Freedom? There’s no freedom in baseball!

At least not in Cuban baseball there isnt.

Jose Contreras’ thoughts on the World Baseball Classic and the Cuban National team:

“If Cuba wins, it is expected. If they lose, there will be a lot of explaining because baseball is the top sport and if you don’t win, it’s a problem,” Contreras said. “The pressure is going to be double for Cuba. You have the government watching and you are playing against the best players in the world. This will be the best competition Cuba has ever played against.”

“I want Cuba to win [the World Baseball Classic],” Contreras said. “I know some people associate the worst things in the world with Cuba but I support the baseball team, the players and my friends, not the government. I would love to talk to them, but I am not allowed.

If they see me and talk to me, they will be punished,” he continued. “Imagine if I could play with the Cuban team? They don’t let me. The government is mad at me and I don’t want to be political. I play and they put me together with Fidel as a supporter of the government. I’m Cuban and I love my country and the people, but I can’t play with them because of politics.”

“The invited are young players who are followers of the revolution and have a clean background. If you have relatives who live in other places in the world, it will be really difficult to be taken out of Cuba on that team,” Contreras said. “For example, if you have an uncle who lives in Miami, it’s going to be real hard for you to leave the country. They worry that you will stay there.”

“I lived 32 years in Cuba, eight years traveling with the team, and I came to the United States five times and I never stayed,” Contreras said. “For me Cuba was the best. All I heard before was about the “Imperialist Yankee” and how bad the government is in this country, and you grow up believing Cuba is the best. Fidel is the best. The U.S. is the worst.

Think of a horse, we in Cuba have blinders on the side of our face and do not see everything on the side. In front of us, we do not see everything because there is another wall in front of us keeping us from seeing it all.”

“On the team, there are probably 10 players who work like spies. They see you doing something that is suspicious, and they go tell on you,” Contreras said. “Players [from other teams] will talk on the field. I know that, but you can’t talk anywhere else. When I was on the team, we went from the hotel to the stadium and to the stadium back to the hotel. People see you talking to people, you will be in trouble. I know some players are going to ask the Cubans to go eat or go get a beer. The Cuban players will be scared. They will run away because of the fear. That’s how it is in Cuba.”

“I don’t criticize the players in Cuba and I don’t blame them,” Contreras said. “(to defect) is such a personal decision that I don’t think anybody knows until you do go through it and walk by our sides.

“Some say they know Cuba or have been to Havana, stayed in the nicest hotels and walked around. That’s not Cuba. Walk in our shoes. Eat what we eat and get on those crowded buses and live in the homes like we do. Try to spend money and have people not accept it because you are Cuban. I have more money than I dreamed of, but my family cannot spend it in Cuba. You come as a tourist, yes, they will take your money and show you a good time. You live there and have money, they shut doors on you.”

Like I said before, it isnt about baseball if Cuba is involved. It’s about politics and propaganda. Allowing the Cuban National team to play on US soil makes us an accomplice to their repression.

You can read the whole article here.

1 thought on “Freedom? There’s no freedom in baseball!”

  1. I understand how Contreras feels. castro uses sports for his propaganda purposes and I hope that at the World Baseball Classic many Cuban ballplayers, coaches and even security agents try to defect; and that the Cuban slave team lose every fucking game against teams from free countries.


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