Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Olympians denied visas!

Contrary to almost fifty years of U.S. policy, three Cuban Olympic gold medalists were denied entry into the U.S. by the U.S. State Department. In an administrative decision by an acting Consular Officer in Bogota, Colombia, the world champion prize fighters, who had defected from the Cuban National Boxing Team, were refused entry because they had no permanent residence even though the Department of Homeland Security had cleared them for entry.

"These brave men, who won Olympic Gold and stood up to Castro's dictatorship, could not melt the stone cold heart of the U.S. State Department," said Tony Gonzalez, their agent and attorney, "It's a sad day for freedom and for international sport." The prize fighters, heavyweight Odlanier Solis Fonte, flyweight Yan Barhelemy and featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa, who signed a three-year contract for bouts in Germany and in the U.S. with Hamburg-based First Artist and Arena Box were scheduled for a bout in Miami on February 23, with combined guaranteed purses well into six figures.

No comments: