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Two Cuban Players Disappear

Midfielder Pedro Faife and forward Reynier Alcantara disappeared from the team's hotel in Crystal City in the past two days and cannot be located, Cuba Coach Reinhold Fanz said today while the depleted team practiced at RFK Stadium.

"It is always a problem for the Cuba team," said Fanz, a German. "We have security, but you can't handcuff them to their rooms."

Faife is 24 years old, Alcantara is 26. Like all Cubans, they play for clubs in the domestic league.

Twelve Cuban players on four separate occasions since 2002 have defected while in the United States for competition. The most recent incident was in the spring, when seven players from the under-23 team defected while in Tampa for the Olympic qualifying tournament.

More later.....

By Steve Goff  |  October 10, 2008; 6:19 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Comments

I had the over under at two, looks like I'll be off.

Posted by: Stan | October 10, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Lol those cubans.

Posted by: christiannn | October 10, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

And the POST is still showing the WRONG DATE in the USMNT banner above once you place your cursor over it.

Posted by: D C B 2 3 | October 10, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Alexandria, VA - The Alexandria Youth Soccer Association announced the hiring of two new coaches today.

"We are pleased to welcome these gentlemen, who have played soccer at the highest international level, into the AYSA family." said an official who wished to remain anonymous for what he stated were diplomatic reasons. He continued, "The fact that they speak Spanish allows us to reach out to a growing part of our multi-cultural community here in Northern Virginia."


Jokes aside. It takes a lot of courage to leave behind everything you know. I hope these young men find what they're looking for.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 10, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry.... this is WAAAAAAY off topic... but are you kidding me? Fenty must have skipped his med's for the week or Victor MacFarlane is looking more and more like a chump....

http://views.washingtonpost.com/theleague/nflnewsfeed/2008/10/fenty-vows-to-have-redskins-back-in-city.html

"...We have a stadium site sitting here ready, willing and able to go. A new stadium could go on there. We could probably donate almost all of the land to the stadium and, I think, build a brand-new stadium that could accommodate a Super Bowl that has all of the new trappings of new stadiums. So I think there's a win-win in it. We've got a lot of work to do before we put it together and have a proposal. We have started to talk with the Redskins officials, but I'd be lying and misleading if I said that it would happen, you know, right away or in the near term. But we just want it to happen as fast as humanly possible."

Posted by: Mickey | October 10, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Funny thing is, I saw two young men running through Crystal City this afternoon wearing soccer clothing that looked Cuban.

Posted by: Caps#1 | October 10, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I thought some would go but, not this soon.
Good for them.
Don't they get gov't healthcare down there though? Can't believe they would give up that benefit.

Posted by: marksman | October 10, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

So they arrive in gringolandia the week that capitalism collapses? Good timing guys.

Posted by: pigman sweet | October 10, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Are these guys any good? Future USL-ers?

Posted by: lprevolution | October 10, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Is it too late to sign them for the Houston match?

Posted by: delantero | October 10, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I had said two. I'm hoping I wasn't being naive.

Posted by: sitruc | October 10, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

PS. Did the check the Crystal City Restaurant?

Posted by: delantero | October 10, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

wink, wink, nudge, nudge know what I mean? Eh, eh . . does she uh, go? You know eh, eh?

Posted by: CCR!! | October 10, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow, its usally after they play do the defect. Cuba is a great place, if you don't care about personal freedoms.

Posted by: Bob | October 10, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

If Janet Reno was still in, she and Big Bill would send 'em back. I'm sure Barrack Hussein will.

I thought Mike "the Fat One" Moore said Cuba was a freaking paradise.

Posted by: The Bear | October 10, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Cuba and the Cuban people are amazing.

While the Cuban system has managed to greatly curtail individual liberties we find innate, they have still managed to create health care, agricultural, and educational systems that either match OR SURPASS most of Latin America.

From the CIA Factbook, Cuban literacy rates approach 98% and their GDP growth rate was 6.5% in 2007. (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/)

The Human Development Report, which looks at statistics in terms of the human variable, found Cuba to be a respectable 51st of 177 nations. (http://hdrstats.undp.org/countries/country_fact_sheets/cty_fs_CUB.html)

If it weren't for the Fat Elephant in the room to their north, across the pond, Cuba would likely be even better. After all, the Fat Elephant does business with the Reds and Chavez everyday . . .

Posted by: delantero | October 10, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

wow "the bear" way to let ideological dogma get in the way of objectivity.

