Monday, August 18, 2008

Nothing to Cheer About in Beijing for Cubans

At the 1904 Olympics, held in St. Louis, Cuba finished 3rd in the overall medal count and tied for 2nd with Germany and Canada in gold medals won. It is unlikely, if not impossible, that Cuba will ever exceed or equal that achievement. Castro's athletes would be lucky to win as many gold medals in Beijing as Cubans did in St. Louis 104 years ago; but winning 4 gold medals today would not put Cuba among the top medal winners.

We were surprised to see that a Cuban blog based in Spain is keeping a running count of the medals won by Cubans in Beijing. If each winning athlete were granted his (or her) freedom as a prize (as slaves were in the ancient Olympics) , we would be cheering for the Cuban team to win all the medals. However, the "honor" of continuing to serve Castro or dedicating medals to him is not one that I wish for them, and since, as Castro himself has gloated, the fraternal Chinese will guarantee that he suffers no "losses" there, nothing can be expected from the Beijing Games but another propaganda victory for Cuba and that's nothing to cheer about.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Should We Cheer for Cuban Athletes At International Competitions? Only If We Revel in their Degradation

An actual discussion, sans obscenities, threats or anathemas (so far), is taking place at Babalú blog in response to Alberto de la Cruz's observation that "they must be eating out their livers in Havana right now" because the Americans beat the Cubans to win the Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. A commenter, Espirituano, observed correctly that Cubans on the island do root for their players (we might add, whether playing in Cuba or the U.S.). Cruz, and, especially, abajofidel (fantomas), forcefully brought home the point that a victory for Cuba is a victory for no one except Castro, certainly not for the Cuban people or even the Cuban athletes themselves.

Do Cuban athletes represent the Cuban people? The Cuban people believe they do and they are closer to them than Americans are to their athletes. For one thing, though they receive perks which ordinary Cubans do not, these afford Cuban athletes, even at the highest levels, a lifestyle which is far, far closer to that of ordinary Cubans than the salaries of their American counterparts place them in relation to ordinary Americans. A professional athlete in the U.S. can aspire to earn as much or more than a CEO of a Fortune 500 company; no athlete in Cuba earns more than a major in the army. Cuban players are obviously exploited by the regime and denied the opportunity to employ their talents to their fullest potential. All Cubans can empathize with their plight because all Cubans share it. Excluding the parasites of the regime, all other Cubans would be doing better today, whatever their positions, if the state released them from the yoke which it imposes on all Cuban workers, that is, if serfdom were abolished in Cuba. Of course, athletes are the most exploited of all Cubans; their real value, as confirmed by those who have escaped their involuntary indenture, is sometimes in the hundreds of millions of dollars; yet they are forced to squander their talents and their futures in the stables of their decrepit master at whose pleasure and for whose glory they compete — or not; for, in many cases, they are denied the opportunity even to exhibit their talents because they are deemed unworthy of the privilege of serving him.

Of course, it would be unjust to ask these young men and women to renounce their dreams of athletic glory, circumscribed as those dreams are. The ultimate dream — that of escaping and realizing their potential elsewhere — is contingent on their participation in Cuba's sports programme. No one would want them otherwise because they would be unknown quantities. That is the one advantage which accrues to them from being showcased by the regime: they get noticed. To go beyond that they must risk their lives on the high seas just as all Cuban refugees must do who want to realize their potential, or attempt the even riskier feat of defecting abroad and running the same fate as the Cuban boxers who were deported by Castro's slave catchers in Brazil.

It is correct to see Cuban athletes as victims of the regime, because they are; it is quite another thing to root for them at international competitions because that is just to applaud their status and prolong their servitude. Applause in their ears rings as hollow as that bestowed on gladiators by spectators to, and participants in, their degradation. It is well to remember that almost all Roman gladiators weren't Roman. Foreigners were sacrificed in the arena while Romans cheered. If freemen cheer the exploits of Cuban athletes they are in fact condoning their exploitation.


Vana said...

Victims indeed, though they will be offered better living conditions, it cannot compare to how well off they would be if living in a free society, just more Castro slaves pleasing their master, that is until they can escape his grasp.

Fantomas said...

The quality of life of the chinese has increased ten fold in the last 20 years

They use to drive bicicles now they drive cars

They do not have a libreta in China

They travel abroad

They have access to technology

They believe in free market

They even allow Chinese Nationals to return as head coaches from US teams to the Games

Desafortunadamente Raul Castro la china mayor ni siquiera quiere seguir el ejemplo de sus hermanos chinos

Los deportistas cubanos are not allowed to return to Cuba , they are considered now the enemy

What a contrast Manuel Tellechea

Anonymous said...

Manuel said: if the state released them from the yoke which it imposes on all Cuban workers

Or, if the Cuban-Americans dedicated their vast resources to free themselves, rather then enriching themselves in America, i.e., Val Prieto.

Esteban Colvert said...

Victims in a broad sense of the word is what the athletes are. When I was playing jai-alai I told my parents that even though I lived in their house I would play where ever the competition was held.And furthermore the hatred of artist and players just 'cause they were born in Cuba was crazy. What are they supposed do? sit in a corner wringing their hands like a scarred washer woman to make you happy? Not be all they can be very when you're the OSTER people.

