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Thread: Cuba in the World Baseball Classic - Let Them Play!

  1. #1

    Cuba in the World Baseball Classic - Let Them Play!

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2259278

    Maybe some of our US baseball/legal minds can help me understand this one? I know about the US Embargo but I'm very curious to know how regular American citizens (ie not the US gov't) feel about this.

    As for my opinion (a Canadian who is not old enough to have lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis) I say let them play!

    That being said, I would be very interested in hearing anyones opinion on why they shouldn't play - This entire Cuba/US situation has always fascinated me.

  2. #2
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    There is more to this than meets the eye and you guys should not be so swift to react to what you read in the media. The Cubans in the past have suffered numerous defections in international competitions held on free soil and they are more interested in using this as a political propaganda tool than the U.S. is. Believe me, the Cuban government will be greatly relieved if OFAC's decision is upheld (which it probably won't be), because it is the best of both worlds for them (1) Propaganda mileage; and (2) They don't lose more star players to the USA through defections. For these reasons I think someone in Cuba actually challenged the US government to enforce the embargo. I would not believe that all to this story is in the very superficial report on ESPN.com.

  3. #3
    There is more to this than meets the eye and you guys should not be so swift to react to what you read in the media. The Cubans in the past have suffered numerous defections in international competitions held on free soil and they are more interested in using this as a political propaganda tool than the U.S. is. Believe me, the Cuban government will be greatly relieved if OFAC's decision is upheld (which it probably won't be), because it is the best of both worlds for them (1) Propaganda mileage; and (2) They don't lose more star players to the USA through defections. For these reasons I think someone in Cuba actually challenged the US government to enforce the embargo. I would not believe that all to this story is in the very superficial report on ESPN.com.
    Although I do greatly respect your opinion EagerBeaver I don't see how, at this point, you can place blame on the Cuban gov't for this one. The story from ESPN (actually taken from the Associated Press) gives the details of an announcement from the US Treasury Dept and then confirmed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, it doesn't seem superficial at all.

    One would think that if Cuba had actually challenged the US gov't to make this decision it would have swayed the US in the exact opposite direction (I mean this does not make the US look good) Why would they be willing to take the heat for Cuba not wanting to be involved in the tournement?

  4. #4

    Talking Come to New York, please, come to New York

    Quote Originally Posted by EagerBeaver
    The Cubans in the past have suffered numerous defections in international competitions held on free soil
    So where do the Yankees stand on this? I'll bet there is someone they have their eyes on down in Cuba.

    How did this competition end up in the US? Didn't someone have an inkling that this might happen? It should have been held in a neutral country so as to avoid this problem. Japan would have done just fine. Our loss, if the government wants to bring politics into sports we don't deserve to have such competitions. Athletics are supposed to transcend political grievances but we use them as a political toy. The Ancient Greeks would stop wars to hold games and then resume when the games were done. More recently, I believe Pele played in a Soccer game in a war torn African nation back in the seventies during which all sides of the conflict laid down their arms and filled the same stadium, with no bloodshed, just to see the Great One play.
    "I can picture every move that a man could make
    getting lost in her loving is your first mistake

    Sometimes I think its a sin
    When I feel like I'm winning when I'm losing again"

  5. #5
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    Spin,

    I am simply suggesting that someone in the Cuban government did something through diplomatic channels that precipitated this action. It happens ALL THE TIME in diplomatic circles that these things happen behind the scenes and are never reported on.

    Did you see the movie "The Constant Gardiner?" That movie is all about diplomats quashing information that has negative political ramifications. In this case the Cubans are faced with playing a tournament on US soil and there is a long history of their players defecting in such tournaments outside Cuba. And defection is a whole lot easier if you are already on U.S. soil for legal reasons that are beyond the scope of this thread. Again this is speculation on my part, but I would not be surprised if the Cubans did something, made some ridiculous request to precipitate the action.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 12-15-2005 at 02:49 PM.

