Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Emptying the think tank

I feel like drying empty the Lexington Institute, a think tank where one of the “research themes” is Cuba, but I think that it would be a much greater idea to populate its waters with clarias, in case that even the cannibal Cuban frankenfish can withstand that kind of thought pollution.

As most of y’all know, the Cuban “government” once “encouraged” its citizens (or should I say subjects?) to raise tilapias in 55 gallon tanks. One of the “selling points” was that they were easy to feed, because they also eat their own excrement. I can’t think of think tanks without thinking of tilapia tanks. Sorry, there are fine think tanks out there. But living –and surviving- the special period in Cuba does some damage to your mind and leaves some permanent scars and tattoos in your brain.

At the Lexington Institute, Phil Peters take the task of analyzing Gorki’s personality, live, oeuvre and arrest(s) from a very far removed observation post. Or is it an ivory tower, perched on the skirts of Washington DC, on the quasi bucolic shores of the Potomac?

I have corresponded with Phil Peters in the past, and have taken a look at his ideas of bringing businesses to Cuba, but I always encounter a bulwark when all these deals tend to legitimize the Cuban “government” as a partner. He’s kind of critical of the general situation, but in his post Gorki! he doesn’t mince words to attack the rocker, aligning himself with the government thugs.

Manuel Tellechea, the writer of the Review of Cuban American Blogs does a superb job in deconstructing Phil Peter’s smear job on Gorki, which allows me to concentrate on what I answered in Peter’s comments’ section. I only wonder how many cookie points it earned Phil with his friends in high places in Havana –and Washington, DC.

Some time ago, Phil wanted me to introduce him to Gorki and meet me somewhere in the city. He was curious about my blogging endeavours but he was not willing to carry a letter and a CD that I had for Gorki. Still, now he allows himself to write harshly about him, and to smear him with a very wide brush, and it prompted me to write the following comment on his blog:

Charlie Bravo said….

Remember when you wanted to meet Gorki and asked me for an introduction but you told me that you would not take a CD and a letter that I wanted to give you for him?
Remember what I said, that maybe you should not meet him?

I think that I was right when I decided that you didn't deserve to meet a man who has the cojones to stand up straight against that regime.

Phil, this article amplifying what the regime says about Gorki is just low.

Had you met him at that time I would not be surprised if I saw you know trying to jump onto the bandwagon.
Ah, what a moralist.
Do you have anything to say about the morals of Raul Castro?

This jewel of a paragraph you typed says everything about you:

"That may indeed be what happened – even though, in the event, Gorki was convicted of “disobedience,” got no jail time, and was fined 600 pesos. One can’t discount the intimidation value of a few nights in jail with a trial and possible jail time looming."

Do you really believe that a few nights in jail can intimidate a real man?
What's your next piece of advise for the regime about intimidating Gorki, waterboarding perhaps?

Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Peters. So you condemn Gorki, and we are to supposed to be blessed with your "friendship"? It sounds more like arrogance, (false sense of) superiority, and more.
September 8, 2008 3:54 PM

Then I got this rebuttal…..

Anonymous said...

I can see how it might be hard to find a place to rehearse if the Cuban govt doesn't sanction you; but that doesn't mean your neighbors don't still legitimately hate the noise. I think the govt wanted to intimidate him and neighbor complaints gave them the reason to.

This musician is no Havel of Havana. I'm a little shocked that everyone would rush to defend a guy whose songs feature the debasement - and murder- of women. He's sick. I won't suggest he shouldn't have the right to sing this garbage, but if he were here in the US all of you would play Tipper Gore and call him just a punk.

Where is the outcry when a book gets banned from a school right here in the USA?
September 9, 2008 1:35 PM

And I retorted:

Charlie Bravo said...

The song in question does not advocate for women assassination, one needs to be a little too wanton to condemn the singer for that. The song talks about a famous case in Havana, a real murder case in which a woman was assassinated in the Colon Cemetery by her lover. But how would you know that.... Of course Peters could have done his homework, but decided to use ONE song to condemn the artist.
Ever heard of freedom of speech?
Do you think that it's only applicable to Anglo Saxon Americans and not to Spanish speaking Cubans in Cuba? Well, it's a universal right.
Now, you might want to limit the right of the artists to get whatever they want from real life and sing about it. Remember Maxwell's Silver Hammer? Would you accuse Lennon and McCartney of promoting killings with a hammer blow to the back of the victim's head? Would you say that "She left through the bathroom window" encouraged young girls to run away from home?
Or that "happiness is a warm gun" is an anthem for nuts with guns conquering happiness with the smoking barrels of their pistols?
That's your prerogative.
I hope you criticize with the same zeal the lyrics of gangsta rap, which really talk about killing cops and raping women, pimping and so on, but somehow you don't seem to be the type. As per the neighbors accusations, read the numerous blogs and the press, and ultimately listen to the interviews available online with Gorki's father, band members, and others; the accusation comes from a woman called Heidi, who doesn't even live in the same building. Gorki's next door neighbors testified that they weren't bothered by the music, his lyrics, or the noise. This is all the doing of the regime which in its best tradition fabricated yet another case. Maybe government intimidation sounds right for you, given that you hate some sort of music. Do you use the police to intimidate your neighbors? Just asking. From me, you get a lot of outcry when censorship is applied, but from you... what I am getting is that censorship is ok, as long is practiced by the tyranny of Cuba.

