Fidel Castro’s Son is a Golf Champion

Isbel Díaz

Antonio Castro and trophy. Foto: RIA NOVOSTI / Diario de Cuba
Antonio Castro and trophy. Photo: RIA NOVOSTI / Diario de Cuba

HAVANA TIMES — I have just found out that Antonio Castro, one of the sons of Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, was the winner of an event at this year’s Copa Montecristo golf tournament in Varadero.

I am not the type to hunt down news about the relatives of Cuban leaders, which may explain why I’ve taken so long to find out about this. I have, as it were, no stomach for the “gutter press” and, in this particular case, I am more interested in the issue of Cuban golf than in the son of the former president.

So as to give you the background, allow me to tell you that, like every year, the setting of this refined gathering was the Varadero Golf Club, an 18-hole course created along the length of a 3.5-kilometer-strip located next to the coastline of Cuba’s renowned tourist getaway, in the province of Matanzas. It was built, before 1959, by the Dupont family.

The top winners of the fifth edition of the tournament, which saw the participation of 100 golfers from 15 different countries, were:

  • 1st prize: Howard Yin (Canada), who walked away with the Montecristo Cup
  • 2nd prize: Antonio Castro (Cuba), winner of the Esencia Cup
  • Ladies’ prize: Annie Blanco (Cuba), followed by Anna Picquet (Francia)

According to a press note published by the Diario de Cuba, “the golfers enjoyed the delectable cuisine of the Casa Club (Mansion Xanandu) during the gala dinner which closed the tournament, as well as a side of Cuban cigars of the Montecristo Open brand.”

The official organizer of the event at the Varadero Golf Club – the name is in English, as those of the pre-revolution clubs condemned by Nicolas Guillen in his poem “Tengo” (“I Have”) – is the State travel agency Cubanacan.

montecristo-logoAs you can well appreciate, the “socialist” golf played in Cuba is not too different from its capitalist brother. As part of a regressive movement, a return to the beginning, years after Fidel Castro did away with the “bourgeois” sport, the leader’s successors take on the “tiresome” task of giving it back, “touched up” to meet current standards, to Cuba’s elite.

At the close of 2011, we learned that Cuba would allow foreigners to purchase properties alongside top-notch golf courses around the island. At the time, I was of the opinion that the ultimate aim of this was to “build enormous residential, hotel and golf complexes for tourists and Cuba’s future bourgeoisie.”

We can already start to see how some privileged locals are being trained for this future. Now, we can only wait for the latest news from the immaculate world of Cuban golf, and about the multi-million-dollar investments in the sport.

The fifth Copa Montecristo golf tournament was held from April 25-27. For some strange reason, however, the National Sports News hasn’t offered us a single coverage of the event, where I am sure renowned “top-ranking” Cuban golfers once again proudly represented their homeland.

Isbel Diaz

Isbel Diaz Torres: Pinar del Rio and Havana are my cities. I was born in one on March 1, 1976, and I’ve always lived in the other. I am a biologist and poet, though at times I’ve also been a musician, translator, teacher, computer geek, designer, photographer and editor. I’m very non-conformist and a defender of differences – perhaps due to always having been an ever-repressed “model child.” Nothing enthralls me more than the unknown, nature and art; these serve as my sources of mystery and development. A surprising activism has been born in me over the recent period. Though I’m not very sure how to channel it, I feel that it’s a worthy and legitimate energy. Let’s hope I have the discernment to manage it.

9 thoughts on “Fidel Castro’s Son is a Golf Champion

  • I see you are one of the foreigners who is exploiting Cuba already. I bet you use the prostitutes there. Just a guess. Keep dreaming that Cuba will become even more of a paradise for parasites like you. Oh, the uproar it might cause.

    It would behoove the Cuban government to read your comments here and prevent you from entering the country, as you are a menace.

  • I thought it was a very good commentary. It certainly was not a relic of the past. Isbel is one of the most forward thinking people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Brian, did you mean to say that US action against Cuba are of the past? I hope that was a mistake. Otherwise, you are displaying your severe ignorance one again for all to see.

  • I don’t like sports. And I especially don’t like golf. I guess I’m just lacking couth. Not surprising that the golf event was not broadcast throughout Cuba. It would make even more Cubans go hmmmmmm.

  • Brian, do you fail to see the hypocrisy of the Castros in this article? How do you ‘constructively’ justify that the son of the ‘eternal leader of the Revolution’ would engage let alone succeed in possibly the most emblematic sport (polo notwithstanding) of the priviledged class? Doesn’t this behavior merit an appropriate level of scorn and cynicism? If not, what does?

  • This article is typical of this site. No matter what happens in Cuba, you can be sure the comments here will be cynical. Fortunately, as a Canadian, I can travel to Cuba and be free to crticize it too … but we do it constructively within the context of Cuban history and Cuban potential. US actions against Cuba (which are real and international in scope) and the old Cuban mafia gang of Miami are relics of the past and commentaries such as this are likewise.

  • even if I had the money my dear I would know to do better things than this idiotic ” sport”, I think it`s basically for the show off of the equipment. If you wanna know where I would put my money into:
    I´d buy a very big caterpillar to plough the course up again. Yeyey. Viva la revolucion. And I´ll ask Fidel`s son to help me.

  • Thanks for not attacking me this time. Progress. I hope to be one of the foreigners allowed to buy a home on one of the new golf courses. Post-Castro, of course!

  • what would you say if the plowed up the golf courses again?Viva la revolucion? I doubt it.

  • Truly, I have no problem with a Castro heir playing and winning a golf tournament. In fact, it amuses me immensely that while Castro defenders like Grady and Luis comment here on HT railing against savage capitalism, monopoly bankers and imperialistic excesses, Prince Antonio is probably dining on lobster, smoking a Montecristo No. 5 cigar and watching Bloomberg on cable to monitor his stock investments. I love playing golf. I love smoking Cuban cigars and the occasional lobster drizzled in seasoned melted butter ain’t too bad either. I would be a hypocrite to criticize Cuban royalty at play. Still, it makes you wonder how you get from papa Fidel, as one of his first acts after the triumph of the revolution, ploughing up golf courses to build schools, and decrying golf as a sport of the rich and not of the people and yet his son, Antonio being so well practiced at golf that he wins an international tournament? Did they let him win? Viva la Revolucion!

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