USA blocks Cuba from Stanford 20/20 December 19, 2007

Double standards

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