Poland: Land of the Free and Home of the Brave

 

Wilfredo Leon is widely considered to be the best volleyball player in the world. He is 6’8”, athletic, and explosive. He was born and raised in Cuba and has spoken of the difficulties of everyday life there. He had to work 8-12 hours per day, while not getting enough calories to train as an athlete after work. After a three-hour practice, if he wanted to bathe, he had to carry a bucket from his fourth-floor apartment to a nearby pond and back up to his apartment. He hurt his shoulder and was denied surgery. He finally left Cuba and is now the highest-paid volleyball player in the world.

And where did he emigrate to find freedom? Poland. For some reason, that makes me so happy. Isn’t it wonderful that there are places that have recovered from Communism? Formerly oppressed countries that are now free? Hungary is another example.  There are others.  Could Cuba be next?

Isn’t it wonderful that someone flees the misery of communism in Cuba, and finds happiness and prosperity in Poland? He has a wife and two kids, and says it is his greatest dream to win a gold medal for his country – Poland. He says this would be the greatest moment of his life. He loves his country and says so every chance he gets. And why would he not? Good for you, Wilfredo. And more importantly, good for you, Poland.

I hope America wins a medal. But honestly, I’m rooting for Poland.

I’m rooting for Cuba too. The country, not the volleyball team. I pray that one day people will dream of moving to Cuba to fulfill their dreams of freedom and prosperity. For Cuba, that seems like an impossible dream.

Of course, it did for Poland, too, until not all that long ago.

C’mon Cuba! Never give up! You can do it!

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  1. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Dr. Bastiat: Isn’t it wonderful that there are places that have recovered from Communism?  Formerly oppressed countries that are now free?  Hungary is another example.  There are others.  Could Cuba be next? 

    Not likely.

    Big difference between countries that had been somewhat modern when invaded by the USSR and other countries (less modern to start and/or where communism was brought in via revolution/rebellion rather than brute force invasion).

    • #1
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Isn’t it wonderful that there are places that have recovered from Communism? Formerly oppressed countries that are now free? Hungary is another example. There are others. Could Cuba be next?

    Not likely.

    Big difference between countries that had been somewhat modern when invaded by the USSR and other countries (less modern to start and/or where communism was brought in via revolution/rebellion rather than brute force invasion).

      Yeah, it takes more than freedom to be free. 

    • #2
  3. Richard O'Shea Coolidge
    Richard O'Shea
    @RichardOShea

    You make me want to watch the Olympics now.

    • #3
  4. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    About 20% of Cubans fled that island over the last six decades. That would be the equivalent of about sixty million Americans leaving this country over the same period. Nobody is emigrating to Cuba despite the alleged wonderfulness of Castro’s communism. 

    I look forward to a wave of Cuban Solzhenitsyns testifying about realities that blindingly stupid lefties in Che T-shirts consistently denied.  I look forward to Miami increasing its role as the financial capital of Latin America—and with more free, growing Cuban wealth and less drug money. And unless the GOP is more brain dead than I often fear, the pushback against socialist BS will be invigorated.

     

    • #4
  5. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Nice story, Doc.  Thanks for sharing this.

    My mom’s side of the family is from Poland, so I’ve always had a fondness for the Poles.  They have some of the toughest geography in the world, not so much because of the land, but because of the neighbors.

    I looked up Leon, and found this highlight video, which is pretty cool (about 4 minutes):

     

    • #5
  6. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    I look forward to a wave of Cuban Solzhenitsyns testifying about realities that blindingly stupid lefties in Che T-shirts consistently denied.  I look forward to Miami increasing its role as the financial capital of Latin America—and with more free, growing Cuban wealth and less drug money. And unless the GOP is more brain dead than I often fear, the pushback against socialist BS will be invigorated.

    Armando Valladares, a guest of the Pineapple Gulag, wrote such a book back in 1985. Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag.

    • #6
  7. davenr321 Coolidge
    davenr321
    @davenr321

    Poland is Awesome-land!

    three bucks for a half-meter pizza and a couple of big beers…

    Slupsk is a great town,man.

    • #7
  8. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    davenr321 (View Comment):

    Poland is Awesome-land!

    three bucks for a half-meter pizza and a couple of big beers…

    Slupsk is a great town,man.

    Our next stop once we can travel again.  Wife mapped out lots of neat places there. 

    • #8
  9. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Nice story, Doc. Thanks for sharing this.

    My mom’s side of the family is from Poland, so I’ve always had a fondness for the Poles. They have some of the toughest geography in the world, not so much because of the land, but because of the neighbors.

    I looked up Leon, and found this highlight video, which is pretty cool (about 4 minutes):

     

    Thanks for that.  He’s routinely slamming it *inside* the ten foot line.  Great stuff.

    • #9
  10. Brian Scarborough Coolidge
    Brian Scarborough
    @Teeger

    I, too, have a growing fondness for Poland and Hungary. They are resisting wokeness more than anyone in the Western world despite pressure from the EU.

    • #10
  11. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    Well, let’s see where he is in a few years. Merlene Ottey left Jamaica for Slovenia, and then Slovenia for Switzerland.

    • #11
  12. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I have a friend who’s 6’6″, and volleyball was his sport . . .

    • #12
  13. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Dr. Bastiat: Isn’t it wonderful that there are places that have recovered from Communism? Formerly oppressed countries that are now free?