Anonymous said...

Fact is, the Bush adminstration had nearly eight years to (fix) the mess that is Castro. A dictator who should have been #1 in Bush's axis of evil. A dictator who sponsored terrorism against America, (without question.) And Bush, did absolutely nothing. As did the Cuban Americans during the last eight years.

Your right manuel, there is nothing to cheer about in Beijing, nor Kendall, Hialeah, Little Havana, Westcheter, Doral, etc, etc.

Shame on you all...

Anonymous said...


Fact is, Cuban athletes should keep their heads held up high. Cubans come from one of the most oppressive societies in the world. Yet, they always remain competitive against the world superpowers. Just think if (America, Cuban communist and Cuban-Americans) removed the chains around their necks.

I will always remain proud of the Cubans who remained behind in Cuba. Maybe some stayed behind because of aging parents who were about to die. Maybe some remained behind because they thought their brothers and sister in America would free them. And yet, maybe some remained behind, because, well, they wanted to reamin Cuban.

No matter what, i would never shake my finger at them in shame. As many of the Cuban exiles continue to do.


And can you believe that there are some Cuban-Americans have the audacity to refuse to watch their Cuban brothers and sisters compete on the world stage. Amazing, absolutely amazing.

Esteban Colvert said...

Anon...actually more sad than amazing. my dad who was born in Cuba only watched the olympics to see the cubans get their ass kicked (and I have to admit he indoctrinated well) little by little I was able clear the fog and think for myself only to realize what a load of crap I was being fed from both sides. Because Cuba is no more Castro than the USA is Bush, it's us plain and simple we are the peolple!!

Angel Garzón said...

The title of the thread is very appropriate, sadly that has been the case for far too long, similar conclusions can be applied to Cuban artists who settle for the crumbs that the regime allows them to enjoy with all the caveats that are the norm in the totalitarian fiefdom of Casstro Inc., while they garner those crumbs via contracts with foreign companies and at times insinuate that they do not support the current (almost 50 years old) situation, they follow with pro-revolutionary counter-statements out of the communist repetitious plate of platitudes, basically they play both sides of the fence for crumbs, were they to be able to practice their talents in a free, market based Cuba, their lives would be exponentially superior to the misery that they are allowed to "enjoy" by the regime. The members of "Porno Para Ricardo" put them to shame.

The Chinese that are allowed to work in non-communist societies such as Yao Min, pay a heavy taxation burden to their motherland, that's levied in addition to the tax levies that they pay to the appropriate jurisdictions of the host country, in Yao Min's case that's Federal Income tax, FICA, State...etc., you do the math, by the time the fellow gets a paycheck more than three quarters of his gross income is gone.

The Chinese people and the Cuban people are as different in every respect as we can deduce from our people's history, China has basically been a feudal society for millennia, Cuban society has been more advanced than China's by leaps and bounds, the closest that the Chinese have been able to get to our people's pre-1959 society is what they now enjoy in The Republic of China (Taiwan,) Casstro and his goons placed our society's progress in reverse gear from the onset of their "revolution" and have continued to force it backwards ever since then.

For a commentator to suggest that:

"They use to drive bicicles now they drive cars"

The Cuban people used (past tense) to ride bicycles for pleasure and exercise, the Chinese had to ride bicycles wether they liked it or not, now they can own cars as long as they drive them whenever the Fascist government allows them to do so and not whenever the people want.

"They do not have a libreta in China"

The Chinese tyranny can at any moment rescind any and all privileges (these are NOT rights) as it sees fit and while food acquisition by the Chinese people has indeed improved, it can go the other way at the tyranny's whim.

"They travel abroad"

With caveats, they are NOT free to travel as they would please, while their current status is an improvement compared to what they previously endured, it is NOT a right and as in the previous segment (food,) it can be suspended, deferred or removed at the tyranny's whim.

"They have access to technology"

They have access to highly restricted use of technology, this privilege can also become extinct at the Fascist tyranny's whim.

"They believe in free market"

NO, they DO NOT, they are practicing an unbridled style of raw capitalism, similar to that of the late 19th century industrialized Western countries, however in China the workers' labor is exploited, the proletariat is considered chattel at the Fascist tyranny's service and employed primarily for the most benefit of the State and its military, the regular folks get a trickled down effect in order to present a façade to the Western world, especially its useful idiots and the extreme leftists that pretend to believe in democracy while in practice they use the means assured to them by such democracies to destroy them.

For anyone that has existed within the confines of a communist society to even hint this kind of childish and superficial talking points is indicative of a few potentially revealing traits, children and adults who refuse to grow up and become responsible adults express themselves as such, "Fidelistas sin Fidel" (H/T Manuel) kumbaya around these platitudes, "infiltrados" do the same, but unlike their superficial FSFs, they have ulterior motives for their conduct.

pallaso said...

Fantomas is still the life and blod of this blog

He use to comment here often now he masterfully wait for a chance to write a monster comment once in a while

Enjoy it while it last

Corea del sur 7 Cuba 4