I needed to mention all of this in this blog, for us to be reminded that we have a lot of totalitarians in embryo and in uterus here in the Good Ole United States of America, too.

They are quick to justify whatever comes from a communist tyranny, while at the same time they claim that the U.S.A. is a police state, but have no qualms in endorsing police intimidation on Cuban rebels. That, my friends, has a name: hypocrisy.

Flush the think tank.

A guy by the moniker of Leftside, or Leftard had some questions.
Of course, he had posed them in another website, Along the Malecon, where I answered them, and now he repeats on the Cuban Triangle, with the hopes of casting doubts on the integrity of Porno Para Ricardo, Gorki, or the people whom he call "his handlers".
These were his comments, followed by my answers:
Blogger leftside said...

It needs to be pointed out that Bravo and Gomez have a personal relationship with the "artist" Gorki. They ought to explain it. Who maintains Gorki's website, who sells his CDs? Who has handles his PR and carefully promoted the image of a censored rebel, which was broadcasted around the world verbatim without a fact check or semblence of journalism in sight? While we are at it, we can ask them about their views of violence in relation to Cuba.

Gorki's own website features multiple mentions of being spoken to about the decibel levels - by neighbors and the authorities. He was clearly warned, but with his ego fed by by his US backers, he probablty decided to thumb his nose and risk arrest, knowing full well it would be misunderstood and made into a propoganda moment for those with radical plans for the island. Even with the laughable outcome, they probably think they still won the battle because there were far fewer stories sent around the world about the outcome. A high-school buddy of mine had heard of the arrest but not of the result. Perfect.

September 10, 2008 6:06 PM

Blogger Charlie Bravo said...

Leftie:
Henry does not have ANY relationship whatsoever with Gorki or Porno Para Ricardo.
I do.
I help maintain their website.
By the way, there are some free MP3 available in the website and soon there will be another website which will feature free music by a member of the band, in case you care. I suspect you don't.
His CDs are sold and all the proceeds go to the band, you don't work for the IRS so I don't have to give you more details, but here you are:
An independent company prints the CDs
They are mailed to whoever buy them, regular USPS, or rush, depending on how fast the customer wants it. The CDs are sold for 9.99. From that figure discount the cost of printing covers, pressing the CDs, mailing to us, and mailing to the client and you have just a meager symbolic amount that goes to the band, and then you have to discount the fee that certified agencies as Western Union charge to send the proceeds to the band. Ah, and I suppose you have to be grateful to Bush and Co. that we can only send a limited amount of cash to the band per year.

Of course, you could have ask that at the bands website, but following the toilet logics of your communist brain you have to ask here with the hope of discredit the band or what you call "their handlers" when the only ones with handlers are commie groupies as yourself. Mind you, the ones who love communism without suffering it.
PR: the website. If we were as good at PR as you suggest, the band would not be constrained to rehearse in a makeshift studio or being verboten in Cuba, we would have landed some good Latin American and Spanish gigs for them, and maybe some in Miami -given that we are so good that we would be able to convince your idols to let them out of Cuba. You asked the same questions in Along the Malecon, but you have to ask them again. These were my answers again.
Violence in relation to Cuba:
The communist government of Cuba is violent against 12 million human beings.
Fact checking, ask CNN, AFP, EFE, and all the other agencies that have visited the band in Cuba. They can give you a thick file on their findings. The same is valid for the Nobel Institute, and Free Muse, not to mention Amnesty International.
Censored rebel: if they go after you and they ban you from performing in the public space due to your political views, then you are a censored rebel.
A per your second paragraph, it is so high schoolish that it doesn't merit comments.... but let's say....
Would you condone the silencing of liberal acts in the United States just because they don't cheer for Bush? Because I don't. For me they have their God given right to dissent, from Bush and from whoever is in power. But for you.... since the target is the dictatorial government of Cuba -which is sacrosanct for you- they ought to be prosecuted.
Now that I answered all your questions, you are free to go have a life. A nice one.

September 10, 2008 11:33 PM