Legitimize Surfing in Cuba
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Today, surfing is not a legal sport in Cuba. A group of dedicated athletes on the island has dreamt of changing this for their entire lives.
With sweeping political changes on the island, and the introduction of surfing to the 2020 Olympics, these surfers hope their chance to prove surfing is a true sport has arrived.
This petition is the first step towards their dream of surfing without restriction, both at home and on the world stage
In Cuba, unless activities are explicitly stated as legal, they fall under an enforceable category of “not legal”. Ever since it originated on the island, surfing has lived inside that zone of illegality.
For the past several years, a case to legitimize the sport has been building under the leadership of Yaya Gurrero, who is known on the island for spreading the sport to empower women on the island. The group aims to demonstrate that not only is surfing respected worldwide, but there is a rich history of the sport in their own country, and there is cultural and economic value in being granted permission to pursue the sport freely.
Many people in Cuba don’t know what surfing is, and many more don’t believe there are even waves in the country to support it. The main battle for the Cuban's is against this lack of knowledge - to prove to the people and the government that surfing is a viable sport. This petition's purpose is to showcase solidarity within the sporting community, and arm the surfers with undeniable proof of the global support for their mission.
As a legitimate sport on the island, Cubans will be able to compete internationally, import surf supplies and most importantly form an official organization capable of advocating for the needs of surfers and ocean health around the island.
MORE INFORMATION AND THE COMPLETE STORY:
Online, this campaign is being organized by Makewild, a group of filmmakers from Maine who befriended many of the Cuban surfers when US/Cuban relations began to open. Over the course of 2 years a film and friendship grew and as friends, Yaya and her group have asked for global support in the endeavor. This petition became the first stage.
Outside support of this petition doesn’t guarantee the acceptance of the sport in Cuba, but hopes to provide momentum and scale for a presentation that could shape surfing's future for generations to come.
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