Monday, October 13, 2008

Soccor player escapes Cuba, seeks asylum in USA

Why would anyone seek to escape from Fidel's island paradise? For freedom and 3 square meals a day. The team's conditions and equipment in Cuba were lousy. Another team player escaped the same day. Defector Recounts Escape - Reinier Alcantara did not believe he would have another opportunity to pursue freedom, so on Thursday night, as he and his Cuban soccer teammates were preparing for a team dinner at the Crystal City Doubletree Hotel, the 26-year-old forward made his break. Sharing details in a telephone interview with The Washington Post last night, Alcantara said he was in the lobby, wearing a casual shirt, shorts and tennis shoes, when he saw the coaches wander into the gift shop. He rode the escalator down to street level and "started running like crazy and didn't look behind," he said through an interpreter who arranged the interview and requested anonymity for political reasons. After sprinting for about eight blocks, Alcantara said he flagged down a taxi and, with the few words of English he knew, told the driver, "Go, go, go!" About a half-hour later, unaware of where he was, Alcantara said he got out at a McDonald's, paid the driver with dollars he put aside, and called a Cuban friend who lived several hours north of Washington. While he awaited his friend's arrival, he found a cheap hotel and attempted to sleep, all the while worried he would be discovered by Cuban officials. His friend called an Atlanta-based contact sympathetic to Alcantara's situation. On Friday, after the three had met for lunch at a diner, Alcantara was driven to Georgia and given a place to stay and money for clothes and other necessities. ...

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