The Country Which Screams and the Country Which Waits / Luis Felipe Rojas

National baseball season in Cuba is about to begin. Once again, the bleachers of the entire nation will hear the free screams of those who bet for their local picks, and the island will have news of the fervor of its sons. The best known workers of the interior towns will organize trips to the capitals of the provinces, renting trucks to see the games. It doesn’t matter that they return during late night hours. For them, the valor of that sacrifice lies in seeing the local prospects, wearing the shirts of their local teams and screaming at the top of their lungs in favor of their favorite team, the allowed insults, the obscenities of a spirit contained in rage and frustration. Many times I have asked myself when will be the day when those shouts and expressions take on the cause of civil disobedience, of the unconformity of those inside, with the ovens turned off, scorched hopes and broken dreams. When one screams at the top of their lungs for teams like the Industrials, Santiago or Matanzas, something begins to take part in the conscience for the scream of tomorrow.

One defender of the socialist Cuban essay occurred to say one day that the baseball “meeting” in the Central Park was one of the most important democratic debates in the country. Of course, he said it in the lampoon “El Caiman Barbudo” [’The Bearded Alligator], which served as the cultural organ of the Young Communist Union for a long time. Years later, the non-conformist Orlando Zapata Tamayo decided to make his own public debate in favor of Human Rights in the Central Park of Havana, which was an antecedent which cost him an abusive sentence, of more than 50 years, which led to his death during a hunger strike. The ‘democratic space’ of the baseball parks of Cuba are muzzled by laws as absurd as Disrespect of the Commander in Chief, Public Disorder and the ridiculous Pre-Criminal Social Dangerousness Law, all of which attack citizen unconformity, which will break free sooner or later.