HAVANA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- A sporting race across Cuba will take place on September 9 to mark the start of the island's annual international campaign against the U.S. economic blockade, the organizers announced on Tuesday.
The initiative, the first of its kind, seeks to denounce from the sports sectors the economic and social damages caused by this unilateral policy that Washington has maintained towards the island for more than 50 years.
"The sports movement joins the international campaign against the U.S. blockade with this race which is the most genuine expression of our policy of sports as a right for the people," said Gladys Becquer, vice president of the National Institute of Sports and Recreation (INDER).
INDER together with other social organizations of the country and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have organized the race in which the assistance of young people, children, adults and sports enthusiasts is expected.
"This event will become a popular expression to reject this unilateral policy which the previous U.S. administration said it had failed for so many years," she said.
Becquer said the Cuban sports movement faces serious difficulties due to the economic embargo, especially in the purchase of equipment and the participation of Cuban athletes in U.S. professional sports leagues.
The initiative will be joined by Cuban sports glories, former Olympic champions and sports authorities of the island.
Among the participants will be former Olympic champion and current world record holder in high jump, Javier Sotomayor, who told the press that this race is an expression from the sports sector to condemn this policy.
"The sports industry in general has been affected by the blockade for many reasons such as lack of equipment, little access to high technology for facilities, medicines and anti-doping tests and that has diminished our potential as a country," he said.
Sotomayor, who established the world record in 2 meters 45 centimeters in 1993 and still in place said there is worldwide rejection of this policy maintained by the White House against Havana.
"More and more people, international organizations and governments are asking the United States to end the blockade. We hope that the current administration, although it has been contrary to that, listens to the international public opinion," he said.
The race will start simultaneously throughout the country and in the capital the route will be from the Museum of the Revolution in Old Havana, along the famous seawall to end at the Jose Marti Anti-Imperialist Tribune, just a few meters from the U.S. embassy in the Island.