Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig's Untold Journey to the Dodgers
For close to a year Puig had been trying to force an answer, to extract himself from Fidel Castro’s state-run sports machine, which paid him $17 a month, and sneak across the tropics to a mythical north, where even benchwarmers lived like kings. Two, three, four times, maybe more, he had risked everything and fled, only to be detained by the Cuban authorities or intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard—each failure making the next attempt more urgent. Finally, in June 2012, the 21-year-old outfielder left his home in Cienfuegos, on Cuba’s southern shore, and set off by car for the northern province of Matanzas, just 90 miles from Florida. He was traveling with three companions: a boxer, a pinup girl, and a Santeria priest, the latter of whom blessed their expedition with a splash of rum and a sprinkle of chicken blood.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates
on Apr 14, 2014 -
This is what a dying sport looks like. For decades, the Miami fronton was known as the “Yankee Stadium of jai alai,” a temple to the game, the site of the largest jai alai crowds in American history. Since the 1920s, the best players in the world have gathered here every winter. Jai alai used to be a very popular spectator sport in this country, with frontons up and down the Eastern seaboard. Presidents watched jai alai with their wives. Ernest Hemingway bragged about getting to hang out with jai alai players. In fact, during World War II he concocted a scheme in which jai alai players would somehow lob grenades down the open hatches of unsuspecting German U-boats. Now, the sport seems like a relic, a vision into the past. It’s vestigial, like an appendix.
posted by jason's_planet
on Apr 11, 2014 -
The Guantánamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi
For nearly 11 years, Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been a prisoner in Guantánamo. In 2005, he began to write his memoirs of his time in captivity. His handwritten 466-page manuscript is a harrowing account of his detention, interrogation, and abuse. Although his abuse has been corroborated by U.S. government officials, declassified documents, and independent investigators, Slahi tells his story with the detail and perspective that could only be known by himself and the people who have kept him captive. It is impossible for us to meet with him or independently verify his account. Until now, it has been impossible for him to tell his story. [ht homunculus
posted by jaduncan
on May 1, 2013 -
Vampires in Havana
(YT, 1:09:58, Spanish with English subtitles, also available on Netflix streaming) is an animated film
by Cuban director Juan Padron
about the battle between European and American vampires for control of Vampisol, a formula which allows vampires to go out in the sun.
posted by Daily Alice
on Dec 20, 2011 -
After months of struggle to get his family out of Cuba, Orestes Lorenzo
got his response. Raúl Castro, then Minister of the Armed Forces, declared "If he had the balls to steal one my MiGs, then he can come back and get his family himself!
" In hindsight, that was probably the wrong thing to say. [more inside]
posted by Cobalt
on Sep 26, 2011 -
61-year-old Diana Nyad is back in the water. Again.
American endurance swimmer Diana Nyad is making her third attempt
(and second in as many months) to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, a distance of 103 miles. Her previous attempt failed after a crippling asthma attack. At the time, she swore she wouldn't try again, but a week later she was already having second thoughts
. You can track her progress here.
posted by BlahLaLa
on Sep 23, 2011 -
Diana Nyad is in the water!
One of the world's greatest long-distance swimmers from age 20 - 30, Nyad set records
and was a media sensation. And then, after famously failing in a swim from Cuba to Florida (rough water sent her far off course), she quit -- and didn't swim a stroke for 30 years. As age 60 approached, however, she got remotivated to tackle the one challenge that got away
. No shark cage, no wetsuit, and an estimated 60 hours of swimming to go. CNN's tracking map
posted by BlahLaLa
on Aug 7, 2011 -
Current TV previously & previously
, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 30, 2011 -
On Saturday, Cuba issued an unprecedented public report on the status of an imprisoned dissident. Guillermo Fariñas Hernández
began his hunger strike in February, the day after the first Cuban hunger striker death in almost forty years. He is now near death
. [more inside]
posted by hat
on Jul 6, 2010 -
Su Majestad 'El Bolero' - Sonidos del Mundo
:: Special bolero, a musical genre with Iberian and African mergers that are installed in the Cuban archipelago in the late nineteenth century.
