Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

Aug. 2, 1999

INDIVIDUAL CUBANS POLLED ON WINNIPEG INCIDENT By Odalys Curbelo, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - At a Pan-American Games baseball contest in Winnipeg, Canada on Aug. 1 a man ran onto the field wearing a T-shirt asking for freedom for the four imprisoned signers of the "The country belongs to all of us" document and carrying a poster that demanded respect for human rights in Cuba.

Various Cuban ballplayers attacked the individual. For that reason Cuba Press went out to look for opinions of other Cubans about the incident.

María Miranda, 30, housewife, said, "The game was very good. Like almost everyone, I wanted Cuba to win. But what happened on the field with that man I didn't like. It showed such aggression and violence. It's not right to hit someone who only requests respect for human rights."

Oscar Espinoza, 49, economist: "The man interrupted the game at a crucial moment. But they shouldn't have responded with blows. The Canadian authorities were in charge of reestablishing order. The event makes me recall a pre-1959 action when some students in Havana threw themselves onto a baseball field with a banner against the Batista dictatorship. The police beat them brutally."

Antonio Rodríguez, 48, Spanish professor: "Politics doesn't interest me. I was only watching the game. The whole incident was disagreeable. I didn't continue watching the game."

Raúl López,67, retired: "It was an important game. We had to win it and we did. Perhaps the man wanted to provoke and destabilize but the answer was to win the game, not beat the man."

Carmen Martínez, 20, student: "I don't like baseball but it was a very important game. Some of my girlfriends saw too well the reaction of the Cuban ballplayers. I didn't. What did the sign say? Respect human rights. Fair enough; one must respect freedom of expression. But he shouldn't have interrupted the game."

Sergio Lorente, 35, sports fan: "It was a spectacular game. I don't know what made them see the situation like that. Perhaps it offended Cubans or the government -- they reacted the same way. But I definitely don't know what the sign said."

Odalys Curbelo, Cuba Free Press


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