Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cuba vs USA... Cuba down by 2 before the game begins.

Due to World Cup Qualifiers the Argentine League has the weekend off, thus I turn to US soccer. The news of the day is that heading into their qualifier with Cuba, the US team should feel confident in their chances, as they have already beaten Cuba 1-0 on Cuban soil. This time the game will be played in Washington, DC.

Unfortunately for Cuba, they have more to lose than the game. Some 20 hours before the scheduled kick off and already two Cuban players had been reported missing from the team's hotel. midfielder Pedro Faife, 24, and forward Reynier Alcantara, 26, left the hotel yesterday and haven't been seen sense. It's known that Faife has relatives in Florida, and had contacted them upon arrival into the US. Provided no further players go missing before game time, the loss of these two players is not likely to effect the outcome of the game tonight. Neither are regular starters for Cuba.

The last time a Cuban soccer team visited the US was for the Olympic Qualifiers. During that visit Cuba lost a total of 7 players due to defections, and had to play an entire game with only 10 players as a number of others had to sit out due to suspentions and injuries.

Now, as an American I should blame the Castros for the sorry state of the Cuban nation, but as much of a tyrant Fidel may have been, a good share of the blame has to go to the US trade embargo. The embargo was started long ago, when the Soviet Union was suspected of placing missile silos on the island nation. At that time it made sense, but it continued on and became only a punishment for having Fidel as their "leader," and now his brother.

I ask you, would this embargo still be in effect if Cuba's major export product was crude oil rather than cigars?

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