Posada and Baseball Top News in Cuba
Thursday night’s exciting broadcast of the baseball playoff game between rivals Santiago de Cuba and Industriales was peppered with between inning messages showing outrage over the release from a US prison of the most notorious terrorist of the Western Hemisphere.
Cubans love their baseball, but despise Luis Posada Carriles.
The CIA trained, naturalized Venezuelan, is credited with killing 73 people in a sabotage of a Cuban airliner in 1976; several Havana hotel bombings in the 1990s; playing a lead role in the Iran-Contra affair in the 80s, and plotting numerous assassination attempts over several decades.
"George Bush's government is an accomplice of this terrorist," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro told the press. "It has protected him and today it has guaranteed his freedom in a mockery of international law.”
"They let the executioner out!" was the headline on Cuba’s nightly newscast.
Mixing sports and politics is something that many people dislike, but in Cuba they are sometimes interwoven. Given that an entire Cuban fencing team was among Posada’s plane bombing victims, the mix seemed utterly appropriate.
Meanwhile, the Cuban baseball championship best-of-seven series continues with Santiago de Cuba leading 2-0 after winning at home on Wednesday by a score of 19-6 and 8-6 on Thursday. The series now shifts to Havana’s Latinoamericano Stadium for games three and four on Saturday and Sunday.
The packed stadiums and avid television and radio audience will enjoy the ball games with a frenzied passion not seen in baseball in the USA, but that will not hide the indignation over the terrorist being free in Miami.
Posada’s release from jail —where he was being held only on immigration offenses— had long been considered by many Cubans as probable, with the time and place the only question at hand.