Source: Cubadebate

Reflections by comrade Fidel


What went unsaid about Cuba


I have carefully followed the Western media reaction to my Sunday reflections on the Olympic Games in China. Actually, rather sensitive events were overlooked while others were highlighted ad libitum by the advocates of world plundering and exploitation.

            Let’s see:

            “Fidel Castro blamed today the judges and the Mafia for the poor performance of the Cuban delegation at the Olympic Games. He also justified the Cuban tae kwon do athlete Angel Volodia Matos, who was permanently suspended after kicking a referee on the head, and expressed his full solidarity.”

            “The former Cuban President called on Monday to make a deep analysis of sports in Cuba. He also expressed his solidarity with an athlete who was permanently suspended together with his coach for assailing a judge.”

            “Castro manifested his full solidarity with the tae kwon do athlete permanently suspended for attacking a referee and a judge.”

            “Castro in solidarity with the Cuban tae kwon do athlete permanently suspended for aggression.”

            There is a long list of similar sentences. This was the prevailing line of information. I didn’t expect otherwise. I was doomed, the same as the Cuban boxers in the face of bribed referees and judges, and I knew what would be publicized.

            As it was to be expected not a word was published about hunger, undernourishment, lack of medicines, sport gear and facilities suffered by 80% of the countries competing there.

            I praised the merit of the country which organized the Olympiads. I did not hesitate to recognize the extraordinary qualities of the successful athletes. I appreciated the joy, the passion and the human feelings conveyed to millions of people by those who won medals. I specially appreciated the message of peace embodied by the Olympic Games vis ŕ vis the endless carnage, devastation, genocide and real threat of extermination sustained by the human species every day.

            What went unsaid about Cuba:

  1. It’s the only country where professional sport is not practiced.
  2. It’s the only country that years ago established a great International School of Sports and Physical Education at the higher level, the same that has graduated thousands of youths from Third World countries and which presently accommodates 1500 students absolutely free of charge.
  3. It’s the only country where the best performing athletes study free of charge to become professors of Sports and Physical Education and which has graduated thousands of people in that specialty in higher education centers. These are now working with children, teenagers, youths and people of all ages. Many of them are also working in Third World countries as collaborators, sometimes free of charge and in some cases for a minimum fee. This way they have made a contribution to the international development of sports.
  4.  It’s the only country, among those participating in the Beijing Olympiads, which is economically blockaded by the most powerful and rich empire ever to exist.
  5. It’s also the only country among all the participants to which an Adjustment Law is applied which is not only conducive to bloody events but also facilitates and encourages the theft of Cuban athletes.
  6. Our country has devoted a specialized hospital to care for the best performing athletes’ health.

The truth cannot be hidden under the anesthesia and the fireworks that come with the Olympic Games.

      In Barcelona 1992, while suffering the special period, Cuba made a fifth place attending to the number of gold medals obtained.

      In the most recent Games we still obtained a total of 24 medals, --that is, gold, silver and bronze-- a higher number than any other country in Latin America and the Caribbean.

             We should not hesitate to objectively analyze our sport activity and to prepare for future contests. But, I repeat, we should not forget that “in London we shall find European chauvinism, corrupt referees, the buying of muscles and brains, an incalculable cost, and a strong dose of racism.”

            As I’m writing these lines I remember that a storm, Fay, paid a visit to us during the Olympiads.  Yesterday, coinciding with the arrival of most of our delegation, we got news that another tropical storm was heading straight for the eastern provinces. Today it is stronger, and its projected course even more dangerous. We need to strengthen not only our bodies but our spirits, too.

            We are lucky to have a Revolution! It is a fact that nobody will be neglected. If lives were lost, they would not be in the hundreds or thousands, as it was the case in Santa Cruz del Sur on November 9, 1932 due to a tidal wave and on October 3, 1963 due to hurricane Flora which flooded the heartland of the provinces east of Cuba. At that time we did not have any water reservoir as we do today regulating our waters and providing our irrigation and current supply system. Our strong, forceful and farsighted Civil Defense protects our people and provides better security than the United States has in case of a catastrophe. However, all danger must be foreseen.

            We should not rest on our laurels. The growing frequency and intensity of these natural phenomena show that the climate is changing due to the action of man. The current times demand ever increasing dedication, steadiness and conscience. We don’t mind if the opportunists and traitors also benefit even if they do not make any contribution to the safety and wellbeing of our people.


            Fidel Castro Ruz

            August 26, 2008

            5:34 p.m.