Stanford 20/20 / News

USA blocks Cuba from Stanford 20/20

Double standards

Martin Williamson

December 19, 2007

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There's a certain double irony about the USA blocking Cuba from taking part in the Stanford 20/20.

Firstly, a country that lectures all and sundry about democracy still adopts a Cold-War approach to any relations with Cuba. Much could be written about political hypocrisy, but that's for sites other than this one. After all, Guantanamo Bay, the embodiment on the bypassing of the democratic process, is located in Cuba.

However, for the USA to carry this entirely political stance to something as irrelevant as a cricket tournament in the Caribbean should embarrass everyone inside the country. The US would not have any say in who took part were it not for the fact that the man behind it, Allen Stanford, is a US citizen. Because of that, Stanford has to apply for permission from his government to involve the Cubans in his competition, and that has been refused.

The real twist is that the USA would be participating were it not for the fact that it is run by a board who in recent years have given democracy the finger and have behaved with a disregard for fairness and openness that would have shamed a banana republic.

So neither Cuba or the USA will take part in the Stanford 20/20. The bully has taken his ball and gone home.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo

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Martin Williamson Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.
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