With Fidel Castro calling it quits, The WALL STREET JOURNAL slices over news of Cuba trying to gather some some green by bringing back golf.
So, why has there been such a shortage of links in the Caribbean nation - besides abject poverty, limited tourism and communist beliefs that golf is a vile symbol of capitalist sloth? Apparently because Fidel’s a sore loser.
Back in 1962, Castro lost a round of golf to fellow revolutionary & t-shirt icon Che Guevara. Such a defeat doomed the sport in Cuba:
“He had one Havana golf course turned into a military school, another into an art school. A journalist who wrote about the defeat of Cuba’s Maximum Leader, who was a notoriously bad loser, was fired the next day.”
But with brother Raul now calling the shots, golf is looking to make a comeback. Cuba’s minister of tourism (one actually exists?) says the country plans to build up to 10 new courses to lure “upscale tourists.”
Even with help from Canadian, British & Spanish developers, such a task is no easy putt. Since Cuba doesn’t allow property to be bought & sold, developers would have to lease the land from the government. And potential course sites have also been targets of oil exploration.
Oh, and forget about any Americans flying down for a few rounds, since there’s still that whole embargo thing. As one U.S. senior advisor put it, “Cuba is the sand trap from hell.”
Bet you can still get some good cigars for the 19th hole.