World Baseball Classic in Puerto Rico: politische Plakate verboten

12.03.2006 14:56
avatar  ( Gast )
#1 World Baseball Classic in Puerto Rico: politische Plakate verboten
( Gast )

Puerto Rico: WBC-Organisatoren haben jetzt politische Plakate verboten

Nachdem am Donnerstag während des Spiels Kuba gegen Niederlande bei den World Baseball Classic, die derzeit von den USA ausgerichtet werden, ein Schild mit der Aufschrift „Nieder mit Fidel“ hochgehalten wurde, reagieren die lokalen Ausrichter.
Beim folgenden Spiel am Freitag, beschlagnahmten private Sicherheitsbeamte mehrere Plakate mit kubafeindlichen Inhalten. Auf einem wurde ein Baseballspieler aus Puerto Rico gezeigt, der einen Ball mit dem Konterfei Fidels schlug.
Während die Organisatoren des Baseballturniers jetzt politische Plakate im Stadium verbieten, erklärt ein Polizeibeamter, sie würden das Verbot nicht strikt verfolgen. Es herrsche Meinungsfreiheit und sie könnten nicht bei jedem Fall eingreifen.
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12.03.2006 15:00
avatar  ( Gast )
#2 RE: World Baseball Classic in Puerto Rico: politische Plakate verboten
( Gast )

Officials ban political posters at WBC

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Security workers confiscated posters from fans at the World Baseball Classic on Friday, the day after an anti-Castro sign appeared in the stands of a Cuba-Netherlands game, provoking an international incident.

The controversy has escalated with the velocity of a major league fastball since a spectator on Thursday raised a sign saying "Down with Fidel" behind home plate - an image beamed live to millions of TV viewers, including those in Cuba.
Local organizers of the tournament responded Friday by banning posters of a political nature. Private security officials confiscated all posters from spectators entering Hiram Bithorn Stadium for the Cuba-Puerto Rico game, including one showing a Puerto Rican player hitting a baseball that bore the image of Fidel Castro's head.
But a top police official said his officers would not enforce the ban.
"I have been clear that here there is freedom of expression and the police of Puerto Rico will not interfere at any time with any type of expression," Puerto Rico Police Chief Pedro Toledo said.
At the game Thursday, the top Cuban official at the stadium in San Juan rushed to confront the man with the sign.
Puerto Rican police quickly intervened and took the Cuban official - Angel Iglesias, vice president of Cuba's National Institute of Sports - to a nearby police station where they lectured him about free speech.
"We explained to him that here the constitutional right to free expression exists and that it is not a crime," police Col. Adalberto Mercado was quoted as saying in the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia.
The brouhaha gathered steam when Cuba's Communist Party newspaper, Granma, called the sign-waving "a cowardly incident." Cuba's Revolutionary Sports Movement exhorted Cubans to demonstrate in Havana, saying U.S. and Puerto Rican authorities were involved in "the cynical counterrevolutionary provocations."
One of the protesters who showed up in front of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana bore a sign that said: "Down with Bush." Star Cuban athletes were among hundreds of protesters. An official Cuban communique urged the Cuban team to "respond to the provocations with hits, home runs, strikes, outs."
The Cubans considered withdrawing from the tournament because of "the lack of security and respect" but decided to remain after Puerto Rican promoters made guarantees, the Cuban Baseball Federation said in a statement without elaborating.
On Friday, an announcement over stadium loudspeakers said signs with political overtones would be banned, as well as those more than three feet tall in accordance with the WBC code of conduct.
Before the Friday night game began, two men in the stands displayed a plastic banner that said "Freedom for Cuba," before handing it to a security guard.
An anti-Castro Web site, , identified Thursday's protester only as Enrique, and carried his own account of the incident.
Enrique said that during the warmup before the game, he flashed another sign denouncing Castro - this one saying, "Baseball players yes, Tyrants no" - to the Cuban leader's son, Tony Castro. Tony Castro is the Cuban team doctor.
"He looked down and kept walking and I shouted, 'Eso es para tu papa (That is for your dad)," Enrique said, according to the account in the Web site.
Mercado said the spectator, and a second one who also waved signs, had tickets for the section behind home plate, but had moved out of their seats closer to TV cameras. Cuban state TV was showing the ESPN signal and the anti-Castro signs were briefly visible on television in Cuba.
Police later told the pair to return to their seats, Mercado said, adding that Iglesias was never under arrest.
"The Cubans were upset with the incident that happened last night, and they want to make sure it doesn't happen again," said John Blundell, spokesman of Major League Baseball, which helped establish the tournament. "We are doing everything that we can to ensure the safety of fans and the delegations."
Cuba downed the Netherlands 11-2. Cuba also beat Panama in the first round of competition.
Associated Press writer Anita Snow in Havana contributed to this report.
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