Adrian Martinez once played basketball on rundown playground courts in Cuba. At times the backboards were made of rotting wood and bicycle tire rims doubled as basketball rims.
The Northeastern University senior describes the condition of his boarding school, a sports academy for Cuba's rising athletes, as deplorable, with leaking plumbing, cracked playing surfaces and moldy hallways.
The memories are 10 years old, but they remain vivid, a stark contrast to his life as a Division I player in the USA.
"Life was so hard in Cuba," Martinez, 22, says. "The quality of life was so low."
So you mean to tell me that the building was basically falling apart?
In Cuba? No way!
The 6-2, 200-pound point guard averages 10.8 points for a Northeastern team that is 7-15 (5-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association), but Martinez doesn't measure success with his scoring. He's in a position to move forward, with a bachelor's degree earned in criminal justice and work toward a master's in sports leadership.
The opportunities ahead are numerous, a contradiction to life in Cuba.
"They really don't have a chance of improving themselves," he says of the aunts, uncles and cousins left behind. "It's like you're stuck and you'll be there forever."
Wait a minute. I thought opportunity was PLENTY in Cuba under the guise of socialism! Its supposed to be the Socialist Utopia! Yet for some reason they all live in the US? Hmmmmm...
His father, Onelio, figured the family had nothing to lose by uprooting. Among other things, he was angry and frustrated about lining up for food, which the family had to ration further to make it last. "There was no way we could make it," he says.
Economic advancement is impossible for most Cubans. Martinez's father had a physical education degree and coached youth basketball teams, a job he eventually gave up for a slightly higher paying position as a gas station manager.
So the only way to get by was by working at a gas station.
Ohhh man where do I sign up for the revolucion?
The thing that kills me about liberals and Marxist lovers is that they fail to see how if a system like this was in place in the US they would be SCREAMING how it is totally against the Constitution!