From our Bureau of Socialist Animal Lovers with some assistance from our Bureau of Socialist Monopolies
Cockfighting is deeply embedded in Cuban culture, much like bullfighting in Spain. So, it’s no surprise that instead of outlawing it — as most civilized countries have done — Castro, Inc. has found a way of turning it into a profitable state-owned monopoly, aptly named the National Flora and Fauna Company
The King of cockfights is none other than the lovely 95-year-old Commander Guillermo García Frías, a long-time member of Cuba’s ruling military junta, perhaps best known for suggesting that Cubans could solve their food crisis by breeding ostriches. (Perhaps he also had ostrich-fighting in mind as a way of expanding his monopoly).
The history of this monopoly is very interesting. Read about it below. Between 1980 and 1993, cockfighting was limited to foreign audiences. No Cubans allowed. After 1993, when the dollar was decriminalized and remittances began to flow in from “the diaspora”, Cubans were allowed to attend.
Another beautiful chapter in the history of the “Revolution.”
Loosely translated from CubaNet
Animal abuse is prohibited on the Island by decree-law. Those who mistreat, promote fights or cause the death of an animal incur a crime punishable by fines of up to 4,000 pesos. The regulations exclude fighting roosters, whose breeding and fighting are rooted in Creole culture. Also because they are a big business.
Cockfights in fences or private arenas have been illegal since 1968. They were abolished in the interest of eliminating money gambling, uncontrolled sales of alcohol, prostitution, violence and other common vices in the places where cockfights take place. fights.
However, in 1980 the authorities opened a new door to the tradition of fighting roosters, but this time administered by state institutions under the umbrella of sporting events and in scenarios supervised by the National Revolutionary Police (PNR), without betting or advertising.
Paradoxically, the only ones authorized to organize the fights are the chicken clubs of the National Flora and Fauna Company, an entity that, directed by Commander Guillermo García Frías, among other functions must protect the flora and fauna. Finca Alcona, located on the outskirts of Havana, is the most important club of all. From there the other legal fences are monitored.
As illustrated by Daniel Rodríguez Morales, a former Flora and Fauna worker, during the first years the Alcona fairs were international and only foreigners could witness the fights. It was not until 1993 that nationals were allowed access to the coliseum (fence).
“It was the time when the fula [dollar] was decriminalized; “They realized that there were Cubans who could pay like yumas [foreigners],” says the man, and smiles. “Then they stopped doing the international fairs and the tourists got lost, but with the cockerels and the families who came to spend the day it was enough.”
continue reading HERE in Spanish