An interior link from our own Jesse (now see here) led me to this excretion from one Andrew Hush, of espn soccernet, a site which evidently caters to people who don't understand football. It appears that a number of Cuba's finest soccer players took the opportunity to defect to the United States. Mr. Hush, who lives in Boston, is upset by this. Not because these players are taking jobs from hardworking Americans, but because their defection shows insufficient loyalty to Futbol Fidelisto:
With hopes of Olympic qualification all but gone following defeat to Honduras, who is to say what happens next? One thing is for sure, the remaining Cuban players will have no better chance to defect. Should they do so, it will be yet another body blow to the world game in one of its most unique nations.
The entire piece drips with sympathy for Cuba and the players left behind, not because they're still stuck in Cuba, but because their disloyal comrades elected to leave one of the world game's "most unique nations." Sadly, Cuba isn't unique. It shares a number of unpleasant traits with many other nations, including censorship, religious oppression, government-created poverty, and a general problem that one can be picked up at any time and imprisoned or killed at the government's whim for saying, writing, or thinking the wrong things.
I happen to believe that the privilege the United States extends to Cuban nationals, of immediate lawful immigration status upon putting a foot in Florida, is wrong if we're not going to extend it to nationals of equally or more awful, and anti-American, countries like Sudan, North Korea, Belarus, and China. But the privilege is a cold war relic and I don't blame these men for taking advantage of their rights under our law. A thing that Cubans stuck in their own country can't do. And I certainly do blame Hush, who enjoys the freedoms of an American, and even socialized health care from his redoubt in Boston, for claiming that others should be happy to accept the bootheel to the face that communism offers.
Bonus points to Hush for this paragraph, surely one of the most willfully blind things written about a communist regime since Walter Duranty was hip:
The events of the past few days have raised a number of questions. The most obvious one concerns security around the Cuban team. Of course, 24-hour surveillance is neither possible nor preferred – these are free men after all – but their escape seems to have been accomplished with minimum effort. The team bus was given a police escort to and from the stadium for the match against the USA, but it is believed that little extra security was in place at the hotel.
"Free men" don't "escape" from "security" and "surveillance." Presumably the complaint is that the government minders who follow the Cuban soccer team are insufficiently vigilant and harsh.
This would never have happened to the free men of North Korea.