Havana: The retired and gravely ill former dictator ruler of Cuba, Fidel Castro, has reportedly invited the much celebrated Indian Olympian boxer Mary Kom to move to Havana, accept Cuban citizenship and represent the nation as its first woman sportsperson in the sport. This has purportedly been the result of Namibia Flores, Cuba’s only woman boxer, leaving the nation to pursue career prospects in the United States.
Cuba doesn’t have any accommodation for women’s boxing; neither do they have a federation, nor any rules and regulations’ regarding the same because they simply did not believe such a thing that women’s boxing exists at all. In March 2014, the Cuban Sports Minister was reported saying, “What are you talking about? Women’s boxing? Women cannot do boxing! Women can run and play tennis. Boxing is a man’s game. All this is just US propaganda.”
This turnaround in the Cuban government’s beliefs and policy regarding the inclusion of women in the sport is allegedly the result of the Indian feature film ‘Mary Kom’, starring actress Priyanka Chopra in the lead role. Castro is said to be a huge fan of the Indian actress and has invited her to Cuba as well to shoot a song that he has written.
Castro’s spokesperson, in a press conference, made a statement on behalf of the former dictator leader (damn you auto-correct). “We hope Mary Kom considers our offer seriously and not like the joke the rest of the world thinks we are. We are a strong and proud people thanks to Russia (long may she prosper), and I see the same kind of strength and determination in Mary Kom.”
The Indian Boxing Association is outraged and up in arms against this request by a friendly nation. Vijender Singh, eminent sportsperson, Olympic Boxer and judge-of-a-bunch-of-illiterates-on-a-crappy-television-show says, “Cuba is country? Really? They want Mary Kom? I have in pen drive. They want boxer Mary Kom? This is wrong. Bhai aisa thodi chalta hai? How can they just say they want Mary Kom? We want Mary Kom. We want medal. No, no, no, this is not possible.”
Sarbananda Sonowal, Indian Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent charge) has expressed concern over the matter. Mary Kom is an icon for the little girls of the nation. And I believe that she is very patriotic even if she is from an Eastern state. I have contacted Mr. Bhagwat to convince her to join the organization too. After that, we shall see how she goes.”
Priyanka Chopra is delighted at the invitation and says she feels honoured at being invited there. She has however declined the offer to shoot a song with the ailing Castro, leading to small scale riots in the capital Havana which were however quickly brought under control by firing a test missile in the conflict zone.
Mary Kom was unavailable for comment, although her PR team has confirmed that the boxer has no plans to leave India for Cuba despite the fat pay check they were offering and the retirement benefits which she could never get in India. She reportedly told a friend that she would never consider going to Cuba even if Castro himself assured her that she would never have to sell her medals for food when she stops boxing.