Friday, March 7, 2008

U.S. Invasion of Cuba? Write the USSF and make it happen

Anyone up for a road trip this September? Beautiful Caribbean setting... beaches.. birthplace of rum.... and the US Men's National Team providing just that little extra spice of total smackdown. Oh, one little problem, the State Department might arrest you when you get back.


Thanks to MLS Underground for posting about this issue. As reported on that site, Sven Serrano, a US supporter living in Japan, is asking all members of the US Soccer online community to write a letter to the US Soccer Federation to find a legal way for US supporters to get to go to Cuba this September to watch the USMNT play against el amenaza de rojo in CONCACAF early qualifying for World Cup 2010.

This is a World Cup qualifying round match, and the mere thought that the US team would go to Cuba of all places, -- Cuba! which is only 90 miles from Key West -- and not have a single American fan in the stands is a reprehensible notion. I understand the boycott, yeah, yeah. I understand the human rights violations, yeah, yeah. I understand that the Senators might have signed Fidel all those years ago to a minor league deal, yeah yeah. But come on here. This is the US heading south ready and willing to There has to be a way to make this happen.

What follows below the vid is Serrano's letter, as posted on the MLS Underground. Feel free to copy and send this to the USSF, or even better, write your own similarly-themed piece, and tell a friend to do the same.

U.S. Soccer Federation
1801 S. Prairie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: (312) 808-1300
Fax: (312) 808-1301 ­ ­

Dear Sirs

As a USMNT supporter who has been to two World Cups and several WC Qualifiers, both home and away, I would like to ask the USSF what your office plans to do to accommodate the wishes of numerous US supporters who have stated their intention to support our team when it (most likely) will play the national team of the Republic of Cuba in Havana this Fall?

We are all aware that a strict economic embargo is in effect, limiting travel and financial transactions with that country. However, should the USSF decide to support the fans who wish to travel to Cuba to cheer our team on, you could do the following:

1. Apply to the State Department for a cultural exchange permit for a small group of US supporters (200-300) to accompany the team. ­ ­ ­ ­

2. Arrange for a charter flight that could fly the group in (on the same schedule as our team) and out of Cuba.

Your support for a legal group of US Supporters traveling to Cuba would reduce the chance Americans traveling to Cuba through 3rd countries on their own, thus breaking U.S. laws and running the risk being charged and fined by US Customs upon their return for the simple reason that they wanted to cheer on an American soccer team participating the FIFA World Cup Qualifying round. ­

American soccer has friends in the House and Senate who could support any move you make on this project. Even President Bush called the team before our match against Mexico in 2002 so perhaps he could be asked to intervene personally in this matter and lift the restrictions just this one time. ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ Cuba is at a turning point in its history. I remember a certain American table tennis team that was instrumental in opening up the People’s Republic of China in 1970. A group of American soccer supporters could perhaps do just the same thing in 2008.

Sincerely, Sven A.Serrano

Setsunan University, Osaka Japan


The Manly Ferry said...

Just the "" alone makes this worth the read. I'll take up this challenge, in part because I have no freakin' clue as to how to help get playtherapy's fantasy league off the ground.

The embargo is sub-moronic. My half-Cuban wife says so.

(Speaking of which - and I'm referring here to the comment you left on CHI about negotiating with the wife for "soccer time" - holy poop! 12 years of marriage? Going on 13?! You're a tough one, Martek. I'm only 4 in, going on 5.)

playtherapy said...

Martek, you gotta fight... for the right... to parteee!

Martek said...

Guys, if this quest is successful, believe me, I will move mountains and maybe even my wife to get on that official supporter's plane to Cuba. As He-who-must-not-be-named is my witness....