Thursday, December 01, 2022

When at Sierra Maestra I spoke with Fidel and company – Nation World News

As I was saying, the book that contains everything I’ve enjoyed in my 93 years of life, including 75 years of journalism (completed last Friday, June 24), is now on sale on Amazon, and 62 contains one hundred percent in baseball.

I tried to tell everything but couldn’t. It did not fit so much in the standard size of the volume 532 pages. Because I had to publish my story in baseball, but also in other areas of journalism that I’ve covered.

For example, when I first moved to Havana, in February 1949, I traveled to cover the first Caribbean Series, which turned out to be an exceptional show, well organized and high quality baseball.

Cuba’s Almenderes won with Conrado Marrero unbeaten and Monte Irvin as home run hitter and driver. Cervecería de Caracas finished second, followed by Spur Cola from Panama and Mayaguez from Puerto Rico.

I studied journalism in Havana and visited the island several times. I was a correspondent in the Caribbean for the magazine “Bohemia” by Miguel ngel Quevedo, who was a close friend of Fidel Castro when he was in the Sierra Maestra.

Miguel ngel and Fidel organized a special envoy’s visit to those eastern heights, and they decided to send me.

The way I traveled through Havana to escape the protection of the police and Fulgencio Batista is one of the chapters in my book, as there was a lot of politics, romance, journalism and good luck in this adventure.

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I would like to tell that story here, but there is no place. In short, I was in the hands of the leaders of the 26 July Movement, from the moment I left Havana, until I reached the Sierras. I traveled in a few cars, each with different companions, none of them knowing where I was going, nor did they ask; At each stop, they dined, slept and had breakfast in modest but pleasant little hotels with very efficient staff.

Thus I reached the foothills of the Sierra, where instead of sitting in a modest car I suddenly found myself on a beautiful and comfortable horse.

I completely followed the assignment ordered by Quevedo, only I could not interview Camilo, because he was in Escambre and Fidel did not allow me to leave because he was expected to fight there.

In addition to politics, I talked with Fidel about baseball. He was very knowledgeable. And he told me he also loved basketball.

Perez Jiménez, Betancourt Baseball, Bullock and “Chico”

I neither like nor dislike politics, and I consider it necessary. I find it immoral the way some politicians use it.

In the book I cite facts and characters from that environment, but I have never been active in politics or politics.

When he covered Miraflores, when General Marcos Pérez Jiménez was president, he was daily interested in what Alfonso (Chico) Carrasquel hit in the majors.

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I was also a reporter in the Venezuelan presidential office during the mandate of Romulo Betancourt. He wrote the column “Miraflores Hoy” about the intimacy of the Palace. The President once told me…:

“Hey, Juan Vene! You’ve taken the tailcoat from Miraflores, the things you publish in that column.

Fidel was offered to sign him to pitch in the Major Leagues.

During the interview at Sierra Maestra, I spoke with Fidel about baseball, which has been admired and loved by people in and around America.

I asked him: Is it true that you were about to become a professional baseball player?

He replied…: “Not really. His right hand was very strong. I could throw the ball faster, Scout Joe Cambria found out, and he sent me the minors to the Washington Senators for two thousand dollars.” offered to sign, where I would learn to pitch. Of course I was far from accepting. I always had my eyes and aspirations on a future dedicated to politics. It’s true”.

a tip

Fidel, Raul and Camilo

The book has pictures of Fidel, Raul and Camilo with me, especially as they arrive in Havana after the fall of Fulgencio Batista.

i loved baseball

It’s funny: Fidel said he hates the United States of America and everything about the United States, but he loves American baseball a lot.

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