Pursuing America

Posted: October 15, 2008 in World

“The world hates us.”

“We need to do more to restore our image to the rest of the world.”

Despite all the self-flagellation going on out there, there are still plenty of people who still view America as the best chance for a better life, despite our imperfections.

Cuban soccer defector: Freedom worth the risk


Reinier Alcantara knew, even before he boarded the flight from Cuba to Washington, D.C., last week, that he wouldn’t be using his return ticket. He hatched the plan to defect months ago and worked extra hard to make the roster for last Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against the United States because he figured that would be his chance to escape a life that was getting increasingly more frustrating and depressing.

The only question was when he would make the break. Team security was tight, following the defections of seven members of the Cuban Under-23 soccer team in Tampa in March. The phone lines in the players’ rooms at the Doubletree Hotel were disconnected, their passports and visas were collected by a team official upon arrival in the nation’s capital, and coaches watched their every move.

But then the moment arrived. It was Thursday, early evening, and the team had just returned from practice. They were milling around the lobby, waiting for dinner, and the coaches walked into the gift shop. Alcantara got up from a sofa, walked down a hallway, found a service door, checked over his shoulder, stepped outside and sprinted toward freedom.


”I’m sure my parents are devastated with my decision, but in time, they’ll realize this was the best thing,” he said. “There is no future for me in Cuba, no hope. You can dream there, but your dreams can’t come true. It’s a dead end for athletes, and for people of all professions. We hear promises, but they’re never fulfilled. Here, you dream and if you work hard enough, and sacrifice, your dreams can be realized.’‘ (more…)

(H/T: babalublog.com)


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