Politics interferes with chess for Cuban chess players

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  • Politics interferes with chess for Cuban chess players

    This one is somewhat chess-related: the Government of Canada, among other things, has eliminated visa processing at the Canadian Embassy in Havana. So Cubans now have to fly to another country to get a visa to come to Canada - say, to play in a chess tournament.

    There has been a systematic reduction of Canadian (and US) staff at the embassies in Havana over the last year or so. The reason? A mysterious illness - which, at one point, was identified as caused by ... the noise of crickets! - and Canada and the US have used this as an excuse to reduce staff and services.

    It seems very much as if cause and effect have been reversed; first cut the staff and services, then find a reason to justify the actions.

    I guess that is effectively saying goodbye to all Cuban chess-players in Canadian tournaments - who can afford to travel to another country in the hope that a visa might be granted ?

    ugh. Not very friendly by Canada I would say.

    See Canada Reduces Services for Cubans at its Embassy in Havana

    Opinions?


    Last edited by Nigel Hanrahan; Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 12:08 AM. Reason: link re crickets
    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

  • #2
    These phenomena have severe impacts on the embassy staff. Whether they are a sonic attack or mutant crickets it is prudent to reduce exposure of staff to possible permanent and irreversible disabilities which have occurred in some people. I find it implausible that cricket noises could lead to the observed symptoms.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's disappointing to read such blithe indifference to fair play in sport from the CFC President based on lurid, unproven tales of sonic weapons and such. The whole thing is far more likely some sort of covert US gov operation the purpose of which is to create yet more problems for the heroic people of Cuba by spiteful actions against those who want to visit Canada - for chess or any other purpose.
      Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Nigel Hanrahan View Post
        It's disappointing to read such blithe indifference to fair play in sport from the CFC President based on lurid, unproven tales of sonic weapons and such. The whole thing is far more likely some sort of covert US gov operation the purpose of which is to create yet more problems for the heroic people of Cuba by spiteful actions against those who want to visit Canada - for chess or any other purpose.
        People have gone deaf as a result of these situations. It is not a small thing to go deaf and the Canadian government should protect its employees until it establishes exactly what is going on. Presumably, there is a mechanism in place to allow Cuban players to continue to come to Canada. Dealing with governments is always a pain when it comes to individuals who do not come from approved countries being invited to tournaments. I recall that I had to send a photocopy of my birth certificate to allow a Russian GM to attend the Canadian Open in 2016. That same GM had to attend two sessions at a distant Canadian embassy or consulate in a subsequent year for another Canadian Open.

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        • #5
          From Wikipedia
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havana_syndrome

          Impact on Canadian Diplomats
          In March of 2018, MRI scans and other tests taken by a chief neurologist in Pittsburgh, on an unspecified number of Canadian diplomats showed evidence of brain damage that mirrored the injuries some of their United States counterparts had faced. In spring of 2018, Global Affairs Canada ended family postings to Cuba and withdrew all staff with families. Several of the Canadians who were impacted in 2017 were reported to still be unable to resume their work due to the severity of their ailments. The fact that there is presently no knowledge of the cause of the “havana syndrome” has made it challenging for RCMP to investigate. [26]

          In 2019, the government of Canada announced that it was reducing its embassy staff in Havana after a 14th Canadian diplomat reported symptoms of Havana syndrome in late December 2018.[27] On February 6th, 2019 the federal government of Canada was served with a $28 million dollar lawsuit by five diplomats, on the alleged basis that Ottawa did not promptly address the serious health concerns the Canadian diplomats and their families had faced in Havana over two years ago. The origin of these health concerns are unknown but these ailments manifest as symptoms that are similar to that of a concussion. Presently, none of these allegations have been proven in court. [28]

          https://www.thestar.com/politics/fed...deau-says.html

          https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nat...225293195.html

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...n-cuba-deepens

          https://www.scmp.com/news/china/dipl...ms-case-echoes

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