While many here in the U.S. are embracing socialism, those who actually have to live under socialism continue to flee its misery and tyranny. Nearly the entire under-20 Cuban national soccer team has apparently defected while at a tournament in Bradenton, Florida. So far, 12 players from the team have “disappeared” over the past week, suspected of having defected from the communist Castro dictatorship.
ATR First: Mass Desertion for Cuba Soccer Team
The Cuban team at the under 20 CONCACAF championship in Bradenton, Florida sets a dubious record. In the past week 12 players from the team appear to have defected, the largest ever desertion suffered so far by Cuba in international sport.
So far CONCACAF has not confirmed these defections. Sources tell Around the Rings that the players left the team in three separate groups last week and are still likely in Florida in the care of friends or relatives.
The massive defection happened 10 years after the previous similar instance when seven Cuban players and a coach remained in Tampa after the CONCACAF championship ahead of the Beijing Olympics.
In both instances Cuba had the same technical director, Raúl González Triana. He has helped coach Cuba to qualify for the U20 World Cup in 2013 in Turkey and won a bronze medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz in 2014.
This large-scale desertion comes at a time when the Cuban football Federation has begun opening the doors to allow Cuban players to take contracts with professional leagues in the Caribbean region. However, the process can be slow and bureaucratic and has led some players to seek representation from agents outside Cuba. Cuban soccer players are now playing professionally for teams in the Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica and Honduras.
The 12 players who have just left the Cuban delegation face the punishment of not being able to return to Cuba in eight years according to the laws of the communist nation.
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