JUST a bit Outside

Fidel Castro is hopping mad at Edmonton. The item is all over the internet and appears to be a wonderful story of young people finding freedom. I suggest you google “Castro Edmonton baseball” or some such and it’ll come right up. DO NOT google “Castro angry” because you’ll get more than 2 million results. Hey, you try denying freedom to your people for 50 years and see if you can be happy every day.

Castro is quoted as saying “Edmonton has become a dumping ground. The Cuban athletes were badly taken care of.” Liar.

Those of us old enough to remember too many outrageous images of young men and women making gallant but doomed runs (East Germany had a shoot-to-order policy at the dividing line in Berlin) to freedom many years ago welcome this kind of opportunity and hope for many in the future.

If only Fidel had been a better ball player.

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17 Responses to "JUST a bit Outside"

  1. DeBakey says:

    Uh-oh, politics.

    The thing about Castro is that by international standards, he’s not that bad.
    Ans he’s far better than the guy he replaced, Batista.
    Bastista is the kind of Presidente for whom the term “Banana Republic” was invented.

    If the Castro question hadn’t become such a political football in the US [look up Monroe Doctrine], this Cuban “problem” could’ve been solved years ago.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Well, if it’s important to measure degrees of dictatorship then sure, Fidel’s one of the best. Top 10, for sure.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Well, if it’s important to measure degrees of dictatorship then sure, Fidel’s one of the best. Top 10, for sure.

    Well, Tito seems pretty good in comparison to the mess that happened after he left (Milosovic being just one example).

    I think Castro had some pretty funny comments, actually.

  4. Geoff says:

    If only Fidel had been a better ball player.

    Castro was actually offered a pro contract with an American team (New York I think) before the revolution. He turned it down.

    Just some useless facts for you.

  5. Ducey says:

    “If only Fidel had been a better ball player”

    If only Brian Burke was a better lawyer.

  6. Hoos says:

    So, what we learned today is that the Prongers often vacation in Cuba?

  7. John says:

    Badge of honour! We must be doing something right to have Castro hate us.

  8. Art Vandelay says:

    If only Fidel had been a better ball player.

    If only the CIA had succeeded in cutting Castro’s nuts off and feeding them to rabid coyotes.

    But seriously, why are we still pretending that ruinous old windbag is still alive? Since he died two years ago, his commie brethren keep trotting out photos of Castro in that same track suit he wore when he met Comrade Chavez.

    If Cuba wasn’t the Western world’s worst sh!thole, maybe they could afford Photoshop and they could release some doctored photos of Castro sipping pina coladas by the beach, or making speeches about Cuba’s vaunted literacy rate (99% of all Cubans can spell C-A-T!”) or much-regarded socialized medicine (“let us celebrate the arrival of syringes and gauze!!”)

    I want someone to explain why the U.S. hasn’t annexed Cuba by now. Are we afraid they’ll throw bananas at the troops?

  9. Lowetide says:

    art: There’s no market for rusty ’57 Chevy’s.

  10. Jeff J says:

    Yeah, and some of us are old enough to recognize lingering McCarthyist propaganda when they see it. I worked for a few years with a half dozen Cuban emigrants – *legal* Cuban emigrants – and every one of them loved Castro. Great folks. They all had immaculate teeth. One took his family back to Cuba after a year and a half because he was convinced he wouldn’t be able to afford to send his kids to university here in Canada.

    Despite the ridiculous US trade embargo, that commie dictatorship is damn near the best place to live in the Western Hemisphere South of the US-Mexico border. Compare Cuba (#51) to the US-approved free-market Dominican Republic (#79). They have nearly identical resources and geography. This is despite the massive handicap of the embargo and despite the fact that the HDI stupidly includes GDP.

    This is just a couple of chaps in the 99th percentile of their chosen field recognizing that Cuba isn’t the greatest place to be if you’re among the elite. Castro has his spin, we have ours.

    And while we’re tossing out phrases to Google, try Luis Posada Carriles.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Hey, you could be right. I just put a high price on freedom.

  12. Baroque says:

    Good luck to the two young men. They certainly have guts.

    I didn’t know Fidel and Chris Pronger were on speaking terms. :)

  13. Lance says:

    …Snopes says Castro was never offered a pro baseball contract…


  14. Art Vandelay says:

    Criticism of the Extreme Left is McCarthyism?

    Some of us are wise enough to recognize lingering hippie nonsense when we read it.

    Countries where the average Schmoe on the Street want to live don’t have to force their residents at gunpoint to stay.

  15. Julian says:


    this article also talks about Fidel never playing baseball at all really.

    the whole thing is good, i just linked to the page with the Fidel comment on it.

  16. Bendelson says:

    Hmm… so what have we learned besides LT (inadvertently?) introducing politics into an otherwise excellent blog is likely a bad idea?

    Not much, which is disappointing considering Art clearly has such a firm grip on the subject matter.

    How ’bout those Oilers?

  17. Bruce says:

    Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose …

    I’d rather talk about beisbol than politics, especially in this forum. Cubans love the American game, and play it exceptionally well. The senior team’s record of reaching 38 consecutive gold medal games in major competitions (Olympics, World Cup, Intercontinental Cup, World Baseball Classic) is one of the most incredible records in all of team sports. I watched three of those finals right here in Edmonton (1981, 1985, 1990) and a bunch of other games involving Cuba. Those guys were the class of the field every time, and a helluva lot of fun to watch.

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