Cuba – Olympic Sport And Dictatorship

Like Park Chung-hee (Asia/South Korea: 1962-seventy nine) and Idi Amin Dada (Africa/Uganda: 1971-79), Fidel Castro is a sports activities fanatic and enjoys looking at all forms of Olympic sports. Fidel Castro has visited the countrywide crew’s training camps, sports schools, National Schools Games and spent time with the student-athletes and Olympic gamers. Since 1990, the Cuban dictatorship has spent greater than $eighty million in keeping with 12 months into Olympic recreation. However, Cuba isn’t always an Olympic paradise. Cuba’s current sporting records have been marked utilizing carrying defections.

Every dictatorship has a fashion of its personnel. Leonidas Rafael Trujillo had one: Dominican track and Francois Duvalier had one: Haitian culture. Kim Jong Il has one: cinematography. He likes films as “Gone with the Wind,” a well-known American movie. The dictator of North Korea wrote an essay, “On the Art of Cinema.”

The Idi Amin Dada regime was notorious for torturing political prisoners, forbidding dissent, and unfastened speech. Under the dictatorship of Idi Amin Dada, approximately 350,000 people were killed. But he loves Olympic sports like Fidel Castro Ruz. During the 1970s, he had emerged as an outspoken champion of sport inside the Third World. I remembered that the Ugandan group gained gold, four silver, and 3 bronze medals during the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand in 1974. Overall Ugandan team ranked 10th, before Wales, Trinidad Tobago, Tanzania, and Jamaica.

Fidel Castro once stated: “What has Cuba’s function been inside the Olympic Games? What has it executed? What has been the fruit of our efforts to promote wholesome, easy sports? At the 1972 Olympics, we finished 14th among 122 nations. At the Montreal Olympics in 1976–Juantorena remembers this well, and so do we-we finished eighth among 88 participating countries. In 1980, in Moscow, we completed 4th amongst 81 international locations; in 1992, in Spain, we finished fifth amongst 169 international locations; and in Atlanta, in 1996, we finished 8th among 197 international locations. Could all people refuse those figures”? But beneath one of the global’s oldest surviving dictatorships, the sport has emerged as a useful way for men and women to access freedom.

Certainly, Cuban sport is a story of both frustration and miracles. The Cuban government reacted with incredulity when in 1980, Roberto Urrutia, a weightlifter, introduced his decision to seek asylum within the United States. At 14, Urrutia made weightlifting a high pinnacle priority, and ten months later, he established countrywide data. Urrutia entered the 1975 Pan American Championship at the age of 18 and received gold medals for Cuba. In December, in Matanzas, he comes to be the first Latin American weightlifter to attain a World record. In 1976 he subsequently realized his dream of competing in the Olympics. Like Alberto Juantorena (music and field), Teofilo Stevenson (boxing), and Mireya Luis Hernandez (volleyball), Roberto Urrutia Hernandez, a former member of Youth Communist Union, became an image of the Cuban Revolution. On December 12, 1956, Roberto, born in La Havana, gained 3 gold medals on the 1978 Weightlifting World Championships and ended international Soviet’s-12 months domination of worldwide weightlifting. Certainly, he turned into voted Hero of the Year via Prensa Latina. Before the Moscow Olympic Games, Roberto Urrutia defected to the United States thru Mexico.

In the past few years, we’ve got seen some of the events take area: Tamaris Aguero, a participant, came to seek freedom in Italy; Odelin Molina, an outstanding footballer from La Havana, sought political asylum in the United States; and Dulce Tellez, a sportswoman, came to San Juan de Puerto Rico.


Aguero, who at 1,77, changed into considered one of the fine woman athletes in the Americas, at the age of 16 she comes to be the youngest individual ever to be a member of Cuban Team. During the 1993 World Junior Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Aguero completed first in the first-class setter competition. When Tanya Ortiz, a setter from 1987 to 1995, announced her purpose to retire at the end of 1995, Aguero was considered a leading candidate for the put-up. Therefore, she changed into a key woman while Cuba completed first on the 1998 World Championship. In 2000 Aguero helped the Cuban group reach victory at the Olympic Games. If not the greatest setter ever, she is virtually the most celebrated in volleyball history. Nowadays, Tamaris Aguero is one of the most remembered and dearest sportswomen by Cubans. Behind baseball, volleyball is the maximum popular game in Cuba.


Dulce Tellez changed into a named pleasant participant within the 2006 Pan American Championships in Puerto Rico. Under her management, Cuba won the bronze medal in volleyball in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She left Cuba in July 2006–3 months earlier than the World Championships in Tokyo. Before the 2006 World Championships, Cuba became ranked 3rd globally, and now it is ranked seventh. Meanwhile, Odelin Molina changed into being born in August 1974 in La Havana, became certainly one of Cuba’s satisfactory footballers, and performed the 1991 World Championship Under-16 in Italy. In 1995 he defected to the USA, wherein he lives now.

Amanda R. Dubose

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