By Mark Rhoads, former Illinois State Senator
According to Associated Press on March 10, "While Cuba played the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, a spectator in the stands raised a sign saying: "Down with Fidel," sparking an international incident that escalated Friday with the velocity of a major league fastball.
The image of the man holding the sign behind home plate was beamed live Thursday night to millions of TV viewers _ including those in Cuba. The top Cuban official at the game at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan rushed to confront the man."
Puerto Rican police had to explain to the Cuban officials that it was not a crime to hold up a protest sign at a baseball game in a free country. Now the Cuban baseball team, that includes team doctor Tony Castro, a son of Fidel, is protesting the "lack of respect and security" for their team. The entire Cuban state has gone ballistic over one tiny protest sign.
Cuba has not had a free election in 47 years at least under Castro and for at least seven years before that under Fulgencio Batista. As Illinois voters prepare to excercise their precious franchise in a free election, remember just how wonderful it is to live in a free country and be grateful for those who risk life and injury to safeguard that freedom which is still too rare in the world.