Slave masters in Cuba continue to persecute escaped slaves
It is reminiscent of the vile, pre-Civil War Fugitive Slave Acts that gave slave owners rights over their escaped slaves. The apartheid Castro dictatorship, who are the slave masters of Cuba, continue to persecute Osvaldo Alonso, a previously enslaved soccer player who managed to escape the island plantation to realize his dream of playing his sport as a free man.
Cuban defector hopes to play soccer for U.S. national team but faces big obstacle
Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, 27, of the Seattle Sounders can't even try for the team because Cuban government won't grant him permission. He is running out of time for a chance to play in a World Cup.
Osvaldo Alonso's dream is no different than that of many soccer players: He wants to play in the World Cup.
And by most estimates the tenacious midfielder has the ability to make that happen.
But in Alonso's case, even exceptional talent and desire haven't been enough to overcome one obstacle that remains in his path. For the last 16 months, politics have kept Alonso from even trying out for the U.S. national team, which last month earned a berth in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Alonso starred for the Cuban national team before defecting in the aisles of a Houston Wal-Mart during the 2007 Gold Cup. He became a U.S. citizen five years later. That hasn't made him eligible for the U.S. national team because before defecting, Alonso played 16 games for his homeland, leaving him cap-tied to Cuba.
In rare instances FIFA, soccer's global govern ring body, can step in and allow a player to change allegiances but that's not likely to happen in this case without Cuba's blessing.
"It's out of our hands," said a U.S. Soccer official who is not authorized to speak about it on the record. "We need Cuba to move first. Even if he was the best player in the country there's nothing we can do."
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