Great Baseball News
Cuba’s collapse at the World Baseball Classic is great news for several reasons.
First, because at times it is beneficial to hit rock bottom. A national team outperformed in every aspect of the game reveals the true extent of the debacle. The few victories in recent years had helped to sustain the fallacy that things were not really that bad.
Second, because what happened is a clear metaphor for what is happening in Cuba. No country can afford to squander the best of its talent and its youth. As long as Cuban professionals cannot invest knowledge and resources in their own country, Cuba will continue to be a nation unlikely to be able to compete against the community of free nations and achieve prosperity. Barring Cuban baseball players who are now playing in the US Major Leagues from representing their country is like preventing doctors, architects, scientists, academics and engineers from benefitting all Cubans outside the overview of the State.
Third, because the culprits are exposed. The task of the political class that still governs Cuba should not be to keep watch over and control the gates of the country based on its interests and loyalties, but to open those doors for all Cubans to freely come and go and contribute their as best they can and wish to. True to itself, and no one else, that political class now seeking to establish State capitalism, after spending years spouting bombastically patriotic discourse based, among other thing, on sports, is what is keeping the country mired in a permanent political, social and economic crisis.
Baseball in Cuba, since its inception, has been linked to independence and national identity. Today it continues to be, but only to portray, like few other things, the magnitude of the disaster engendered by the Castro regime. It was Fidel Castro who introduced the theory of the superiority of “free ball” over “slave ball.” Today we must recognize that he was right, though acknowledging that “slave ball” is what the regime promotes, and always has.