Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

March 30, 1999.


HAVANA - On Sunday, March 28, two transcendental encounters took place between United States' and Cuban athletes and musicians. Might that signal something? A retired history professor comments, "Those in the government might say what they please and even the analysts are already reaching their conclusions. But the truth is that people are saying that the stew is getting good as the missing ingredients are showing up."

The ingredients are "the Americans," of course: Those people who are always maligned by the official Cuban propaganda. The old teacher adds that, "Perfume and odor continuously are being mixed up."

There are no shades of gray; no distinctions are clarified. And in the same manner nobody explains that the Cuban people no longer has to continue identifying itself with its government."

March 28 was unique. Early in the morning the toll of the bells was heard. It was Palm Sunday, the day that on the Catholic calendar marks the beginning of Holy Week. Hundreds of Cubans went to church to attend mass and to look for the blessed thatch.

At one in the afternoon millions of spectators on the island and in the United States were able to see on television the details of the first of two matches between a Major League team, the Baltimore Orioles, and an amateur team from Cuba, 40 years after the last such confrontation.

That same Sunday at 8:30 in the evening the 5,000 seats of the Karl Marx theater were not enough for a public avid to attend the great Cuban-American musical deliverance, two decades after the last one on the same stage.

But unlike the doors of the temples, open all day, those of both the Latinoamericano Baseball Stadium and the Karl Marx theater had their access strictly under control. "The government", said a young student who could not attend either event, "does itself a bad favor by not allowing even one tenth of the capacities of both shows to be sold."

A housewife who kept track of both events and who was aware of their potential importance in the thawing of the frozen relations between Cuba and the United States and who attended her neighborhood church the same day, preferred to refer to herself by these words of St. Jude Tadeus, which she quoted: "Hatred can turn into friendship, war into peace, solitude into company, sin into grace."

However, a newspaper vendor said, "The Americans have already come. Not (just) those who play baseball and music, but the others, the businessmen and the politicians. They are over here, quiet, waiting for the opportunity to reveal their presence."

Where did the seller get such information? It surely was only a gut feeling.

Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press.

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