Monday, March 12, 2007

At the 18th hole.

Back in the 1960s, there was no golf course in Banes, the town where I grew up in Cuba.

In fact, I am pretty sure there was no golf course anywhere in Cuba during those turbulent, crazy years following Fidel Castro's revolution. At least no golf course ordinary Cubans could visit.

You see, true revolutionaries didn't have time for such an indulgent, capitalist pursuit, we were told then. Real socialists had better things to do with whatever little spare time they had, like volunteer to cut sugar cane or to pick lemons or to stand guard somewhere keeping an watchful eye on the Americans.

No more.

In its never-ending efforts to entice cash-carrying Western tourists to the island, the Castro regime is now happily promoting golf as an added incentive for visitors, along with the "stunning beaches" and the "magical music".

As you can read in this chirpy, little press release, tourists staying at Sol Melia hotels in the resort town of Varadero will receive free rounds of golf at the nearby Varadero Golf Course, which is billed as the only 18 hole, par 72 course in Cuba.

And according to the press release, one of the attractions of playing at the Varadero Golf Course is the fact that this is the very same course that "once hosted a legendary round played by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara".

Of course, that was in the very early days of the Revolution when Castro and indeed Guevara, were still pretending to be friends of the capitalists. It wasn't long before golf was denounced as a bourgeois affectation to be wiped out from the new communist paradise.

Back then, golf was a dirty word.

Come to think of it, so was tourism.


Blogger Henry Gomez said...

Click the link to see fidel and che putting with the wrong clubs

1:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

h. gomez was a real jerk to Mambi watch.. ... In my humble opinion, you suck mr. gomez.

10:55 am  

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