Thursday, August 09, 2007

One out, all in

Fidel Castro may be ill (or is he dead?) but he is still keeping a close eye on the things that really matter … like boxing.

We know because he has just written a new reflexion, which is published in all its barely-coherent glory on the front page of today’s Granma, the regime’s official propaganda sheet.

In this latest missive, the 81-year-old dictator reveals that he has spent hours reading interviews, newspaper clips and television transcripts involving the two Cuban champion boxers who attempted to defect while attending the recent Pan-American Games in Rio.

And it seems that despite his earlier promises that the two would-be defectors would be treated well on their return to Havana, Castro isn’t happy with their behaviour - or their responses to questioning by official journalists.

In fact, he makes it clear that both boxers are highly unlikely to ever box again, let alone be allowed outside Cuba.

"They have reached a point of no return as members of a Cuban boxing team," Castro wrote. "An athlete who abandons his team is like a soldier who abandons his fellow troops in the middle of combat.”

Loopy stuff, I know.

But there’s more.

In a classic Stalinist response to the controversy, Castro is now threatening not to send any more Cuban boxers to any competition outside the island, including next year’s Beijing Olympics, lest they, too, attempt to defect.

That, my friends, is the state of Cuban sports for you.

PS: By the way, when you read Castro's lastest reflexion, check out how he describes Cuban boxers. Not as elite athletes. Or even as human beings. They are “fresh meat”. That's right: fresh meat.

I know it’s meant as a metaphor and I know I am probably getting all hot under the collar over a couple of little words but can you imagine any other head of State anywhere referring to his own people as “fresh meat”?


Anonymous asombra said...

Well, at least he (or whoever wrote the thing) had the presence of mind not to call the boxers what they actually are, or function as: slaves, or prize-winning livestock. If one sees them that way, Castro's response makes perfect sense.

1:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you rationalize that and then manage to blame a foreign government for even your elite people, the ones you treat better than the rest, wanting to leave???

How are there people still out there who find excuses for this thug?

2:40 am  

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