  6. #6
    How did this competition end up in the US? Didn't someone have an inkling that this might happen? It should have been held in a neutral country so as to avoid this problem. Japan would have done just fine.
    How about the D.R. it's in the same time zone thus making the television networks happy, they are already fanatical about the sport (local interest would have been huge) and had they played in Punta Cana area for example, with the tremendous amount of resorts to accomadate players, GM's, families, etc... it would have given it a fun "Hula Bowl" type of feel.

    Athletics are supposed to transcend political grievances
    This represents my feelings on the subject 100%.

  7. #7
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    This is another case of the hypocritical, rascist US government sticking their nose where it does not belong, sports and politics should never be mixed, let them play ball.
    Last edited by Joe.t; 12-16-2005 at 07:48 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe.t
    sports and politics should never be mixed, let them play ball.
    Tell that to the numerous Cuban players who have defected during these international competitions.

  9. #9
    Mired in the red dust.
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    A related example...

    In a similar (an maybe even more bizarre example), the musicians from the Buena Vista Social Club were not allowed into the US to attend the Grammy Awards. Here is a quote from ETonline:

    "Still more controversy is brewing around the Grammys as five Cuban nominees for Best Traditional Tropical Latin album have been denied entry visas into the United States to attend the show. The musicians, which include 77-year-old singer IBRAHIM FERRER of the Buena Vista Social Club fame, were denied visas under U.S. immigration regulations barring entry to America of people considered a threat to its national security. ABEL ACOSTA, the head of the Cuban Music Institute, responded at a news conference with, "How can these musicians be considered terrorists?" But a U.S. diplomat in Havana said the decision was made under a presidential proclamation allowing the administration to suspend entry of persons "detrimental to the interest of the United States.""

    There's probably a simple explanation for such a decision. Sucking up to the Cubans in Miami probably explains a lot of it. Also, spite surely plays a roll also.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Happy Buddha
    In a similar (an maybe even more bizarre example), the musicians from the Buena Vista Social Club were not allowed into the US to attend the Grammy Awards. Here is a quote from ETonline:

    "Still more controversy is brewing around the Grammys as five Cuban nominees for Best Traditional Tropical Latin album have been denied entry visas into the United States to attend the show. The musicians, which include 77-year-old singer IBRAHIM FERRER of the Buena Vista Social Club fame, were denied visas under U.S. immigration regulations barring entry to America of people considered a threat to its national security. ABEL ACOSTA, the head of the Cuban Music Institute, responded at a news conference with, "How can these musicians be considered terrorists?" But a U.S. diplomat in Havana said the decision was made under a presidential proclamation allowing the administration to suspend entry of persons "detrimental to the interest of the United States.""

    There's probably a simple explanation for such a decision. Sucking up to the Cubans in Miami probably explains a lot of it. Also, spite surely plays a roll also.
    I think that says it all. The Cuban team beating the US would also be detrimental to the interest of the United States. Can't have the US losing in what will be the first real "World Series" of baseball.

  11. #11
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    This is pure politics. The Bushes (one in washington and the other in Florida) want to appease the cuban americans in Miami. Don't forget the 2000 election was won by a very small margin. I was reading a column in Philadelphia Inquirer where the writer said that the world baseball classic should be cancelled by the organisers to protest this stupid decision by the treasury department. I fully agree with him. Unfortunately I don't think MLB has the balls to cancel the tournament.

  12. #12
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    NJDude,

    The Cuban American lobbyist and special interest groups in Florida are very powerful and I have no doubt that both of the Bush brothers are beholden to them.

    A Rod has had to bow out of the playing in the tournament due to being torn over the implications of playing with the USA and insulting the Dominican Republic or playing with the DR and insulting Americans and Yankees fans.

    This tournament is not about baseball. It's all about politics. I feel the main reason it should be played (and Cuba allowed to play) is so some of the Cuban guys, hopefully 1 or 2 star pitchers, can defect and the Yankees can then sign them.