Posted by: ericJ | October 10, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

No, he's right. That doesn't excuse the fact that it's a totalitarian dictatorship, but it should make people question whether the METHODS of governance here as efficient and representative as they should be.

He didn't exactly endorse Fidel, ya know.

Posted by: jloome | October 10, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Que viva Cuba, sin Fidel!

Posted by: yanqui go home | October 10, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I can understand the Cubans wanting a better life but it does kinda suck that they defect BEFORE their games. It leaves the rest of their teammates in the lurch and devalues the game some of us have paid money to attend.

Yeah, maybe I'm being heartless but if they were Guatemalans or Haitian soccer players they wouldn't be allowed to "defect" on a sports trip to the US.

Posted by: garbaggio | October 10, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

And the head of Fat Elephant calls it a dungeon. Pathetic that politics continues to infect our policy.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081010/ts_nm/us_bush_cuba

Posted by: delantero | October 10, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

From the CIA Factbook, Cuban literacy rates approach 98% and their GDP growth rate was 6.5% in 2007.

Posted by: delantero | October 10, 2008 9:25 PM

Did 100% of the people vote in their Presidential election, too? :)

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | October 10, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Viva, la Revolution

Posted by: Fidel | October 10, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

From the CIA Factbook, Cuban literacy rates approach 98% and their GDP growth rate was 6.5% in 2007.
Posted by: delantero | October 10, 2008 9:25 PM

Did 100% of the people vote in their Presidential election, too? :)
Posted by: JayRockers!


Or........lets say their GDP was $1000 in 2006. So, that would mean $1065 in 2007, right?
Approach 98% huh? Again, if it was 20% in 2006 and 24% in 2007, they are certainly "approaching" 98%.

Numbers are funny things.

Speaking of numbers, isn't there a game I spent big bucks to see? How many Cuban players will actually show for it? Will it be like the U-17 game? Hope it stays relatively competetive.

Posted by: marksman | October 10, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@garbaggio
Guate and Haiti arent in such a politcal bundle with the US like Cuba is. So I dont think they would need to defect. Not to mention, the law of defection from Cuba kinda gives them the jump to defect to another country and given permission to stay. Not so easy for the Guatemalans or Haitians.


Damn!!!,

DC better jump on those cubans for next year. We have two new signings.
CHICO!

lol

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 10, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I"m sure the CIA plays with the demographic stats in their annual in order to make Cuba look good.

*Jeebus*.

Back on topic, I was sure that some would go *after* the match; I'm surprised two went *before*. Maybe their post-match schedule made these guys feel like they wouldn't get a better chance.

Posted by: Bootsy | October 10, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope those guys have some jobs lined up...

Posted by: dadryan | October 10, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Sure, then don't do your own homework on the rest of the statistics or understand the point of the post . . that Cuba surpasses much of Latin America in a boatload of places despite being "a dungeon" (pun intended) . . Cuba's GDP per capita beats Brazil, Bolivia, El Salvador, and just misses out on Mexico . . but you're right, they are so so terrible.

""Or........lets say their GDP was $1000 in 2006. So, that would mean $1065 in 2007, right?
Approach 98% huh? Again, if it was 20% in 2006 and 24% in 2007, they are certainly "approaching" 98%.""

Posted by: delantero | October 10, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Didn't anyone explain to them that Fidel provides them free health care?

Posted by: Alex | October 11, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

The reason cubans are allowed to defect is that we, by virtue of the trade embargo against Cuba, are in a state of economic war against that country. It would be inconsistent to not allow their people to defect. We lift the embargo and they will soon stop defecting.
Isn't the German's quote about "you can't handcuff them to their beds" priceless. In Cuba they actually could do this. He needs to understand that the concept of having "security" involves keeping people safe. What he actually meant to say was "We have guards...."

Posted by: cubanpete | October 11, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

delantero, what's the use of having a 98 percent literacy rate if the government mandates everything you read?

What's the use of having a 6.5 percent "growth rate" in GDP whem the vast majority of the cars are more than 50 years old and you can't buy anything? What's the use of such a rate if U.S. dollars acquired through the tourist business are the only currency that's worth a damn?

And don't tell me about the trade embargo. Canada, Australia, Europe and China don't have such embargoes. They're all economically advanced areas that trade with Cuba, and *still* Cuba's people are savagely poor by any reasonable standard.

Of course, with apologists like you, Comrade Fidel and his Marxist Mafia don't have to take accountability for anything, do they?

Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | October 11, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Not an apologist, Mr Hipocrite, just stating the facts.

Cubans enjoy a lifestyle greater than much of the hemisphere. I have already acknowledged that this comes at a cost.

