Saturday, April 24, 2010

Baseball revenge

In Cuba, baseball has always been political. When the sport was introduced in the 1860s by a Cuban returning from studies in the U.S., Cubans saw it as a way to distance themselves from their Spanish colonial rulers, who favored bullfighting. U.S. teams traveled to Havana for spring-training games, and Cuban players thrived in the U.S.

This is from an utterly fascinating article in today's Journal about historical memory, both on a personal and national level, political and sports fanaticism, human tragedy and suffering, human arrogance and hubris, and about baseball.

The romaticism attached by some to Fidel Castro's name on a macro level is, as is so often the case, damaged (to say the least) when examined on a micro level. The one aspect of the Cuban Revolution that has always stuck in my craw is the need for Cuban authorities to prevent people from leaving the island if they so choose. That changes political revolution to military dictatorship, and whether by the vanguard of the proleteriat or any other person or group, dictatorship is dictatorship.

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