On July 15, 2015 the coach of Cuba’s rowing team to the Pan American Games, Juan Carlos Reyes, confirmed that four of Cuba’s rowers had left Canada for the United States. The Globe and Mail and other media outlets pounced on the story, reporting on it in a manner that sheds no light on the issue at the heart of this story. The impression is conveyed that those who abandon their team are “defectors,” a term reserved for those who flee oppression and persecution. This feeds a narrative which claims they are fleeing to freedom. Media reports speculated on the motivation of the rowers, using quotes from professional U.S. “recruiter” Joe Kehoskie, to cobble together a story that imposes the predetermined conclusions of a Cold War mindset. Continue reading →
Shaquille O’Neal’s visit to the island, as a U.S. Department of State Sports Envoy, marks another step in the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States | ALIET ARZOLA LIMA
Shaquille O’Neal O’Neal enjoyed playing over two hours with dozens of children in Havana | Ismael Batista
Early on Sunday, June 26, Wagner Rodríguez was impatiently pacing around his home. A slight boy, aged 13, his passion is basketball, and it was difficult to control his emotions hours before meeting the great Shaquille O’Neal, one of the most successful NBA players of the past 25 years. Continue reading →
CERRO PELADO 50TH ANNIVERSARY | The United States attempted to prevent Cuban athletes from participating in the Central American and Caribbean Games in 1966. Prohibited from arriving by air, the delegation traveled by sea aboard the Cerro Pelado and went on to win 77 medals | Ciro Pérez Hebra*
(July 7, 2015) – 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 →
What is wrong with this twitter? First, there’s no people in the photo. ESPN could be saying that nobody is outside because they’re all watching the game between Cuba’s national team and the Tampa Bay Rays where the tickets were free, compared to the megabucks one has to pay in the US or the Rogers Centre. In other words, this was such an interesting game that nothing else much is going on. But then the photo – like all the hyperbole that Cuba’s sports infrastructure is “crumbling” – blew up in EPSN’s face, as MATT NOVAK documents.
U.S.-based Cuban journalist Edmundo Garcia in March 2012 wrote about the problem of Cuban baseball players being caught up with unscrupulous human traffickers in the Dominican Republic, with their ultimate destination the U.S. major leagues. Garcia cited a front page story on March 10, 2012 in the Dominican newspaper Listín Diario entitled “Edgar Mercedes arrested for trafficking Cuban baseball players.” Continue reading →
GABRIEL MOLINA on how US Major League Baseball and the Eisenhower administration sabotaged professional baseball in Cuba for counter-revolutionary aims
Built in 1946, Estadio Latinoamericano, the home of the Havana Sugar Kings, is by far the largest ballpark in Cuba, with a capacity of 55,000. Known as the Colossus of Cerro and Gran Stadium, the entire grandstand is covered, and there are open bleachers in the outfield. It is the home of Los Industriales and the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame | http://ballparkdigest.com/
Not even organized baseball escaped the many-faceted, relentless undeclared war the U.S. government has been waging against Cuba for the last almost half a century.
An alleged incident in Cerro Stadium on June 25, 1959 served as the pretext for Washington to cancel the island’s franchise for the Cuban Sugar Kings, a team in the Triple-A International League, the doorway to Major League baseball. It was not something that happened by chance or casually. Continue reading →