81ºF

Fidel Castro's letter to Diego Armando Maradona

The letter dated June 25, 2014 was published on the Communist newspaper Granma

1960: Soccer star Diego Maradona, considered by many experts to be the greatest soccer player of all time, is born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maradona (seen here in 2012) would play in four FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 tournament, where he captained Argentina and led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player.
1960: Soccer star Diego Maradona, considered by many experts to be the greatest soccer player of all time, is born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maradona (seen here in 2012) would play in four FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 tournament, where he captained Argentina and led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, winning the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player. (Neogeolegend/Wikimedia Commons)

Everyday I have the pleasure of following your program on Telesur, about the Football World Cup. Thanks to that, I have been able to observe the extraordinary level reached by this universal sport. I do not believe it is possible to offer youth an adequate education, in any country, without sports; and in the specific case of boys, without the inclusion of football. I am a politician, but as a boy, adolescent and young man, I was a sports athlete, and devoted the largest part of my free time to this honorable practice. I admire your conduct for numerous reasons. I had the privilege of meeting you when the most just ideas of our people triumphed, and no power could suppress them. Nothing strengthened our relationship as Latin Americans to this degree. You have overcome difficult challenges as an athlete and as a young man of humble origins. I likewise salute Messi, a formidable athlete who brings glory to the noble people of Argentina. Nothing can take away the glory and prestige you two have, despite the mean-spirited efforts of gossipers. I congratulate Telesur, as well, for brightening this hot summer and I fraternally salute, as I have you, the excellent, prestigious footballers of Our America, without, of course, forgetting the magnificent, visionary Víctor Hugo Morales, who discovered your ability and who has promoted the noble value of the sport, and the Argentine people who you honorably represent. Of course, Diego, I will never forget our friendship, and the support you always showed the Bolivarian leader Hugo Chávez, a promoter of sports, the Latin American Revolution, and subjugated peoples of the world. Fraternally,