Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What's Eating Antonio Rafael De La Cova? (Part 2)

I feel that Antonio Rafael De la Cova, as a Ph.D., should concern himself more with academic pursuits, not responding to some obscure AM radio host. The many years of academic research and study that De la Cova has attained should serve further inquiry into important issues, and should be used at such high educational capacities. I believe the public, who funds our academic institutions, deserves this from a Ph.D. But, it seems that De la Cova has a hard time understanding this value.

Recently, De la Cova continued his unrelenting attack on Marifeli Perez-Stable, another academic, whom De la Cova accuses of possibly being a Cuban spy. De la Cova's accusations are based on ONE allegation from 1983, and no hard evidence. A Ph.D. should know better. But, recently De la Cova found another piece of the puzzle for his attacks: clothes owned by Perez-Stable. This kind of investigation does not represent someone with years of academic work, and is quite embarassing. Let's examine what "El Duende" accuses Del la Cova of.

The personal attacks by "El Duende" are based on De la Cova's arrest by the FBI in 1976. He was convicted and sentenced to 65 years in prison for attempting to bomb an establishment in Little Havana. De la Cova was released and paroled after serving five years.*

These events have nothing to do with De la Cova's many years of academic work and the contents of his recent book. Those who wish to portray De la Cova in this manner seek to obviate readers from the relevant and important facts found in De la Cova's recent book, The Moncada Attack, now being praised for its scholarship.

But, it's also relevant to know who "El Duende" is and understand why he would level these attacks on De la Cova.

"El Duende" is none other than Max Lesnik. During the seventies (and into the eighties), Max Lesnik's Miami office became the target of a bombing campaign because he published a magazine called Replica. The violence that became rampant in Miami at the time is the basis of a recent documentary titled "The Man of Two Havanas." The movie was directed by Vivien Lesnik Weisman, daughter of Max Lesnik, who in a recent interview recalled those days as living "in a constant state of siege, like a war zone." The seventies in Miami saw the murder of influential Cubans like José Elias de la Torriente, Rolando Masferrer Rojas, Ramon Donestevez Dominguez, and Juan José Peruyero. Emilio Milian, a Cuban radio host, lost both his legs in a car bomb in 1976, and Lesnik's offices were repeatedly attacked.

These are the memories that come back when Lesnik hears the name of Antonio Rafael De la Cova. When De la Cova was arrested in 1976, it was a year that saw 19 bombings in Miami, the second highest after the year before with 37 bombings.

These are years that Lesnik cannot forget, but that De la Cova wishes to put behind him. And, unfortunately, may be negatively affecting his academic pursuits.

The release of The Moncada Attack should not suffer this personal pain. Instead, this sad history should be appropriately discussed at the future release of The Man of Two Havanas, a movie that deserves to be embraced by Miami, even if only a fraction as De la Cova's book was. Hopefully, this city will be brave enough to do so.

[*] Miami Herald, August 4, 1982, "Exile in Bomb Case Free 59 Years Early" by Herald Staff.

[Part 1]


Manuel A.Tellechea said...


De la Cova was convicted of attempting to bomb an establishment? That means that he never actually bombed it nor killed anybody. 65 years seems a rather excessive sentence for, in effect, doing nothing. These days such a draconian sentence for doing nothing wouldn't stir an eyelash in a so-called case of terrorism, but 30 years ago it was certainly unwarranted and unprecedented. Obviously, a judge saw that as well and released him 60 years early.

During the 1970s, Castro's agents provocateur had virtually carte blanche to commit terrorism in Miami aimed at blackening the good name of Cuban exiles. The FBI did nothing to stop them. A few exiles did confront them like Másferrer and were murdered by the regime.

De la Cova is to be commended, first, for having stood up to Castro's goons when our community was virtually defenseless against the chaos they engendered. He also deserves credit for having redeemed his life from the fallout and became the man that he is today, that is, for having fulfilled the promise of his youth as a selfless patriot and freedom fighter.

No man who loves Cuba and desires freedom for its people can feel anything but gratitude and admiration for Antonio de la Cova, who, in Spanish, is un hombre íntegro."

Mambi_Watch said...

Mr. Tellechea,

Your arrogance again astounds me, but this one really takes the cake.

First, it seems to me that you don't know the specifics of the case (and have provided no indication that you do), but are comfortable enough to say that De la Cova's sentence "was certainly unwarranted and unprecedented."

Thank you for providing no supporting evidence.

You said:

"65 years seems a rather excessive sentence for, in effect, doing nothing."

You obviously don't know the facts of the case, or have any knowledge of criminals penalties that refer to intention to commit property damage, injure or kill someone.

As far as what I have read in some cases, the penalties stem from the acts that reveal "more than merely preparatory" to commit the crime in question.

The 1976 case of De la Cova was part of an undercover FBI operation where De la Cova was seen preparing a bomb (a crime itself) and most likely had all the intention to place and detonate it.

The severe sentence most likely reveals the level of intent that the FBI evidence presented.

Then you said: "Obviously, a judge saw that as well and released him 60 years early."

Again, your assumption is based on no evidence. According to the article from the Miami Herald, De la Cova was paroled early for "outstanding behavior." But, there could also be another reason.

