Translator: Rick Schwag

The truth is that this small difficult word is by itself tasteless, but much more so when it is used for such serious things as a hunger strike.

At this time in my country Coco Fariñas is on a hunger strike.  It began when Zapata Tamayo died, already more than a month ago. What Fariñas asks is the liberation of various imprisoned dissidents who are in a very poor state of health, and whose only crime was to disagree with the state and to have the bravery to express that publicly.

Poor is the country whose citizens need to have recourse to this kind of action just to demand something as basic to humanity as the right to express oneself.  Poorer still is to use the word blackmail to define these personal sacrificial acts, so as to discredit them.  Nevertheless, this same government erected a commemorative plaque to the Irish prisoners who died after a hunger strike in a Havana Park,  and calls them martyrs. Their death was a shame, but in that case we were dealing with terrorists who were put on trial and found guilty of attacks and assassinations, not people jailed only for openly expressing their political opinions.  The fact is, that even this does not justify the contempt for human life.

Someone who came to my house today told me that they have removed that plaque in the park, but now the image of it has traveled around the world by virtue of the internet. I wonder what could be the reason to remove it now, after so many years.

Translated by ricote

This last baseball season was quite gray, since the the Industriales scarcely made it to the playoffs, which reduced the usual shine and the passion of the league.

Everyone knows that Cuban ballplayers have deserted in recent years in different ways, and that a great number of them were from this team, which therefore has had to reorganize itself various times with the usual adversity that this involves. Nevertheless they continuously grew as a team despite all these difficulties.

Last night I turned off the television in the eighth inning, because my heart was already beating too fast. I remembered Sunday’s game in which everything fell apart in that same eighth inning and when, with the change of pitchers, all hopes were dashed.

A little later I heard all kinds of noise and even two shots fired in the air,  but I thought it was for the victory of the orange. As we say here, I ‘disconnected’, and let myself be conquered by Morpheus, the God of dreams.

Can you imagine my happiness very early the next morning, when I timidly asked the first blackmarket salesperson if he had seen the game to the end, and he told me that the Industriales had run won in the ninth inning with a home run?

I was very happy for my older son who continues, from France, to be a faithful fan of this team, and for all the Industriales that are now dispersed throughout the world, for El Duque Orlando Hernandez who still wears his blue uniform as an undershirt, and for all the other former members of this team that have triumphed in the Big Leagues.

I congratulate everyone!

Translator’s note: The Lions is the nickname of the Havana Industriales. The following players have defected from the Industriales to play in baseball leagues around the world. (Source: Wikipedia)

Translated by ricote

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