    A rare and very difficult feat:

    Even after an operation that restored democracy and independence, my poor homeland, drained nearly dry after fifty years of parasites and outside interests, would remain ill for a long time. – Page 125

    “The government may not like the cold shower we’re giving it, but it’s a lot better than a bloodbath,” I told reporters during the interviews I gave in early 1988. The irony was that while many individuals were mature enough for pluralism, society as a whole, forced into a “monism” by years of communism, wasn’t. “The only just system,” as communism was called, proved itself the most absurd of impediments. – Page 126

    [Emphasis added]

    For what it is worth, it is hard not to realize that the draining by the parasites and outside interests (and internal corruption, I may add) is already happening here in the rotting corpse phase of the late Republic. The likelihood of renewed Liberty grows dimmer and the depth of the illness on the other side grows worse with every $Trillion. At some point the muscle memory within We the People for such Liberty just will not be there anymore. I am reminded of this from the foreward of my copy of Witness:

    “It is idle to talk about preventing the wreck of Western civilization. It is already a wreck from within. That is why we can hope to do little more now than snatch a fingernail of a saint from the rack or a handful of ashes from the faggots, and bury them secretly in a flowerpot against the day, ages hence, when a few men begin again to dare to believe that there was once something else, that something else is thinkable, and need some evidence of what it was, and the fortifying knowledge that there were those who, at the great nightfall, took loving thought to preserve the tokens of hope and truth.” – Pages vi–vii

    Reminder: The current demise is “bi-partisan.”

    • #13
  14. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Spent time in Gdansk and surrounding regions.  Our office was Lech Walesa’s old shipyard office, ate several times at one of his favorite restaurants (no, I never saw him).  Shopped at a supermarket, sort of a mini-WalMart.  Enjoyed the stay. Gypsies were endured, and not being a permanent resident or small business owner, to me they were a pleasant nuisance.

    Haven’t followed Poland more recently, so: Anybody know if they have taken up public education/indoctrination? What about state welfare? Is the law impartially enforced yet? Have they discovered the glories of a graduated income tax?

    How are they with their neighbors (Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Belarus, Germany)?

     

     

    • #14
  15. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    As someone once said about Poland in reference to the EU, they were not impressed with the old totalitarians, and they are not impressed with the new totalitarians. 

    • #15
  16. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Brian Scarborough (View Comment):

    I, too, have a growing fondness for Poland and Hungary. They are resisting wokeness more than anyone in the Western world despite pressure from the EU.

    Especially since they were screwed by the Western “democracies” twice (Czechoslovakia more than that).  Throw in nearly 50 years of the Cold War when Western “intellectuals” studiously turned their heads the other way while they were under the boot of the Soviet Union; well, it’s a miracle that they even talk to anyone from the US, GB, or EU.

    • #16
  17. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge
    Chris Hutchinson
    @chrishutch13

    I really love seeing all the love for Poland. Whatever y’all may think, I promise it’s 1000X better. I’m as patriotic/nationalistic as it gets (I definitely root for the US when we play volleyball or anything else) but I cannot fully describe how great it is to live in Poland. 

    • #17
  18. Mikayla Goetz Contributor
    Mikayla Goetz
    @Mikayla Goetz

    I spent a short period of time living in Ukraine in 2017-2018. Before my time there I visited Poland (my favorite country in Europe.) To go from Poland to Ukraine was shocking. The fact that Poland pulled away from the temptations (and destruction) of communism and is now a thriving and free nation is a testament to the tenacity of it’s citizens.  To put it mildly, communism is a hard stain to remove.

     

    • #18
  19. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Mikayla Goetz (View Comment):

    I spent a short period of time living in Ukraine in 2017-2018. Before my time there I visited Poland (my favorite country in Europe.) To go from Poland to Ukraine was shocking. The fact that Poland pulled away from the temptations (and destruction) of communism and is now a thriving and free nation is a testament to the tenacity of it’s citizens. To put it mildly, communism is a hard stain to remove.

    Hey, a brand new member!  Welcome to Ricochet, Mikayla.

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Mikayla Goetz (View Comment):
    I spent a short period of time living in Ukraine in 2017-2018. Before my time there I visited Poland (my favorite country in Europe.) To go from Poland to Ukraine was shocking. The fact that Poland pulled away from the temptations (and destruction) of communism and is now a thriving and free nation is a testament to the tenacity of it’s citizens. To put it mildly, communism is a hard stain to remove.

    Welcome, Mikayla.  Are you a contributor as well?

    • #20
  21. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    For a while I spent a lot of time working in London and a great many of the service people I encountered were from Poland and they were some of the most gracious and wonderful people I’ve met.  And they seem to have a great deal of affinity for Americans.

     

    • #21
  22. Mikayla Goetz Contributor
    Mikayla Goetz
    @Mikayla Goetz

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Mikayla Goetz (View Comment):
    I spent a short period of time living in Ukraine in 2017-2018. Before my time there I visited Poland (my favorite country in Europe.) To go from Poland to Ukraine was shocking. The fact that Poland pulled away from the temptations (and destruction) of communism and is now a thriving and free nation is a testament to the tenacity of it’s citizens. To put it mildly, communism is a hard stain to remove.

    Welcome, Mikayla. Are you a contributor as well?

    Hello! Yes I am. I have a post that went up on the main feed two days ago.

    • #22
  23. Mikayla Goetz Contributor
    Mikayla Goetz
    @Mikayla Goetz

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Mikayla Goetz (View Comment):

    I spent a short period of time living in Ukraine in 2017-2018. Before my time there I visited Poland (my favorite country in Europe.) To go from Poland to Ukraine was shocking. The fact that Poland pulled away from the temptations (and destruction) of communism and is now a thriving and free nation is a testament to the tenacity of it’s citizens. To put it mildly, communism is a hard stain to remove.

    Hey, a brand new member! Welcome to Ricochet, Mikayla.

    Hello! I am happy to be here!

    • #23