So What Difference Does Dictatorship Make, Anyway?
Perhaps a new Cuban declaration could assert the right of all people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of par (paragraphs rearranged):
Golf had been played on the island since the 1920s. At the time of the 1959 revolution, Havana boasted two award-winning courses, at the Havana Country Club and the Biltmore, which hosted such greats as Sam Snead and the rookie Arnold Palmer. A third course, where Mr. Castro would lose to Che Guevara, had just opened. U.S. tycoon Irénée du Pont had a private nine-hole course in Xanadu, his fabled Varadero beach estate. …
In 1962, Mr. Castro lost a round of golf to Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who had been a caddy in his Argentine hometown before he became a guerrilla icon. Mr. Castro’s defeat may have had disastrous consequences for the sport. 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. …
The famous game between Messrs. Castro and Guevara took place shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis, according to José Lorenzo Fuentes, Mr. Castro’s former personal scribe, who covered the game. Mr. Lorenzo Fuentes says the match was supposed to send a friendly signal to President Kennedy. “Castro told me that the headline of the story the next day would be ‘President Castro challenges President Kennedy to a friendly game of golf,'” he says.
But the game became a competitive affair between two men who did not like to lose, says Mr. Lorenzo Fuentes, who recalls that Mr. Guevara “played with a lot of passion.” Mr. Lorenzo Fuentes says he felt he couldn’t lie about the game’s outcome, so he wrote a newspaper story saying Fidel had lost. Mr. Lorenzo Fuentes says he lost his job the next day, eventually fell afoul of the regime and now lives in Miami.
It’s an iffy thing to live in a society in which one must constantly fear that the supreme leader’s tastes will run afoul of one’s own.