Cuban boxers who Defected are 'Repentant,' Want to Return to Cuba
An amazing turn of event here. I wonder how they will be recieved back in Havana? Probably as heroes - in the streets if not by the regime. They will probably be given opportunities to speak frankly to the Cuban people about temptations and what is really important in life (perhaps it is not money after all)?
Rio de Janeiro - Two Cuban boxers who were arrested in Brazil after defecting during last month's Pan American Games told police they are "repentant" and want to "return home," authorities said Friday. Erislandy Lara and Guillermo Rigondeaux were staying at a hotel in the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area, whose name was not made public for security reasons. They are no longer under arrest but being kept under surveillance because they are in Brazil illegally, police commissioner Felicio Laterca said.
Rigondeaux, 25, and Lara, 24, were found Thursday in Araruama, in the north-west of the state of Rio. The two boxers disappeared during the games on July 21 and reportedly signed contracts with Germany's Arena Box-Promotion.
The two boxers told police they left the Pan American Village in the company of two businessmen - a German and a Cuban citizen - who promised to take them to Europe to embark on a professional career.
But they have since apparently changed their minds, saying they regretted the defection and hoped to return to Cuba. The sportsmen rejected the assistance of lawyers who said they had been sent by the businessmen.
Police said the two Cubans were identified Thursday because they spoke no Portuguese and had no money or papers on them.
Brazilian daily O Globo reported that they had spent the past few days with two Europeans and three prostitutes in a hotel, and were expecting forged documents from Germany in order to leave Brazil.