short while ago I was saying about the brain drain that is
A bit later, a good offensive
player on the Cuban handball team showed up wearing the uniform of
a professional Sao Paulo team.
Betrayal for money is one
of the favorite weapons the United States uses to destroy Cuba's
The athlete was a higher
education student; he would be a graduate with a degree in
Physical Education and Sport, an honorable job. His income is
modest, but his professional training is highly appreciated;
whatever the sport or specialty, if they attract a large audience
and commercial publicity or none at all they are still useful for
Those that applied for
asylum in Brazil are doing it after the United States declared
recently that it would not be fulfilling the exact quotas of the
migratory agreements signed with our country. Suffice it to say
that of the almost two hundred athletes and coaches who
participated in the first week of Pan American competition, we
went missing one handball player and one gymnastics coach.
I am not going to say, for
that reason, that the Cuban handball team was better than the
excellent Brazilian team and its formidable athletes, but the
Cuban delegation received a low moral blow in the Pan American
Games with these pleas for political asylum. The Cuban team was
thus knocked out even before the match for gold began.
Last Sunday, July 22,
around noon, the sad news was received that two of the most
outstanding athletes in boxing, Guillermo Rigondeaux Ortiz and
Erislandy Lara Santoya did not show up for the weigh-in. Very
simply they were knocked out by a punch to the chin, paid with
American bills. No countdown was needed.
Watching those first matches
in Rio, I exclaimed that our boxers were fighting with such
elegance and technical mastery that they had transformed their
rough sport into an art form.
In Germany, there is a mafia
devoted to selecting, buying and promoting Cuban boxers in
international boxing matches. It uses sophisticated psychological
methods and many millions of dollars.
A mere three hours later,
the victory of the Cuban Mariela González Torres in the marathon,
a classic Olympic sport which took her on a course of more than 40
kilometers, more than compensated for the treasons and her feat
was engraved with golden letters in the annals of sports history
of her country.
The Cuban people must pay
tribute to the heroic example of Mariela, born in the eastern
province of Granma, where the rates of infant and maternal
mortality were, in 2006, 4.4 per each thousand live births and 11
per 100 thousand deliveries, better than the figures in the United
States. In her municipality, Río Cauto, with a population of
47,918, the figure was zero on both counts.
After all, Cuba has
thousands of good coaches who work abroad with athletes who very
often win gold medals in competitions against our own athletes.
Another fact: there is an International School for Professors of
Physical Education and Sport where more than 1300 students from
the Third World are taking their higher education courses. A few
days ago, 247 graduated. We do not encourage chauvinism or any
superiority complex. We work with science and knowledge and on
this basis we struggle to create the ethical values of a healthy
mind in a healthy body.
It is totally unjustified
to seek political asylum. If Brazil is not the final marketplace,
it makes little difference. There are wealthy countries in the
First World who would pay much more. The Brazilian authorities
have declared that whoever wishes to defect must prove the real
necessity for seeking asylum. It is impossible to prove the
opposite. Even beforehand, we know their final destination as
mercenary athletes within a consumer society. I think that they
have offended Brazil by using the Pan American Games as the
pretext for their self-promotion. In any case, we consider the
declarations of the authorities to be useful.
We would like Brazil, a
sister nation in Latin America and the Third World, to have the
honor of hosting the Olympics.
Fidel Castro Ruz
July 23, 2007.