USA vs Cuba World Cup Qualifier – Recap


This post is long overdue and I apologize for that. As stated in previous posts, I attended the USA vs Cuba World Cup Qualifier match on October 11 in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience for me for many reasons.
I equipped myself with 1) a Cuban flag, 2) an American flag and 3) a t-shirt I found fitting for the occasion “Made in the U.S.A. with Cuban parts”… shipped to me straight from la Calle Ocho.
I went with a few non-Cuban soccer fan friends from college… in other words, not as part of a rambunctious Cuban-American group. Prior to the game, I realized that I had never sung the Cuban national anthem before. I made it a point to memorize the anthem and sang it with the few other Cuban-Americans in the stands, with the players, and with the delegation from Cuba. Talk about conflicting emotions…
What I don’t understand is how the Cuban players can sing the following verse:

“En cadenas vivir es morir, en apena y oprobio sumido”
“To live in chains is to die in dishonor and ignonimy”

Everyone in Cuba has been living in chains for the past 50 years… especially the athletes.
But I digress. U.S.A. scored right away, the first of six goals, but the game itself wasn’t as eventful for me as the people and encounters I experienced.
I met a few girls in the bathroom with “Cuba B.C.” shirts — Cuba Before Castro. It was awesome — and a big relief for me to know that there were others in the stands who shared my passion and viewpoints.
But, I froze when several people decked out head-to-toe in Cuba gear walked by me on two separate occasions. I know you can’t get that sort of apparel in the United States, and I assumed they were part of some sort of official delegation. I totally froze. So many things wanted to come out of my mouth, but all I did was put more beer in it. I still debate whether or not I should have tried to start a conversation…
The game ended with a triumphant 6-1 U.S.A. victory, but the best part was the three old men who, as they were walking out of the stadium, began to yell “Cuba Si! Castro No!” I didn’t freeze that time… I joined them loud and clear. Maybe the beer had a little bit to do with it but hell, I had been dying to do it all night.

3 thoughts on “USA vs Cuba World Cup Qualifier – Recap”

  1. Thanks for sharing Monica. I personally think that we Cubans and Cuban Americans have a duty to forment rebellion against the ilegitemate castro regime. I also think anything you can do is not only OK, but necessary. I don’t know for sure how I would have reacted to a personal confrontation with representatives of the murderers, but knowing that I am a hot head things probably would have gone pretty bad. You showed class and that’s good.

  2. I’m not a Cuban, but I would’ve love to have been there for the following reasons…
    1)The Cuban atmosphere
    2)Big soccer fan
    3)To meet a Cuban mami! Mulatto preferable.
    HEHEHEHEHE!

  3. I remember the first time I heard the Cuban Anthem playing in a public event and feeling a stirring in my soul but then they played the US Anthem and it just made me smile…the Cuban Anthem speaks to my roots but the Star Spangled Banner reminds me of what I am.

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