Sports, Movies and Booze: Cuba Comes Out of Mourning for Fidel Castro

Baseball in the street. Photo: Angel Yu
Baseball in the street. Photo: Angel Yu

HAVANA TIMES – Scenes of love and baseball returned on Sunday to Cuban television after the nine-day mourning enacted on Fidel Castro’s death, which included the ban on selling alcoholic beverages and listening to music ended, dpa news reported.

Although the mourning was officially lifted at 12:00 noon on Sunday and in the public buildings flags rose to the top, many preferred to extend the grief in a preventative way until midnight because there was confusion about the time.

Some bars and restaurants in Old Havana still avoided the sale of alcohol on Sunday, while others served it timidly inside the premises and only a few on the terraces in plain sight.

Since the death of Castro, 90, on November 25, Cuba’s government controlled television was continuously transmitting the same linked up programming of the tributes to Fidel Castro, documentary footage on him and fragments of his speeches.

Starting Sunday afternoon there was basketball, baseball and soccer as well as police or romantic movies. Taxis and buses also started to blare their music as usual.

In the evening Cubans were able to see Bayer Munich’s victory over Mainz 3-1 in the Bundesliga two days late.

Fidel Castro’s ashes were laid to rest in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery of the eastern Cuban city of Santiago de Cuba, in a private ceremony on Sunday morning.

17 thoughts on “Sports, Movies and Booze: Cuba Comes Out of Mourning for Fidel Castro

  • Your frequent reference to “Batista” as an excuse for any and all of Castros brutalities are sickening. As a recent article in the Washington Post said “…any measurement of Cuba now must take into account where Cuba stood at the time of the revolution” To begin with, We have to acknowledge that any data from the Cuban government is naturally suspect, as police states generally are not known to provide accurate numbers.

    A rigorous effort to establish an accurate picture of pre-revolutionary living standards in Cuba, published in the Journal of Economic History in 2012, found that Cuba significantly lagged its counterparts in the region during Castro’s rule. “Since current living standards appear to be below the levels of the late republic, it is hard to visualize any scenario where the republic would not have outperformed the revolutionary economy by a considerable margin in terms of living standards,” wrote Marianne Ward-Peradoza and John Devereux.

    I would hazard that, on way or another, Batista would have fallen (quite soon in fact) and Cuba’s health, education and living standards (already one of the best in the hemisphere) would have continued on a positive trajectory. Instead Cuba went from the frying pan, right into the fire.

    The harm done to the Cuban people is a direct result of a Castrista communist repressive system. And I have seen no dictatorial communist system ever work. ….Frankly, unlike you, I’ve seen enough!

  • In your arrant conceit, you suggest that the UN supports your position. The reverse is obviously the truth, it is you along with millions of others who support the UN position on this particular matter – but not I note on human rights which are denied in Cuba.
    You don’t read what others write, because if you did, you would know my repeated position on the US embargo.
    How generous of Samantha Powers to echo your views – had she heard them from you?
    It is a matter of total indifference to me whether you care about what I write or not.

  • An intelligent comment, Informed Consent. But you left out the very positive comments Samantha Power made about the truly remarkable advances in education, health and safety that to this day remains a 360-degree turnaround from the Batista brutality and thievery. Ms. Power also frequently alludes to the fact that Cuba, if it was not eternally besieged by foreign elements trying to destroy it while also eternally harming its citizens, might not be quite so defensive. That apparently is a consensus belief internationally. So, why not give it a chance and let’s see…and meanwhile pick on other nations we disagree with that can actually fight back — China, for instance. Of course, giving Cuba a chance to chart its own course would surely interfere with the revenge, economic and political power of the vast and lucrative Castro Cottage Industry in the U. S., wouldn’t it?

  • You are a big, bad bully, Carlyle…always trying to belittle the vast majority of Americans who disagree with you. As for my celebrity, I hope it remains at or near zero because I have a few other interests than the disastrous Batistiano impact on America’s image. So, Carlyle, try something else to disparage me. I knew a bully once who was a lot sharper than you, but he didn’t scare me either.

  • Moses:
    I remember his humor! Terrific and (I am not a big praying man) I still do wish / pray / dream of the day when ordinary folks can express themselves freely! Jim

  • Well, during her “remarkable” speech, she also said”…We are profoundly concerned by the serious human rights violations that the Cuban government continues to commit with impunity against its own people – including arbitrarily detaining those who criticize the government; threatening, intimidating, and, at times, physically assaulting citizens who take part in peaceful marches and meetings; and severely restricting the access that people on the island have to outside information.”