Many times prisoners are released very early when they cooperate with authorities. This is an allegation that has been made towards De la Cova about his early release.

I give praise to Mr. De la Cova for coming away from his experience in 1976 and becoming a Ph.D. I've heard him often on Radio Mambi present enlightening historical facts about Cuba, and with good sources.

But, then there's the other side of De la Cova. The one that is totally not academic, but rather immature.

I've read his e-mails that get posted on the Babalu Blog or Cuban American Pundits, and his allegations and accusations are are foolish as the posts by some blogger. This is incompatible with a person who has a Ph.D.!

I think his impartiality towards Cuba negatively affects his work, and I think people should read his historical interpretations with great caution.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


No, Pancho, you take the cake. You think that de la Cova's "impartiality towards Cuba negatively affects his work?" Don't you mean his impartiality towards Castro? Because Castro and Cuba are not the same thing though they may appear so to you.

To hear you call de la Cova "immature" also takes the cake. Tell me, Pancho, what are you going to do with so many cakes? I hope you have a sweet tooth.

As for de la Cova having "collaborated with authorities" to secure his early release that is nothing more than speculation on your part; for which I am sure you don't have one iota of evidence.

Your willingness to believe and perpetuate every calumny ever voiced against any and all Cuban exiles puts your own impartiality in question, as does your obvious glee at doing so.

What dark forces do you serve, Pancho?

Mambi_Watch said...

First, a correction. I meant to say:

"I think his PARTIALITY towards Cuba negatively affects his work, and I think people should read his historical interpretations with great caution."

Thanks for catching that one Tellechea.

And, I agree if you meant that De la Cova has a bias towards a negative view of Fidel Castro, Raul Castro and the Cuban government. We agree. But, this is what I always meant when I wrote "Cuba." My apologies for not being more specific.

My description of De la Cova's "immature" side is based on comparisons of De la Cova's developed research VERSUS his not-so-developed, accusatory emails posted on Babalu blog or Cuban American pundits. There's no question that these two sides of De la Cova are not compatible, where one side suffers from immaturity.

De la Cova's "collaboration with authorities" is an allegation leveled against him by others (such as Lesnik), and which I myself do not accept as truth. But, it is curious why he was let go so early. Your speculation is as good as mine.

Concerning my "glee", I don't write for those reasons. Neither do I blog for comments, unlike you who once said that you would end your blog if you stopped getting comments. How inspiring.

I write this blog to present a neglected view about US/Cuba issues. Excuse me if the facts bother you so much.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


When exactly did I say that I would end my blog if I stopped getting comments? What I said was that comments are a better reflection of a blog's popularity than a sitemeter. Then I explained why, proving that Babalú's soon-to-be 2 million visitors are a mirage since only between 10 and 15 percent of that number actually stayed for more than "0" seconds. For more details, I refer you to the RCAB.

Please continue writing your blog, though, comments or no comments. Even if I were your only reader it would be worth it to you.

Mambi_Watch said...

July 15, 2007
Manuel A. Tellechea wrote:

"Babalú has received a total of 44 comments for its last 20 posts. Nine of the 20 posts received 0-1 comments..."

"If such a fate had befallen the Review [of Cuban-American Blogs], I would CLOSE this blog."


I see you suffer from poor memory.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


At least I don't waste hours on a search for a quotation in somebody else's blog.

At present, by the way, the total number of comments on my blog for the last 20 posts is 157, which, of course, is a lot more than 44.

I see you have removed The Review of Cuban American Blogs from your Brogroll. I guess I'll have to do the same thing with you. Oh wait! I never linked you in the first place! Prescient as ever.

You yourself were the only referral that your blog ever sent my way, and I'm sure I haven't lost you, mambo. So, in effect, I have lost nothing.

Anonymous said...

From Site Meter FAQ.

Why do some of my visitors have visit lengths of 0:00?

That means the visitors are only staying to view a single page and then leaving. The only way that Site Meter knows how long someone is on a site is by the times of each page view. If they only look at a single page and then leave, we don't know how long they looked at the page. If they looked at two pages and left we would know they at least were on the site during the time of the first page view and the second page view. The difference between those two times would be the length of the visit.

Looks like my tocayo is full of it once again. Someone could literally read every post on the main page of a blog and the visit will register as 0 seconds. Of course we can't expect Marti's (mis)translator to be computer literate or understand how such things work.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Sitemeter is simply trying to flatter bloggers like Val Prieto into believing that their entire enterprise is not a failure or a sham. Zero means zero; there are not many ways that you can slice "0." The overwhelming majority of those who are delivered to Babalú by google see instantly that it's not what they want and exit immediately. If these zero visits actually meant more than "O," then Sitemeter would not include them as "O" in calculating the average time spent by visitors to the blog. Don't delude yourselves, although you are very good at it. I am ready with my own commemorative Babalú post when you finally hit 2 million visitors that will dispel that myth.

And since you are so very knowledgeable about Sitemeter, did you also know that it allows you the option of inflating the number of visitors to your blog by any number you choose?

Sitemeter is a useful tool for the blogger; it is of absolutely no use to anyone else who should consult it.

Antonio said...
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Antonio said...
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Mambi_Watch said...

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