Please start reading from the beginning, take off the colored glasses that obscure your vision.

Posted by: delantero | October 11, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

""After all, the Fat Elephant does business with the Reds and Chavez everyday . . ."" but little Cuba might as well be the anti-Christ.

That's the most ridiculous part about your old, worn foreign policies ----IT's so twisted in lies that you don't even realize it.

Posted by: delantero | October 11, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Not an apologist, Mr Hipocrite, just stating the facts.

Nice way to win friends and influence people, delantero.

Cubans enjoy a lifestyle greater than much of the hemisphere. I have already acknowledged that this comes at a cost.

Considering the numbers of Cubans who defect, they apparently don't care that they have a lifestyle "greater than much of the hemisphere."

As far as the "costs" are concerned, using that word is gross understatement in describing a fundamentally unjust, dictatorial penal system that enslaves the populace.

Please start reading from the beginning, take off the colored glasses that obscure your vision.

I *have* read from the beginning, dear fellow; I'm not the one with the colored glasses.

Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | October 11, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

One more thing, delantero...

Perhaps when you answer challenges (such as the ones I posed in my first post) directly instead of with empty rhetoric, then you will receive respect.

Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | October 11, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Not an apologist, Mr Hipocrite, just stating the facts.

Cubans enjoy a lifestyle greater than much of the hemisphere. I have already acknowledged that this comes at a cost.

Please start reading from the beginning, take off the colored glasses that obscure your vision.

Posted by: delantero | October 11, 2008 1:03 AM
-----------------------------------------

LOL, I've met many Cuban doctors who are sent throughout latin america by Fidel, and every single one of them that I've met would cut off an arm to permanently stay away on their mission instead of being sent back to Cuba.

Being a Dr is great but being told what to practice when to practice it and being sent away whenever and wherever at the drop of a dime has nothing to do with big bad Americas embargo.

La Revolucion, like Che has been an Epic Fail

Posted by: Tony T | October 11, 2008 3:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm just glad Goff didn't defect when he was down in Cuba.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 11, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

What good is being literate if you can't afford a book?

Posted by: Rick | October 11, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Hi friends, welcome to 2008. People leave Cuba for the same reason people leave Honduras or El Salvador these days - money. Be it as a pro footballer or mason, more money can be made in the EEUU. Today's recent Cuban migrants are primarily economic migrants the same way most from Latin America are.

Posted by: Rex | October 11, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

HA ha, now I know you've drunk the Red, White and Blue koolaid. Sprinkle some McCarthyism on your cereal this morning?

As I have stated before, when compared to the majority of Latin America . . Cubans are doing pretty well. Or perhaps you've never been in a Brasilian flavela or a garbage dump used as a mini suburb? So, Mr. Hippopotamus, what good is freedom if you're life is so bad you scrounge for scraps of food, live in squalor and die young of curable disease?

Once again, the Fat Elephant gets down on both knees to deal with China, hands billions to Chavez, but Cuba is the anti-Christ?! You make me laugh with your blind policy and twisted rhetoric . .

""As far as the "costs" are concerned, using that word is gross understatement in describing a fundamentally unjust, dictatorial penal system that enslaves the populace.""

Posted by: delantero | October 11, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

As far as enslaving a populace, you are right as the Japanese internment camps, the Trail of Tears, Abu Gharaib and Guantanamo Bay were and are just simple errors in judgment, but ok by you?

Not to mention overt support for the overthrow of democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende ,or the support of right wing death squads in Central America some of whom killed Archbishop Oscar Romero and American nuns, arms to Iran for rebels in Nicaragua . . .

Boy, Cuba is just so so bad. Comparatively, we look like angels, right?

Posted by: delantero | October 11, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Boy, Cuba is just so so bad. Comparatively, we look like angels, right?

Yes, delantero, you could say that. Whatever injustices and mistakes this country has made cannot compare to what is happening in Cuba...or else, you'd see Americans by the thousands (if not millions) leaving for Canada.

You ask, "what good is freedom if you're life is so bad you scrounge for scraps of food, live in squalor and die young of curable disease?"

Very simple. Unlike in Cuba and Venezuela, people in some of these other countries can unite and throw out a government that doesn't respond to their needs. They did it in Brazil. Can they do that in Cuba? Not hardly.

As far as your personal insults go, delantero, chinga a su madre con la verga flaca suya!


Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | October 11, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Besides, delantero, que se pudiera esperar de uno de los chichenores de Fidel?

Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | October 11, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

1. If you believe official statistics about Cuba you really are mentally deficient. Official government statistics also had East Germany as one of the world's top 10 economies and led people to think that their reunification with West Germany would produce an economic superpower. Of course, once the reunification occurred everyone realized that the country was a polluted decrepit shell.

2. The US embargo is counterproductive and the definition of a failed policy. There can be no excuses for it.

3. If Cuba is so great, why is the traffic of people is one direction? Shouldn't Brazilians and people from other Latin American countries that are allegedly worse off be trying to get to the worker's paradise? People vote with their feet.

4. My girlfriend, who is Spanish, went to Cuba last year and said that when she talked to people that everyone said the place sucks and they all dislike Fidel and Raul. And she is a Bush-hating lefty.

5. There is simply no excuse for Cuba's repression. All of the apologists for the country make my stomach turn.

Posted by: Colin | October 11, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

""Whatever injustices and mistakes this country has made cannot compare to what is happening in Cuba""

HA HA?! Now I know you are an ever poorer student of U.S. history than I thought.

As far as personal attacks . . calling you Mr. Hippotamus is so upsetting to you that you become vulgar? My oh my, a clear violation of WAPO's policies.

Posted by: delantero | October 11, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Not an apologist, simply stating the facts from independent sources like the CIA!

""If Cuba is so great, why is the traffic of people is one direction?""

And how does that Cuban traffic differ from the traffic of all of Latin America toward the United States. Millions more have come from Mexico and Central America with democracies throughout . . Cuba is not much different in that regard . . but I would say it's an economic push, not a draw to the idea of democracy or human rights or some escape from "a dungeon." Thanks, GW!

The right loves to rail on about Cuba, but eagerly ignore similar and worse treatment in some of it's closest business partners---Saudi Arabia? China?

Not to mention their own nation's and government's dirty little secrets.

That means they are hipocrites.

Posted by: delantero | October 11, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"And how does that Cuban traffic differ from the traffic of all of Latin America toward the United States."

You really have no clue what you are talking about. Guatemalans and other Central Americans have illegally immigrated to Mexico and Mexico annually deports thousands of people that try to work in the country illegally. Immigration is not all just to the US. In South America plenty of people have immigrated to Chile for example. However, NO ONE goes to Cuba either to search for work or job hunt. Strange, eh?

"The right loves to rail on about Cuba, but eagerly ignore similar and worse treatment in some of it's closest business partners---Saudi Arabia? China?"

Again, utterly clueless. McCain regularly rails about how we need to become energy dependent because too much of our money is going to Saudi Arabia and other "people that don't like us very much." It's been in all the newspapers, surprised you missed it. Lots of people on the right criticize China. Thing is, China lets its people leave the country and is slowly moving towards greater openness. Cuba is repressive and has not really diverged from that.

Posted by: Colin | October 11, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

""Thing is, China lets its people leave the country and is slowly moving towards greater openness. Cuba is repressive and has not really diverged from that.""

Huh? If you think anything McCain says now, I'd like to know where you've been for the last 20 years. The right has engaged in complete and utter disregard for human rights in virtually every part of the world when it is deemed economically unsound to do so. Who's for freedom and human rights when the FAT ELEPHANT can make a buck?

Latin America abounds with their particular brand of foreign policy horrors. To think otherwise shows a poor understanding and extent of their policies(Oliver North?)

The neo cons and their older Florida-Cuban Reaganites are the same ones who press for a continued embargo . . . It's just plain stupid.

But so is their silence regarding the injustice that their policies perpetuated and have often times endorsed.

Posted by: yanqui go home | October 11, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least we all stayed on topic.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | October 11, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Re China . . . nope, they have regularly engaged in far greater atrocities than Cuba and continue to do so. Hard really to say otherwise . .

1) One child policy? Check!
2) Detained and beaten political activists? Check!
3) Squalid working conditions? Check!
4) Tianeman Square? You Betcha!
5) Tibet? Check!
6) Exporting slave labor to cheap factories in Southeast Asia? Check! One Marianas Factory was even visited and praised by Tom DeLay! Check!

Openness my arse.

Now, again I am not denying Cuban abuses, just like to point out hypocrisy when I see FAT ELEPHANTS in the room.

Posted by: delantero | October 11, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for the thread when Cuba plays North Korea in a friendly.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 11, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

China is not 90 miles off our coast. They haven't taken us to the brink of nuclear war with aggressive actions. Cuba has. Chavez is a new threat, and well on their way to getting Cuba treatment.

Posted by: minor difference | October 12, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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