Saturday, August 4, 2007

What's Eating Antonio Rafael De La Cova? (Part 1)

With the release of his newest book, Antonio De la Cova has been embraced fully by most in Miami. He has appeared repeatedly on Radio Mambi to talk about his book (and also for an hour on WQBA for a popular talk show), appeared repeatedly on local Spanish TV stations (with Oscar Haza on Mano Limpia, twice with Luis Conte Agüero on Telemiami), he's had numerous book presentations (one at UM's prestigious Casa Bacardi, one at the local Books and Books which was taped by C-Span2, and one today near Little Havana, not to mention others, which makes five presentations altogether), and articles in the Miami Herald and Diario Las Americas. Of course, let's not forget the Babalu Blog. And, its only been about one month in release.

The publicity this book has received in Miami is an author's dream. So, yesterday morning De la Cova comes on Radio Mambi's roundtable program "En Caliente" (for just 15 minutes) and mentions that the book has been received well and that sales are great, and mentions today's book signing (which took place at Sentir Cubano). But, instead of talking about how incredibly hospitable Miami has been, De la Cova all of a sudden mentions "El Duende."

De la Cova says that "El Duende" has been waging personal attacks on him since the publication of his newest book. De la Cova's book, The Moncada Attack: The Birth of the Cuban Revolution, is being described as THE authoritative book on the attack of the Moncada Barracks, a "tour de force" and "ground breaking." This is hopefully the case since De la Cova spent 30 years (!) doing research and interviews for the book. De la Cova is without question a very good historian. His excellent website, Latin American Studies, provides a vast archive of news articles, photos, and reports (of which I have found very useful myself). The numerous interviews which have contributed to his newest book are accessible to everyone on his website, in PDF or MP3 format.

So, De la Cova, instead of basking in the strong local support of his new book, talks about how he's being vilified by "El Duende." I'm thinking: who cares about "El Duende?" For those who don't know, "El Duende" (The Goblin/Ghost) is a radio personality on WOCN 1450 AM, which appears for only TEN MINUTES daily, on a radio station that doesn't even register an Arbitron rating, and is mostly dominated by Haitian programming.

Why does "El Duende" bother De la Cova?


[Part 2]


Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I hope you know what you are doing by baiting Tony de la Cova. This man is not Val Prieto or Henry Gómez: he is as far from them as earth is from the moon. If, as I suspect, this is the prelude to a hatchet job, you better remember where you laid your traps, because you may just find yourself running over the same territory.

I derive my fun from picking on intellectual gnats. You have chosen to face down a giant and you must really ask yourself if you have what it takes to be Jack.

De la Cova is an intellectual and a moral giant and he is far from his decline, unlike poor Posada whom you have abused in so many ways.

I knew that eventually you would put de la Cova within your sights; the temptation to take him on was more than you could resist. But, as I said, you are in another league now and I don't think you can hack it there. I suppose that I could flatter your ego and sit back and watch you get mauled. But as an advocate of fair play, I feel the obligation to warn you.

We'll see.

Mambi_Watch said...

You have no idea how much your advanced warning has delighted me.

I have a lot of respect for Mr. De la Cova, specifically his academic work. As far as I know, his new book deserves all kinds of praise, and I look forward to reading it soon.

As you will soon see, my post will reflect on how I cannot understand Mr. De la Cova, the academic, reducing himself to the level of some radio dj from some unknown station.

A man like Mr. De la Cova, with the years of dedicated research behind him, should pay no attention to such commentary, and look forward to many more years of research.

But, I still wonder why he's so bothered. I have a theory.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Yes, I know you have a "theory." I also know what that "theory" is.

Mambi_Watch said...

Do tell.

Antonio said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Antonio said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mambi_Watch said...

The deleted posts above were repeated comments by Mr. De la Cova which were also posted and responded to here:

Chris Vogel said...

I can't imagine that anyone reading his Moncada study would consider de la Cova to be an historian at all. This book is a vicious, unprincipled, wildly intemperate attack on everyone except Batista and his henchmen. This isn't history, its propaganda (presumably well funded by the CANF). That's a shame, because a legitimate study of this event would be helpful.

Ignacio Martinez said...

Pray tell, Mr Vogel, how do you know? Have you ever talked to a participant in the Moncada attack that is not part of the Castro Mafia in Cuba? I have and to a few. Their account better matches the book than the fiction coming from Cuba and the shameless Hollywood film about it. What would you expect from Hollywood.! If it casts a sinister light on Mr Castro is because he managed to convince many idealistic young men (he had already HIS henchmen) to sacrifice themselves for a warped effort, which was never anything else than seizing power for himself and perpetuating it.