Cuban cocks

I haven’t seen cockfighting in Spain, but to judge by this report there’s still a fair amount of it about. Here, however, the authorities are trying to stamp it out, while in Cuba they’re running the show:

Police operation in the farming district of Las Mercedes
SANTIAGO DE CUBA, February 12 (Antonio Alonso, in collaboration with APLO) – A police raid caused great unease among farming families in Las Mercedes in the district of La Prueba of the municipality of Songo-La Maya Santiago of Cuba. Last Friday February 5th and without presenting search warrants, the police raided dozens of houses in search of fighting cocks [gallos finos o de pelea]. Proprietors found in possession of birds were fined and had them confiscated. [Police abuse of power, confiscation of food for sick wife, ridiculous fines.] It is worth noting that this practice is common due to the close ties that exist between some police chiefs and the rooster cartel, which is in the hands of retired colonels who in this fashion maintain absolute control of cock breeding and fighting as well as of the domestic and export trade.

Another article on CubaNet says that Fidel banned cockfighting along with other capitalist vices in 1959, perhaps because someone had told him the the story about the fighting cock almost having become the US national symbol, losing by just one vote to etc etc. Cockfighting came back out into the open in the 90s, along with canine combat and battles involving the dinky little Tiaris canora, with prizes for leading revolutionaries including posh cars and fridges. It’s quite difficult to see why Gabriela García Márquez is still hanging on in there, so far have we come from the day when José Arcadio Buendía killed Prudencio Aguilar for suggesting that the José’s prize rooster might be able to assist José’s wife in ways that José himself could not.

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