  13. #13

    Maybe you'll disagree but...

    reading between the lines I think the Nazi references are directed at the attempt by the US government to control the parameters of this competition due to an image it must maintain as anti-communist. IN THIS REGARD and as to the spreading of anti communist propaganda which the US has been guilty of for over half a century, in addition to the McCarthy "inquisitions", the US government has indeed made itself comparable to the Nazi's.

    I don't believe any one was comparing the USA to the Nazi's in regards to genocide. But that is a different debate about whether the USA committed crimes against humanity or not. After all there were those "Savage" Native Americans who kept getting in our way in addition to several hundred years of the kidnapping, selling, enslavement, rape, torture, and murder of Africans. No we aren't responsible for the Holocaust, that sin belongs to the Nazi's and I think we are all in agreement that annihilating them gave us some redemption for our own transgressions against others.
    "I can picture every move that a man could make
    getting lost in her loving is your first mistake

    Sometimes I think its a sin
    When I feel like I'm winning when I'm losing again"

  14. #14
    My main problem with the US is that they think that their system is the one that every country should use. Democracy cannot be implanted in a country overnight. It has to be done gradually over a long period of time. For one thing, the population has to be educated on how to think for themselves after decades or centuries of being told what to do and how to live.

    As far as annihilating the Nazi's goes...the US did not do that by themselves nor did they have any interest in doing so until Pearl Harbor brought them into the war. You can't come late to the party and then claim all the credit for it's success.

    Back to the main topic of the thread, if there is no Cuban team this competition has become worthless. Politics has a way of ruining everything doesn't it?

  15. #15

    Talk about not making any sense!

    Capt.,

    Apparently reading comprehension isn't your strong suit. I made it crystal clear as to what I was saying in my post but that didn't matter to you. Your just so offended by the use of the term "Nazi" that you went off the deep end and are looking for a fight. Nowhere did I say that being against Communism made anyone a Nazi, only that the behavior engaged in by our government to fight Communism in the not so distant past was very comparable to Gestapo tactics used by the Nazis' to destroy anything that was deemed as a threat to their power.

    On to Present Day. I pointed out that in regards to limiting the participation in this sporting event because of a political grudge against another nation our goverment is engaging in something that is seen as "Nazi like", namely telling us who we can and can not play baseball with. Stop pontificating about the use of the term Nazi and calling anyone who uses it ignorant when explanation for said comparison has been amply provided for you if you cared to read it. You haven't clue one as to anything about us other than we hobby in Montreal from time to time. Disrespectful? Your response takes the cake. Last I checked opinions are just that and we are entitled to ours every bit as much as you are to yours.

    No one used the term in the way you think it was used. No one justified labeling Americans as Nazi's, certainly not THIS American. If President Bush is your hero thats just fine. I don't call him a Nazi, a Jackass yes, but Nazi, No. He does however SUPPORT some things which are similar to things the Nazis' supported, see the Patriot Act, but that does not make him a genocidal maniac and no one said it did. The French cooperating with Nazis'? Did I mention anything about the French? Germans? Japanese? Who mentioned them? They have nothing to do with my point and you know it so please stop trying to shift the focus.

    Fact is that the US goverment shuns Cuba with the utmost of contempt. Almost the way you would expect a "Nazi regime" to be treated. Our government takes us to extremes where we won't even allow Cuba to play baseball in Puerto Rico in a "World" Championship tournament that they definitely belong in if any credibility is to be given to it. As to past behavior being used to justify calling Americans Nazis' that is just bunk. No justification is necessary for pointing out the simple truth of what the US government is doing and, AGAIN, I did NOT call Americans or President Bush Nazis'. References to past atrocities committed by the US serve as simple reminders that we have a checkered past and blood on our hands. So before we go discriminating against Cuba we should remember our own faults, past AND PRESENT because believe you me, we still have a long way to go before we can claim holier than thou status.
    "I can picture every move that a man could make
    getting lost in her loving is your first mistake

    Sometimes I think its a sin
    When I feel like I'm winning when I'm losing again"

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