The Assassinated Press
Thank God for the Dominican Republic
By ELIAS DOMINGUEZ
The Assassinated Press
Thank God for the Domincan Republic. They follow all the rules set down by US imperialist discourse right down to the urchins living in abject poverty playing baseball as a way out of their plight using nothing but a stick, a rock or makeshift ball and a glove made out an empty milk container cunningly folded into a fielderís mit a testament to their ingenuity, drive and Ďlove of the game.í
The Dominican is a country of ball players the American media can get all soppy and teary eyed and sentimental about. Yet even a cursory understanding of Dominican history clearly demonstrates the US client status of the eastern half of the island of Hispanola. Further, the continuing poverty in the Dominican can be directly traced back to US policy in the region and to repeated intervention into the Dominican on behalf of US corporate interests.
You donít think the US would respond with military and economic intervention if the Ďcorporate interestsí of baseball were threatened? I got some K Street lobbyists you should meet who inadvertently but no less eagerly would disabuse you of that fantasy. The pattern is inviolable. Do as we say or else.
This same boot that is on the western part Haiti, another perpetual victim of US imperial assault. Cuba too. Except in Cuba, they did the tossing out. You had Bosch and Aristide in the Dominican and Haiti tossed out by force by US imperialist policy makers. But in Cuba, Batista got the bumís rush. For this very different reason, for Cubaís success in fending off the US, it is under constant attack. Remember the pattern. Inviolable.
In Cuba very young ball players have gloves and bats and serviceable fields. This means no weepy, simpering American documentaries about them. Oh no. At least not until the players are old enough to be the envy of every money hungry franchise in North America. Then Castroís island is a prison that refuses to make one out of every 250,000 of its citizens a millionaire. Well, whose fault is that? By those standards Newark or Detroit are on veritable millionaire lock down.
If the island was still run by corrupt shills like Batista, I assume the argument goes, filthy disease ridden barrios would be producing major leaguers who at once provided fat prick Americans the sentimental satisfaction that they had raised one out of every one hundred thousand of their tiny talented waifs out of poverty and gave them multimillion dollar contracts and still were able to buy cheap plastic toys, tube socks, their little sisters or brothers or drugs from the majority that couldnít hit .310 in AAA.
Then thereís the sentimental tear jerking US media payload of the Dominican player giving back to his countryman by building a school or hospital or ballpark. But itís never enough. Unemployment is still rampant, per capita wages among the lowest in the world, starvation, disease and if someone comes along to try and improve conditions for his people Uncle Sam is right there to take him out.
And, yes, that darned Fidel has deprived us North Americanos long enough. We canít tear up over the plight of the young Cuban ballplayer the way we can with the raggedy Dominican kids. We donít run a farm system in Cuba. So the best meal of a young Dominicanís life has to be earned by athletic prowess, a gift possessed by few and at the expense of other kinds of prowess e.g. those of the mind more than the body.
Címon Fidel! We Americanos need our melodrama. We need our tears and hankies. We need it more than anyone else needs justice. Thatís simply the way it is. Our fictions, our delusions as much as our crooked pols and our armies say it is so.