Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cuban officials stunned

I don' know if Maykel Galindo opened the door wide open but it seems now that whenever a Cuban soccer team comes to the United States to play in a tournament, some players defect. Of course, Galindo was not the first but since 2005 there has been a relative free-for-all with Cuban players defecting.

At the Gold Cup last year, there were two players who bolted as Lester More and Osvaldo Alonso left their national team and homeland for the U.S. Now, there are seven Cubans who have abandoned their team and left their homeland as well.

It seems strange, then, that Cuban officials would be surprised that something like this most recent mass exodus happened. Maybe they aren't and are just presenting that to the media and their countrymen back home. Who knows?

Anyway, I am trying to find updates as to whether Cuba is officially going to forfeit the matches or not. I'm guessing they will have to but nothing official has been reported.

5 comments:

Matt said...

What are they supposed to say? "I'm not surprised our players took the chance at a better life in a free country" ?

I'm sure that would go over well with the Cuban government when they got home.

Anonymous said...

Surely American immigration policies -- under which Cubans who reach U.S. soil are allowed to remain in the country and apply for U.S. residency after one year -- have NOTHING to do with this development...

It would be interesting to see what would happen to the Haitian U-23 team if the same policy was in place for that citizens of that country.

It must be a coincidence,too, that the Cuban team ends up playing in Tampa, barely hours away from Miami.

If the same "wet foot, dry foot" policy was in place for Mexican citizens, wouldn't we see millions of Mexicans also "defecting" their country ad moving to the US? Oh, I forgot, that's already happening, except that the a majority of the freedom-loving people of the US tend to see those folks as "illegals aliens."

Interesting developments indeed.

just another one of you said...

Here's the reason they haven't forfeited yet- They don't know how to explain it back in Cuba yet. They already put all over the papers how they tied the 'evil empire' and gloated over the game. The oligarchy over there is too proud to admit publicly that people actually feel oppressed and want to leave through extreme measure. If they found a spin tactic to cover this, then they'll forfeit. If not they'll try to find some way to keep going so they can at least hold on to the fact that they tied the US (they'll never mention that nearly half the team bolted). Funny that this all happens with one of Fidel's sons traveling with the team as a trainer.

just another one of you said...

and to the anon above my last post- Mexicans and Hatians can apply for citizenship and leave their country through legal means while Cubans are not allowed to live, let alone travel, outside their country by the gov't. There are more than twice as many Mexicans in this country than Cubans on the planet so please try some context before you compare immigration with escape from an oppressive regime, and if you think Cuba isn't oppressive than please contact me so I don't ruin this blog.

Anonymous said...

uh, are you saying that Haiti is NOT an oppressive regime? mmm. i would recommend you pick up a copy of the latest amnesty international report. nuff said on that...

what happens to the US team if the Cubans forfeit? Do they get their two points back?