Sunday, August 1, 2021

A message from Tokyo: "Patria o Muerte! Venceremos!"

Photo: El Manifiesto

In one of the most promoted boxing duels of the Olympics, the multi-medalist Julio Cesar la Cruz defeated today 4-1 the Spanish nationalized Emmanuel Reyes. With this victory, Cuban boxing secured three podiums in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

At the close of Friday's bout, La Cruz landed punches in the short and medium distance and defended the attacks of Reyes, to merit the verdict of four of the five judges and thus continue on the road to the cruiserweight grand final.  The Cuban team captain will compete in the semifinals against Brazil's Abner Teixeira, who beat Jordan's Eishaish Hussein Iashaish 4-1.

At the end of the fight and with his victory declared by the judges, Julio Cesar la Cruz took one final jab at his opponent, Enmanuel Reyes.  Reyes, born in Cuba but abandoning his country for Spain, had been spouting anti-Cuban rhetoric for weeks leading up to the Olympics.  Observers say he was on the social networks, and chanting the counter-revolutionary slogans typical of recent manuevers against the Cuban Revolution.

Julio Cesar la Cruz took a bow to the audience, shouting: "Patria y Vida... NO!"   "Patria o Muerte!  Venceremos!"   The boxing champ left the ring victorous -- just like the Cuban Revolution -- with his defeated 'Spanish' opponent last seen running away from the TV cameras. 

President Miguel Diaz-Canel on highlighted the performance of the Cuban delegation at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and boxer Julio Cesar la Cruz's patriotic cry.

'Inspiring the performance of our athletes, Idalys Ortiz's silver, Alba's bronze and the patriotic cry of #PatriaOMuerte (Homeland and Death) by Julio Cesar la Cruz in #Tokyo2021,' the president wrote on his Twitter account.

Diaz-Canel underlined the gallantry of the Olympic champion in Rio de Janeiro 2016, who responded firmly to previous statements by the Cuban nationalized Spanish boxer Enmanuel Reyes and people who shouted against Cuba from the stands.

'On the other side of the planet, 13 hours apart, many languages and provocations in between, how Cuban is the cry of #PatriaOMuerte. Of course we will win!' Diaz-Canel stressed.

In addition, he revealed that he already spoke over the phone with all three athletes and confirmed Cuba's pride in its athletes.

Radio Havana Cuba / CubaSi