Friday, August 03, 2007

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.
Whole thing



Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm... i wonder why the were repentant? could it be because they realized how great cuba is? or are they simply trying to escape political imprisonment once they are deported back to cuba?

i bet it's because cuba is so great.

7:37 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

What makes you think they were going to be deported back to Cuba? It was clearly THEIR CHOICE to go back. They could have at least met with a lawyer if they thought they were being coerced. The could have easily requested asylum and not be sent anywhere - like the handball player. So what are you talking about?

11:29 PM  
Blogger jsb said...

Fidel Castro:"The athlete who abandons his delegation is not unlike the soldier who abandons his fellow men in the midst of combat," he said.

He said Cuban sports officials hoping to prevent defections are "analyzing all possible alternatives, including the option of changing the list of boxers or of not sending any delegation whatsoever, in spite of the penalties that may be in store for us."

5:18 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

Right, and your point is? Or did you just think I hadn't read that? Fidel has been in a long battle, it's the only metaphor when considering him and the US. Sport is a metaphor for the Revolution.

It is a shame there are sharks lurking outside hotels with $100,000 in briefcases - ONLY because Cuba dares to have a world class sports program - that keeps sports pure, serves the people and produces Grade A results with limited means. Cuba gets more Gold medals per capita than anyone else ya know?

In most other countries, the top tier of athletes gets shipped off to wealthier domains as soon as they are of age. The fans are stuck paying high prices to see B teams play. In Cuba, players actually still play for their home cities and provinces - something beautiful that creates real rivalry and drama...

There are hundreds of Cuban coaches on loan around the world, thousands of Cuban athletes travel all over every year. But Cuba, like Japan, says its athletes have to play in country til a certain age. Some Cuban players are in Japan now. No other country faces this poaching of athletes, because most others can just be bought outright - winner take all.

10:55 PM  
Blogger jsb said...

Athletes in Cuba are slaves of the state.

9:35 AM  

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