware of the reality of the “revolution.” How many “che” T-shirt wearing fools really know the truth about the image they so ignorantly wear on their chest? The “revolution” has been a master of controlling what the average American knows about Cuba and the Cuban government. The “exiles” (and many non-exiles like me) only want to let the truth out and hope that the listener or reader sees it. That is what the Babalublog is about. Shining the light on the truth (if I can be permitted to use a cliché.)

  7. well,the author of that “letter is a “human fart”…
    also,if he “presume de inteligente”,we can use the old saying….”dime de que presumes,y te dire de que careces”…
    also,he defends “Phill”,because “Phill” had been in Cuba several times in the last 20 years,so,”Phill” knows about the island more than us….
    well,i have to recognize that i haven’t been in the island in the las 14 years,but i spent 33 years of my life SURVIVING IN THE ISLAND,untill ’94,…did Phill survive in the island during his visits in the last 20 years..????..
    did “Phill live like a simple cuban,during those visits to the island in the last 20 years…???
    did “Phill” take the “camello” or another type of “puplic,monstruos and ordinary transportation” during his frequent visits to the island during the last 20 years….???
    did “Phill” live in a “barbacoa” or in any other “shelter” used by millions of cubans during his visits in the last 20 years…??…
    i don’t think so,…..so,please “human fart” and “Phill”…guys ,why don’t you shut the f…. up……and stop talking B S…please

  8. Oh, Henry, how terribly bourgeois of you to take your betters to task. But since I’m one of the great unlettered here at Babalu, despite my two degrees from mediocre institutions in which I received, alas, a most excellent education, I’ll join you.
    Whatever may have happened to the population since the revolution, the populace at the time was led to believe it was all about toppling a dictator and restoring democracy. Incidentally was the writer implying that that egalitarianism and social justice do not exist in the United States? And what exactly is it that exiles want to foist on Cuba? Freedom? Democracy?
    I’d like to submit that at this point, no one actually knows how the Cuban people feel, because no one has asked them in the privacy of a voting booth. Even if you visit fifty years and get those you meet to risk telling you their opinions, how do you know they are representative? How do you know you are not only sampling the equivalent of the West Side of Manhattan, or Texas, or even the South?

  9. Con~o rsnlk, la partiste!!!
    Well said.
    “… the privacy of a voting booth.” Damn that’s good. I got a chill up my leg.

  10. He said you didn’t go to a good school and you showed him by mentioning you are a Gator…trying to control myself by not saying something sarcastic. I’m with you on this one though.
    I have to give P.P. props though. I do disagree with him on certain issues but he does not appear to be a total tool. He is much more acceptable than Delahunt or Flake. In addition he is kind enough to link to Babalu despite the fact he can only expect to get ripped here.

  11. I don’t think I ripped him. I think my criticism is valid and I did not attack him personally.
    The fact is that the guy puts these fact-finding trips together to send congressmen down to Cuba and they all come back talking about how the U.S. needs to change it’s policies.
    Don’t we deserve to know whether or not the Institute is getting money from corporations that have a vested interest in Cuba?

  12. Abe,
    “A true intellectual would be open to criticism without the name calling.” You may want to share this with Henry. He forgets.

  13. I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
    -Captain Renault

  14. miramiradePalmira,
    I never claimed to be an intellectual. I am an observer and commentator. If you don’t like the commentary you can change the channel.

  15. Henry – You did not rip PP – I was just speaking in general terms that PP cannot possible expected to hear nice things said about him here. I agree with your reasons for distrusting him. Like I mentioned the letter writer was completely off-base in his criticism. You couldn’t be more right on this issue.

Comments are closed.