Saturday, December 24, 2005

Sports For Sports' Sake

WBC's credibility undermined without Cuba:

So the U.S.'s long-running feud with Cuba has now polluted the forthcoming World Baseball Classic.

Recently, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that Cuba would not be allowed to participate in the inaugural WBC, which is baseball's answer to soccer's World Cup and will take place next March. Since a number of the games of the first WBC will be played on U.S. soil, the Treasury Department is within its rights to bar Cuba as part of the U.S.'s ongoing — and pointless — embargo against the island nation. It's still a travesty of the first order.


Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has evolved into a menace to freedom, human rights and the ideals of democracy. That much is incontrovertible. However, the U.S. is gallingly selective in its outrage toward oppressive regimes. In the recent past, we've propped up and otherwise provided aid and comfort to genocidal abominations like Augusto Pinochet in Chile, General Suharto in Indonesia and George Papadopoulos in Greece, to name only a handful. It's only when these tin-pot monsters run afoul of corporate interests that our leaders summon up their righteous indignation.

So don't make the mistake of thinking that this is some noble stand for human rights on the part of the U.S.; rather, it's a punitive measure toward a regime whose economic policies don't benefit the American private sector.

Dayn Perry's a damn good writer, and a friend. The whole column's great, especially as he describes the WBC's Cuba-snub as a pandering exercise to the Cuban-American crowd in Florida, most of whom would have prefered (this is my characterisation, not Dayn's) it that Fulgencio Batista had stayed in power.