Team Asere Does Not Belong to the Dictatorship, It Belongs to the Cuban People

Yariel Rodriguez during this Wednesday’s game with Australia, in which Cuba managed to qualify for the quarterfinals in the World Classic. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Rolando Gallardo, Quito, 16 March 2023 — I once heard an influencer, whose name I don’t want to remember, say that the “Cuban opposition was facing a scientific regime using improvisation.” This idea may have arisen creatively and spontaneously or come from the argument of Gene Sharp [an American political scientist]: “The idea that improvisation will give you great success is absurd; it’s exactly the opposite. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll most likely get into serious trouble.”

This is the story of the Cuban opposition’s wild goose chase, always unscientific, far from the clear minds that make it up. There is so little of our awareness of real power that we end up acting without the nobility of victors. This visceral and predictable form of the brothers in opposition to the dictatorship is our Achilles’ heel, because the Regime, scientific, methodical and equipped with propaganda resources, comes, punctures us and already knows what leg we are going to limp on.

The ball is round and comes in a square box, and so is the world, full of supposed contradictions and logical solutions. But if you don’t stop to observe with Buddhist discipline the real problems that happen in front of your nose, they will continue to fuck you ad infinitum. You may not see it yet, but the decrepit Regime and Díaz-Canel passed you a cat for a hare.

The Cuban government is in a clear crisis of prestige, with its symbols and slogans crumbling. The opposition, by chance or persistence, has managed to impose new stories, raised new flags and imprinted new slogans and goals on the Cuban mentality. For the Regime, seeing its ideological edifice built with Soviet cement fall must not be a good sign. They may be singaos [motherfuckers], but they are not fools. So they have given themselves the task of fabricating new victories and feeling renewed pride, flavored with the Cuban Communist Party (PCC).

The World Classic was the best place to have this little cultural battle. They send the Asere Team with the “mission” of bringing victory to Cuba, “the victim of the blockade,” to the “oppressed people” who made an unforgivable socialist revolution just 90 miles from the largest empire… Well, you know how the propaganda goes. They do it, in addition, knowing how we will act in the face of such a provocation. We will take improvisation out of our pockets and begin to form campaigns without sustenance or empathetic content, to boycott underpaid players who, as history has shown, take advantage of these contests to negotiate the contract-signing of their lives that will take them forever out of that hell in which they live.

Without the slightest attachment to the bases of propaganda, without understanding that marketing, whether commercial or political, seeks to empathize, attract, fall in love with and engage the receiver, we lend ourselves to the Cuban Communist Party’s game. Divide and win, they poisoned the team with Díaz-Canel’s outstretched hand and made the great debate begin of whether or not it was ethical to bite the hand of the “communist stepmother.”

We accept the facts that the official narrative presents to us. We don’t try for a moment an elastic withdrawal and counterattack strategy. We entrench ourselves in the predictable discourse and begin to act on impulse. We start the smear campaigns of a ball team, of people who suffer from inflation like anyone else, who have cousins or acquaintances imprisoned for the demonstrations on July 11, 2021 [11J], Cubans like many others, closer to us than to them, and we made them the embodiment of evil.

Yulieski Gurriel receiving an award from Fidel Castro in 2006. (Granma)

In this propaganda distraction we were not creative. I think it might be better to give them support, to rob from them the idea that the team is the property of the dictatorship. We could forgive them for any statement. In the end, thousands of Cubans have had to support the Regime circumstantially, while they prepare their getaway. It would be more stoic to reaffirm that sport belongs to the Cuban people and that no sectarian party could abolish that. Aren’t there photos of Yulieski Gurriel receiving awards from Fidel Castro? Isn’t the Gurriel family now a symbol of free and prosperous Cubans in the United States? Aren’t thousands of Cubans going to applaud him and take pictures with him?

We have time to receive Team Asere in style in Miami, the land of free Cubans, the home of the Cuban family. The Cuban team that presents itself in South Florida is always a Home Club. If we were an intelligent opposition, we would fill the stadium with the flags of Cuba, of the United States, with Patria y Vida [Homeland and Life] posters. We would bring shouts of victory and support, so that they feel at home. It is very likely that they will move here soon. I would like to see how the fuck they are going to broadcast on Cuban television a stadium full of happy Cubans, anti-communists and baseball players to the core, supporting the Cuban team and shouting “freedom”! That’s what it’s all about, that’s how you play with science.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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