Monthly Archives: July 2015

State funding guarantees physical education access for all Cubans

Cuba’s dedication to guaranteeing access to sports as a human right is shown by its large commitment of state funding. Sport, recreation and physical education are organized through the Cuba’s National Sports Institute (INDER) which receives 13 per cent of the country’s national budget. The functions of INDER include building sport and physical education infrastructure, coordinating necessary materials and overseeing sports equipment manufacturing not to mention organizing sports activities as a whole. The President of INDER is also allotted a Ministerial post and is a member of the government cabinet. Continue reading

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Why do we not play in the major leagues?

by Roberto Ramírez

As often happens at other events, the presence of the Cuban national baseball team in the XVII Pan Am Games leads fans and colleagues who are unaware of our reality to ask why its stars do not play in U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB).

And the question holds a certain logic since everyone sees the majors as the mecca of the sport, and the very media that promote the signing of multi-million dollar contracts as the realization of the so-called American dream do not talk about the reality that makes things so incredibly different for Cuba. Continue reading

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Pan Am Games 2015: Toronto and Havana sporting links

The two cities share a rich and legendary baseball history but since 1959 have traversed radically different paths in the concept and practice of sport


The 2015 Pan Am Games, being hosted by Toronto and with the celebration of friendship amongst the peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean as one of its positive themes, evokes a memory of the sporting links between the cities of Toronto and Havana, which date back to 1954.

During most of the 1950s the Havana Sugar Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs were two of the flagship franchises in baseball’s International League, classified as AAA, a rung below US Major League Baseball (MLB). Continue reading

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Pan Am Games 2015: A tough battle for second place

Dr. Antonio Becali, president of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) of Cuba

The XVII Pan American Games in Toronto will feature a close race for second place, the chefs de missions for Cuba, Brazil and Canada confirmed on July 8.

Cuba’s INDER president Antonio Becali (pictured), Brazilian Bernard Rajzman and Canadian Curt Harnett confirmed that their three leading Pan American contenders would go all out for the position. The press conference was also attended by their U.S. counterpart. Continue reading

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How the revolution transformed sports in Cuba

The following is an edited version of the speech made by Rigoberto Zarza, Consul of the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Jamaica, at the Media Launch of the 12th Annual Renewal of the Wesley Powell National Track & Field Meet in Jamaica. This article was first posted on this website on December 11, 2014 and is being reposted on the occasion of the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.wesley powell media launch jamaica dec 3 2014 c2 Continue reading


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Project to provide pennants for the Cuban team at the Pan Am Games

2015.Cuba Pan Am TorontoCuba is sending a team of 450 athletes to perform in the Pan Am Games being held in and around Toronto in July. In these big international gatherings it is common practice for teams to exchange pins and little pennants as a gesture of friendship. This can be quite costly for teams from small and developing countries. In this case, the Cuban team is operating under tremendous financial constraints due to the US economic blockade of Cuba.
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