Cubans live in a place where the government will shoot at you if you try to leave.
Ponder that for a moment, because Grantland.com’s Charles P. Pierce never stops to. His latest screed addresses the fiasco surrounding Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen’s recent comments on Fidel Castro. Pierce approaches the topic with a sadly familiar nonchalance about the horrors of the Cuban regime. Not entirely surprising that a man arrogant enough to title a book Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free would be lacking in perspective.
Pierce begins by reminiscing about an old idea he had to move the Montreal Expos to Havana:
So, I thought, let’s let some big American firm build us a stadium along the waterfront and let the old man name it: Venceremos Stadium or something. Give it five years, and it’d be Minute Maid Venceremos Stadium. Guaranteed. I would also stipulate that the entire right-field bleacher section would be sold cheaply to families with children. I figured 50 cents a head would be about right.
Setting aside the comedy of Pierce assuming he is clever and magnanimous for coming up with the idea of price-fixing in a communist country, I’m not so sure these poor Cuban families would be quite as excited to have an eye-line view of a luxury box occupied by the man denying them freedom… while sitting in a stadium likely named after him.
Give my team in Havana five years, I thought, and Communism would fall to the implacable forces of well-financed fun, just the way it has in so many other places.
Other places like… China? Their expanded economic freedom has led to improved circumstances for many, but it is still a police state, with a Gulag, and with some dissidents so desperate they’ve resorted to lighting themselves on fire in protest. A few extra bucks is nice, but doesn’t necessarily buy a ticket to freedom.
Moving on to the Guillen situation: Continue reading