Australia, Canada, France, Germany and, of course, the USA have gleefully participated in this talent theft, not only from former and present socialist countries but from poor countries in general. “The blockade is far more than an embargo. It is an economic and political war against the island, and a war against its sport. Through this, it attempts to spread dissension amongst the people and turn them against their government.”
(Sept. 28, 2013) – THE economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba resulted in the loss of 1 million 70,000 US dollars to the amateur sports in that country just last year alone.
According to a report by the Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation, INDER, that figure is the result of the imports of inputs needed for the various disciplines in the sector.
The National Baseball team is still expected to promptly settle payments due from its participation in the World Classics II and III, which total $ 2.3 million and the significant feats achieved by the team against all odds. The U.S. Treasury banned Cuba from receiving the compensation paid to the baseball federations of all participating countries, including prize money for reaching the second and playoff rounds of the Classic, under the pretext that they may be used to fund “terrorism.”
Nevertheless, Cuba donated its share from the inaugural Classic, when it won the silver medal in San Diego against Japan, to the victims of the Katrina hurricane.
Players also worked with Habitat for Humanity building homes for New Orleans residents.
The U.S. also penalizes athletes and international amateur sport bodies for conducting relations with Cuba.
The U.S. blockade prevented the presence of 300 athletes at the popular Cuban Marabana marathon held annually in November. Despite the fact that it is undeniably an amateur sporting event with mass participation, according to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Treasury Department, the competition program did not qualify as “people to people.”
Furthermore, the Executive Committee of the International Basketball Amateur Federation, scheduled for November 2012 in Havana, had to be canceled; U.S. authorities simply denied federation executives permission to travel from the United States and Puerto Rico.
Every year since 1992, Cuba presents a report to the UN against the US blockade, which has been approved by an overwhelming majority of the member countries of this organization. In 2012, for instance, 188 nations voted in favour of lifting the unilateral sanctions to the Caribbean nation, while only three were opposed and two abstained.
Cuban authorities prepare an in-depth report on these and related damages and incidents, which is submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations.
It constantly resorts to bribery and urges our country’s citizens to commit treason and to desert
Who is going to be affected by the shameless blockade of sport? The blockade is far more than an embargo. It is an economic and political war against the island, and a war against its sport. Through this, it attempts to spread dissension amongst the people and turn them against their government.
Before the Revolution there were only 15,000 sportsmen in the country or, out of every 1,000 persons, only 1.5 engaged in sports.
A new generation of doctors, engineers, professors, teachers and technicians of all kinds has been trained in the years of the Revolution, alongside those other workers and intellectuals who remained loyal to the fatherland.
In the past, the Cubans have even threatened to reach competitions in Puerto Rico by swimming to its shores.
In what other country does this happen? In what country in the world? And we have done all this despite the economic blockade which in the final analysis has also had its benefits because since we lacked the gear, necessity forced us to manufacture our own baseball gloves, spikes, balls and the rest.
Profit and political motives have merged, as North American privately-owned professional baseball teams would pay real money to secure some of the Cuban ball players. Special attention was consequently focussed on the baseball stadium.
For the richer capitalist countries to enhance their own sporting strength, they added impoverished coaches and athletes from these countries.
Australia, Canada, France, Germany and, of course, the USA have gleefully participated in this talent theft, not only from former and present socialist countries but from poor countries in general.
Cuba is a small, poor country. Nevertheless, it has sent hundreds of Cuban sports coaches to train athletes in Latin American and other Third World countries.
This has helped to develop the sporting prowess of those countries. Some of the Cuban coaches’ trainees have done so well they have snatched medals from Cuba itself. “We accept this as part of our sports philosophy”, says Fernandez.