Jump to content
Transborderwife

Cuban coach says four members of rowing team defect from Pan Am Games

2 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/more-sports/cuban-coach-says-four-members-of-rowing-team-defect-from-pan-am-games/article25517143/?click=sf_globefb&service=mobile

Four Cuban rowers have defected from the Pan American Games and travelled to the United States, their coach said Wednesday.

Juan Carlos Reyes said Liosmel Ramos and Wilber Turro dropped out before the regatta began on Saturday, while Manuel Suarez and Orlando Sotolongo competed in earlier races and then withdrew.

The four have been in touch with teammates through Facebook, Reyes said.

The Games rowing venue in St. Catharines, Ont., is only a few kilometres from the U.S. border.

Games officials said Wednesday morning that they werent aware of the defections.

Im not aware of the specific point but we have a protocol that we would follow. This is something that is dealt with through our integrated security unit and if necessary, through the relevant national Olympic committee, CEO Saad Rafi said.

Canadian immigration officials could not immediately be reached for comment. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they couldnt comment on specific cases due to privacy concerns.

We continue to seek to promote safe, legal and orderly migration from Cuba under our migration accords and deter dangerous unlawful migration from Cuba, the department said in a statement.

Generally, if a Cuban national arriving at a CBP port of entry or between ports expresses fear of return to Cuba and/or their country of last residence, he or she is inspected and paroled. CBP officers and agents will verify whether the individual has any criminal or existing U.S. immigration history, it said.

Cuban refugees can apply for permanent residence a year after being inspected and paroled, the department said.

Dozens of athletes, many of them from Cuba, have defected during international sports events over the years some to flee persecution, others to bolster their careers.

Eight members of the Cuban delegation defected when Canada last hosted the Pan Am Games in 1999. Cuban officials at the time alleged that Canadian media were encouraging athletes to jump ship.

When Winnipeg first staged the Games in 1967, a Cuban boxer defected shortly after winning a gold medal.

Two players from the Cuban womens soccer team defected in 2011 after facing off with the Canadian team in Vancouver in an Olympic qualifying match. They crossed into the U.S., where they were reunited with relatives.

And three Cuban soccer players fled to the U.S. the night before a World Cup qualifying match in Toronto in the fall of 2012. They now play for a lower-tier professional league in Charleston, S.C.

Though Cubas relationship with the U.S. has thawed, some experts have said that at this time, its unlikely the change will reduce the incentive for Cuban athletes to defect while playing abroad.

Before leaving their team, two of the rowers had won silver medals at these Games. Sotolongo, 18, placed second in the mens quadruple sculls, while Suarez, 25, did in the mens coxless fours.

Turro, Ramos and Suarez also won gold together in the mens lightweight coxless four at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's hope that their families in Cuba won't face retribution.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×