…and very few people notice. However babau blog is one of them:
Cuba is one of the few countries in the world that prohibits its citizens from leaving without government permission, a violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Because Cuba’s athletic teams compete internationally the participants are constantly shadowed by members of Cuba’s state security apparatus. The primary objective of Cuban state security is to prevent defections which embarrass the Castro regime and deplete the country of athletic talent. In Democratic countries like the United States this presents a perverse situation where Cuban athletes are basically deprived of their rights to move freely. If an athlete does manage to defect his family is not permitted to leave Cuba as a form of punishment. Often Cuban defectors must then pay human smugglers to extract their families from the island.
Unfortunately this has been a good tourney for the dictator teams. A Cuba vs Venezuela final would be a propaganda boon for two of the worst western hemisphere.
I can’t understand how our friends on the left can ignore this while decrying Gitmo. I also can’t see why our government is allowing the restrictions on movement. These guys only get legitimacy when we allow ourselves to follow their rules.
I would so much love to see the team defect en masse but I suspect that with this administration they would be handed back a-la Elian Gonzales.
Update check out the factsheet some Gems:
“The option not to play in the [World Baseball Classic] tournament, which has been exercised by the Yankees’ Hideki Matsui among others, is not available to Cuban players – if the government tells them to play, they must. On the other hand, the regime can suspend a player from ‘Team Fidel,’ as the national team is often called, simply out of suspicion that he might defect. This happened to Orlando Hernández, before he managed to escape in a boat and eventually find fame with the Yankees.”
According to baseball agent Joe Kehoskie, the Castro regime has been using a bonus system to keep Cuban players from defecting. Players are awarded varying sums based on team performance but the awards are only given if the entire team returns to Cuba without any defections. In this way the regime creates peer pressure among team members to discourage any from exercising their right to defect.
If this administration could stand up it would make a huge difference.