Last week, I spent a number of days in Pinar del Rio, Cuba’s westernmost province, a place renowned for its fish and tobacco – and its baseball team. A friend had invited me to her home in the south-laying town of Cortes, located in Sandino, the westernmost municipality on the island.
Osmel Almaguer’s Diary
Argentina and Germany met at the World Cup final for the second time in 24 years and the outcome was the same: Germany came out victorious thanks to another heartbreaking goal. The South American nation’s most recent victory over the Mannstchaft took place in 1986.
It’s been three years since Lazaro Vargas Alvarez was selected to lead Cuba’s top-winning baseball team. I emphasize this, Cuba’s top winning team, because I feel we must draw up a balance of the Vargas’s triumphs and blunders, with a view to deciding if he ought to keep his position or not.
Cuba’s province of Ciego de Avila seemed different from what I remember from my first trip during this, my third time in the city. People didn’t seem as civil to me. State Cuban-peso establishments, though still cheap, had lost in quality.
Cuba’s Beisbol Internacional (“World Baseball”) sports show has been on the air for some months now and we have not yet seen one of the many Cuban baseball players now in the major leagues on TV. Mere coincidence?
I am 34 and about to have my first book published. I’ve been in this writing business for 17 years, struggling to get ahead, trying to get my foot in the door here and there, and the truth is that it hasn’t been easy.
Good or bad, Cuban baseball continues to awaken the heated passions of sport fans. This is especially true during a post-season involving Havana’s Industriales team, the “emblem of Cuban baseball”, as people have become used to saying.
Some time ago, I recall having written about my neighborhood’s dog cemetery, a stretch of land at the outskirts of Alamar where residents had, of their own will, begun to bury their dead pets, a place that had been vandalized by insensitive people and institutions.
A Cuban taekwondo giant said farewell to the sport some weeks ago. I am referring to Angel Valodia Matos, Cuba’s first Olympic champion in the discipline. He looked happy before the cameras, expressing his gratitude for the tribute paid him by the people and authorities of Holguin.
A kid was playing with his soccer ball near the spot where we were waiting in line to buy bread. Not far, his parents kept an eye on him while they talked. The ball flew very close to me several times but the kid’s parents never said anything to him.