Pepe Billete's Open Letter to Elian Gonzalez
I'm writing to offer you a bit of the wisdom that was passed down to me by my Cuban abuelos, because after reading your comments in the interview you recently gave on the heels of your trip to Ecuador, I think it's the least I can do for you, short of actually flying to Ecuador y regalandote una buena pata por culo. It comes in the form of an old Spanish proverb that reads:
"Calladito, te ves más bonito."
Like most insightful things in life, the beauty of that statement lies in its simplicity. It's a lesson I was taught early in my life, but remains just as valid now as when I first heard it at 5 years old. It's also one that you seem to have been denied in your 20 years of life.
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I've seen the pictures of you in your military dress uniform, and read your comments praising the Cuban revolution with the same amount of emotion I feel cuando se me va un peo. As a matter of fact I, like most of Miami's exile community, wrote it off as yet another inevitable tragedy resulting from your deportation to a country only interested in using you as a pawn to further its cause. You were still innocent in my eyes. I couldn't hold you accountable for what you were saying. After all, you can't expect to get chicken salad from chicken shit.
But as I read on, something you said in the middle of all that propagandist nonsense stuck out and hit me harder than una pata en los huevos. Something you said showed me everything I ever needed to know about your character, and spoke more about your worth and integrity as a man than anything you could ever consciously concoct. Once again, like most insightful things in life, the beauty was in its simplicity. It was when you said:
"I don't profess to have any religion, but if I did, my God would be Fidel Castro. He is like a ship that knew to take his crew on the right path."
The psychology behind a statement like that does a great job of stripping you of the childish innocence and naivete you've been afforded throughout the years. It's not because I'm some hard-line member of the exile community that believes any talk of political softening on the island is akin to blasphemy. In all honesty, yo no soy politico ni un carajo, and I identify myself as an American with Cuba representing the root of my cultural heritage. But I have such admiration and appreciation for the struggle my parents, mis abuelos and the rest of la vieja guardia fought to overcome, que me quedo calladito when passionate topics concerning the island arise, even if something they're saying seems outdated to me and in spite of the fact que ya yo tengo bastante pelo en el culo pa poder decir lo que me de la gana. I still hold my tongue. That comes from knowing my place and recognizing que yo no pase lo que ellos sufrieron, and it's because of their struggle that I get to live such a comfortable life. It's called respect.
Respect is the foundation character and integrity are built on. Respect reveals humility, and showing respect conveys to the world that you are indeed worthy of receiving it. When you said that Fidel Castro would be your god if you were religious, you went so far beyond your duty as either a good communist or un descarado greasing the political wheels to maintain the amenities bestowed upon you by the party that you managed to make yourself unworthy of the respect of even those to whom you were pandering. Such a bombastic and weighty statement gained you no extra food rations or improved living quarters. You weren't given any extra Internet privileges, money, or access to restricted areas. In fact, those rules never really applied to you to begin with.
It was obvious to everyone, even in 2000, that for the rest of your life in Cuba, the only people who would be able to boast having a better living situation on the island are Fidel Castro and 2pac. The fact that your father went from being a waiter at a local cafeteria to a Cuban dignitary almost immediately following your first media headline solidified your position in Cuba long before any court in the United States did. You had such a guaranteed privileged future ahead of you, earned by doing nothing more than allowing your face to act as the modern symbol of Cuban defiance. And when we occasionally read a quote from you about how great the revolution is for Cuba, we expected it and wrote it off as a result of your "education."
Yet, somehow you managed to break through the safety net afforded by using communist reprogramming as a scapegoat and say something profoundly revealing about yourself -- without the burden of any external pressure and with the knowledge that there is nothing you would really gain that you don't already have. You consciously made the decision to publicly turn Fidel Castro into your own personal Jesus.
Lo que me empinga about that statement has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with respect. A mi la pinga if you go on with the rest of your life as a proud communist o si te metes a vender el culo en el malecon. That's your choice, but the moment you made the decision to call Castro, the man your mother gave her life to escape, a god, you showed the world that you're beyond the courtesy of the benefit of the doubt that comes from using "brainwashing" as an excuse for who you've become. No one asked you to sell out your mother, pipo. You did that all by yourself.
They say that if you really want to measure a man's worth, take a look at how he treats his mother. Bueno brode, by that estimation you're about as useful as a windshield wiper on a goats ass. You can't exactly be blamed (or credited) for becoming a national symbol of communism in Cuba, but you alone are responsible for turning yourself into the Mona Lisa of un penco singao by disgracing your mother's memory and worshiping someone you should consider your mortal enemy.
I could try to see things from your point of view, but I'm physically incapable of getting my head that far up my ass. You see, while you're busy calling Fidel Castro your "god," Fidel has made no reservations about publicly calling the people that left the island on rafts "gusanos" y "escorias". What's most sickening for me is the thought that for you, this is not some arbitrary blanket statement he made about some ambiguous group of dissidents. No pipo, this goes far beyond politics. He's literally calling your mother a worm and a piece of trash. Your mother, who in the eyes of the rest of the world is nothing short of a hero and a saint. The woman who not only gave you life, but whom you literally watched die trying to give you a better future.
And how do you repay her? By referring to the only person on Earth with the depravity to call her a worm and a piece of trash as your god.
Baya Eliancito, ahi si que la cagaste bien, papo. There really isn't a way to come back from that, even if you could blame it on some bullshit external pressure. The fact that you would allow those words to escape your mouth, even if it were at gunpoint, is a perfect display of lo poco hombre que eres. But the fact that you said them willingly with nothing to gain from their utterance proves que at best, eres un mojon malagradecido y sin verguenza.
I don't pretend to know enough about politics, economics or modern Cuban society to argue your justification of Cuba's political system, and in all honesty, I really couldn't give less of a shit what a 20 year old coddled patsy would have to say on the matter anyway. However, I can say with the utmost confidence that you have proven that you are neither worthy of your mother's sacrifice, nor the respect of anything or anyone born from a mother. You've grown up to be the absolute worst a person could ever hope not to become. No se que mas te puedo decir acere. Unfortunately, you've already managed to say plenty. Asi que mira ver, before you decide to open your mouth again, recuerda:
"Calladito, te ves más bonito."
Dedicated to the memory and honor of Elizabeth Bronton Rodriguez
September 10, 1969 - November 22, 1999
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