I was astonished to read a cheap, personal attack defaming Diego Maradona by Cathal Kelly in the Toronto Globe and Mail as part of its World Cup 2014 coverage. Creating a fake comparison with Pele, this scribbler from the north wrote “The second greatest player in history has been a shrunken presence at this World Cup…” He went on to attack how “Maradona used the platform of his TV talk show [on the Venezuelan-based TV network Telesur] to compare Suarez’s four-month ban to ‘throwing him into Guantanamo’ and “coaxed the president of Uruguay into agreeing that FIFA was aligned against his country.” A few days ago I came across the following report of a June 23rd message from Fidel Castro to Diego Maradona, also reported in The Independent and the Guardian. Kelly’s report was dated June 27, 2014. Coincidence? Hidden political agenda? Judge for yourself. – Tony Seed
Morning Star, cubasi (June 26) – Fidel Castro has congratulated Diego Maradona for his coverage of the World Cup in a statement released to the Cuban media.
The revolutionary former leader of Cuba is also a fan of Lionel Messi and the way he has carried Argentina to victory during the World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
In a statement released late in June, he said: “Unforgettable friend, every day I have the pleasure of following your programme on Telesur on the spectacular World Cup thanks to which I can follow the extraordinary level of this universal sport.
“I also greet Messi, a superb athlete who confers glory on the noble people of Argentina.
“Nothing can surpass the glory and prestige of both, despite the miserable efforts of schemers.”
Fidel Castro, 87, then spoke about how sport plays an important role in a child’s development. “I do not think children from any country can receive an adequate education which does not include sport and, where boys are concerned, football,” he added.
Diego Maradona was a frequent visitor of Cuba as he battled his drug abuse problems and developed a friendship with Fidel Castro which has lasted over a decade.
The former striker thanked Fidel for his message, describing his friend as “the greatest of all.”
Letter to Maradona by Fidel Castro Ruz
Every day I have the pleasure of following your program, on TeleSur, on the spectacular World Cup of football; thanks to your program I can see the extraordinary level of that universal sport.
I do not think a proper education for young people in any country is possible without sports and, in the specific case of boys, without including football.
Today I am a politician, but as child, adolescent, and youth I was an athlete and dedicated most of my free time to this noble practice.
I admire your conduct for many reasons. I had the privilege of meeting you when the most just ideas of our people triumphed and no power could crush them.
Nothing so strengthened our relations as Latin Americans. You have overcome the most difficult tests as a youth of humble origin and as an athlete.
Just as I salute you, I also salute Messi, a formidable athlete who gives glory to the noble people of Argentina. Nothing can divide and diminish you two’s glory and prestige, despite the petty efforts of schemers.
I also congratulate TeleSur, which has enriched this hot summer, and like you, I also fraternally salute the excellent and esteemed football players of our America, without forgetting, of course, the magnificent and visionary Víctor Hugo Morales, who lays bare your virtues and has done so much to spread the noble value of the sport, and the Argentine people whom you all represent with honour.
Of course, Diego, I will never forget the friendship and support that you always gave the Bolivarian leader Hugo Chávez, promoter of sports and the revolution in Latin America and among the subjugated peoples of the world.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 23, 2014
5: 36 p.m.