    I believe that weakening the embargo would be to empower the regime to create a more China like economic/political system. I don’t want to make it easier for those bastards to continue to, as Samantha Powers said, act with impunity against it’s own people! And this idea that we are hurting the average Cuban is nonsense, Cuba’s internal “blockade” does that!

  • You are wrong. As far as the annual UN resolution, what’s to explain? The world has consistently voted against the US embargo. So what?

  • Carlyle MacDuff, or whatever your name is, “seconded” sounds a little weak in backing up Moses. Why not use more words and explain why bullying tactics can’t explain away the UN’s 191-to-0 worldwide vote that supports my Cuban position and denounces yours, rather emphatically I might add. Also, America’s great UN Representative, Samantha Power, in her remarkable speech explaining why she couldn’t support America’s Batistiano-driven Cuban policy, echoed my views. Can you explain why she doesn’t echo yours? After you try doing that, you can revert back to bullying tactics as far as I care..

  • I am certain Rich that those who voted against the US embargo at the UN have never heard of you and consequently are not agreeing with you! You may agree with them, but to suggest the reverse reflects an astounding conceit.
    To claim that you have an abiding love for democracy and to write in these columns of your support for the dictatorship of Fidel and Raul Castro indicates a high level of mental confusion.

  • Rich, don’t accuse me of being an American! You seem to think for some odd irrational reason that those who criticize the Castro family dictatorship are Americans. Don’t believe it, there are lovers of freedom world wide and they rightly despise the communist system which the Castros imposed on the people of Cuba.

  • You are a self-serving liar, Moses, and you know it. My interest in Cuba relates purely to my abiding love for America and democracy. That’s why the 191-to-0 vote against America in the UN related to its Batistiano-fueled Cuban policy disappoints me because of the image it casts on the U. S. and democracy. Of course, the fact it doesn’t faze you reveals your Joe McCarthy mentality as you try to disguise your true motives. I believe Batista and his Mafia were thieving and brutal dictators and their imprint should never have been permitted to take hold on U. S. soil beginning in 1959, supported wickedly by people like you. If I ever see any indication, even a slight one, that you care one iota about the worldwide negative image the Batistiano dictation of America’s Cuban policy casts on America and democracy, I might even begin to believe you care more about the U. S. and democracy than Batista. If I am wrong, Moses, why don’t you discuss that 191-to-0 international consensus that tends to agree with me.

  • Seconded!

  • “….lucrative and revengeful Castro Cottage Industry”? Nah, we do it for free.

  • Don’t sound so defeated. I am sure your support of dictatorships and totalitarian regimes will not go unrewarded. While change in Cuba is inevitable, it will be some time before real democracy exists. In the meantime, you can content yourself will the failed socialist economy and crumbling infrastructure. Even Maduro’s tenure in Venezuela is likely to continue for his full term of office. Surely that must keep you in giggles? Fidel’s long awaited demise does open the door to progress a little wider but there is still much work to be done in Cuba before Cubans will be free.

  • Moses & Carlyle, now that Fidel Castro is officially deceased at age 90 of old age, you two are proof that the vast and lucrative and revengeful Castro Cottage Industry in the United States still won’t go away. In fact, now that nobody should be afraid of Fidel Castro anymore, devising other eventful ways and means TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIS LEGACY must occupy a lot of your time. Now, let’s see — can we benefit as much from Fidel’s legacy as we did from his long life since 1959? SURE WE CAN. Republicans rule Congress and starting January 20th Republicans also rule the White House. So, WHAT THE HECK. We don’t have to care one iota that the world opposes us with a 191-to-0 plurality because we can hide behind the skirts of the world superpower, right? RIGHT.

  • Could it be that we will now be able to find the Cuban beers Bucanero and Cristal in the shops instead of Heineken, Hollandia, Windmill, Presidente and Corona stacked high in the shops of TDR, CIMEX, Pan-Americana etc.? The amount and types of food available has rapidly diminished during 2016, the only redeeming feature being the availability of Vietnamese toilet paper. Where are the Cuban products?

  • Hopefully, the Castros goon squad will now release dissident artist Danilo Maldonado who was detained hours after the news of Fidel’s death became public. He has not been charged with any crime yet and has been beaten and moved several times ending up in a maximum security prison. Many will remember Maldonado, known as “El Sexto”, as the artist who spent 10 months in jail last year for painting the names Fidel and Raul on two pigs.

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