Classical introduction of Matt Ramirez (Radio Felicidad 88.9 - Peru) who is involved in a musical gatherings led by Mabel Martinez. The same applies to journalists Eloy Perez and Agustin Jauregui Aldave.
Since my senses perceived that needle to settle into the grooves of vinyl. After listening to the announcer's voice and even at that moment, unknown bolero invaded me as they say, the sweet joy of 'sad', called melancholy.
I remembered that magical scene of an afternoon in which, from a makeshift place, interrupted the dance of two lovers who blushed as teenagers after being discovered.
Well I wrote my Father on the album cover photo she shared with 'her pimp'. Love? There are lots... but like ours are very few people there.
Now imagine how lucky I am to have been a spectator of so simple and beautiful moment. (google translate)
posted by vronsky
on Dec 14, 2009 -
The Committee to Protect Journalists
has released the 2008 prison census
. China retains the lead with Tibetan issues bringing them 28 jailed journalists. Cuba claims 2nd place with 21 jailed journalists. Burma & Eritrea almost tied for 3rd with 14 & 13, respectively. But the biggest news is internet journalists are now the largest group of journalists in jail.
posted by jeffburdges
on Dec 5, 2008 -
In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges
, will have to learn to say "No we can't"
, Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield
, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye
, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees
, we will judge our commitment to sustainability
, scientists should research the causes of religion
, we will all be potential online paparazzi
, English will have more words than any other language
(but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops
, Iran will continue its nuclear quest
while diplomacy lies in shambles
, the sea floor is the new frontier
, we should rethink aging
, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project
-- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it
-- though it has some unfinished business to attend to
, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom
.The Economist: The World in 2009
. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Nov 27, 2008 -
Perhaps you think you've had your fill of photographs of decaying architecture and abandoned buildings. If so, the rich color and play of light in Michael Eastman's beautiful body of work
from Cuba, Europe, and the U.S. may change your mind. His site is flash - for non-flash folks, the Duane Reed Gallery
has additional works, including his B&W portfolios on horses, landscapes, and succulents. (no relation to the Kodak family; via BB-Blog)
posted by madamjujujive
on Aug 23, 2008 -
[pdf], which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war."
] [more inside]
posted by blue_beetle
on Aug 12, 2008 -
Cuba: The Accidental Revolution
. Hasta la revolucion ? Maybe, but some revolution is dictated more by need than by politics. In this
, we are shown how Cuba is converting from oil-subsidized agricolture to organic agricolture with remarkable results. The presence of a police state isn't conveniently forgotten, as much as the facts that public education, public healthcare and limited, regulated free enterprise markets are helping Cubans in the transition from the illusion of freedom in a subsidized economy to a far less comfortable and rich, but more sustainable and independant economy.
posted by elpapacito
on Oct 26, 2007 -
Frederick Remington was an American artist who in 1898 became a war correspondent and illustrator for the New York Morning Journal
during the Spanish-American War. The Journal's
editor in chief, William Randolph Hearst I was an American newspaper magnate whose paper had, circa 1895, fought to liberate Cuba from Spanish rule by writing sensational stories of Cuban virtue and Spanish atrocities in an attempt to influence US opinion. In 1898, Hearst sent Remington to Cuba to report on the war which Hearst was certain was about to begin. However when Remington arrived, he telegrammed Hearst saying "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. I wish to return." Hearst responded "Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war." Not long after, the war began. These telegrams are often cited as one of the most famous (if not the first) examples of yellow journalism
(so much so it is mentioned in Citizen Kane
) and is meant to speak to the powerful potential effects of the news media. But did The Remington-Hearst "telegrams"actually ever take place, or is this simply another urban legend
posted by Effigy2000
on Jul 6, 2007 -