. It involved another former coworker. After I heard the story I asked the coworker if it was true and he said in fact it was. Some of the details may be screwed up but one fact remains. This man was a guest of the Cuban government so he could watch a couple of baseball games in Cuba.
I used to work with a man I will call Bob. If anyone reads this and knows Bob they will laugh like hell because the man is a real character. Bob's passion is major league baseball.
He held (and probably still does) the record for having attended the most major league baseball games in a single day. Don't ask me how he did it, there were a lot of plane flights involved and the International Date Line fits in there somehow.
This man is known at baseball stadiums all over the country and most likely in several other countries. I KNOW he's recognized in Japan.
Several years ago the CEO of the company I worked for went to a Phillys game and had press box seats. From the press box he was spotted in the bleachers and mentioned it. The CEO heard it and sent someone down to get him figuring Bob would be impressed with being able to watch the game from the press box. (He was wrong. Bob likes to watch the games from the bleachers with the other fans)
When Bob entered the press box all of the sports writers there turned and greeted him by name. There were a lot of 'Hi, Bobs' from the writers. Then the errand runner looked at Bob and said "That guy over there, whoever he is, told me to get you." The CEO was humilated.
Anyway, Bob was in Venezuela watching a game there and a Venezuelan fan suggested they catch a couple of games in Cuba. Bob pointed out he was forbidden from visiting Cuba. The Venezuelan pointed out that the only thing Bob was forbidden to do is spend money in Cuba and that all
He didn't have to ask Bob twice. The hopped on a plane and landed in Havana. He handed the Cuban authorities an American passport and said, "Look, I know our countries don't get along but I just came here to watch a couple of baseball games. Is that OK?"
I'm fairly sure at that point the Cuban customs people took one look at him and said to themselves that he was a CIA agent of some sort.
They took one look at him and whisked him into the back room and began asking a lot of questions. I'm sure the Cuban customs guys were looking at each other wondering what to do with Bob. As they questioned the older overweight guy with a couple missing teeth that found he was without guile and was nothing more than a naive baseball fan looking to watch a few games. There was simply no way in hell the CIA would hire someone like that. Simply no way.
They must have had a hard time understanding that he was the exception to the rule, though. He was nothing more or less than what he said he was. That made him a very rare bird.
Of course, they couldn't shoot him or throw him in jail. I guess at first they didn't likely know what to do with him. I believe they decided to use him to wipe the eye of the State Department.
When he emerged from the back room he was wearing a huge badge. The badge decreed that he was a guest of the Cuban government. He was told that his money was no good in Cuba.
He and the Venezuelan were given transportation, free game tickets, food and overnight lodging for his stay and the two of them took in a couple of Cuban baseball games. After they took in a few games they flew back to Venezuela.
I would imagine the Feds found out about this but he never heard anything about it. Most likely they researched him and found out that he was simply a baseball fanatic that had gone to Cuba and watched a few games.
The Venezuelan and Cuban government footed the bill so he was in no way violating the economic blockade. He had spent no money there. Likely there was little the Feds could do to Bob.
Actually there was no real proof as the Cubans had given a seperate piece of paper to put in his passport. The paper had his Cuban entry stamp on it and could be thrown away if he felt the need. My guess is he kept it along with the ticket stubs from the games.
My guess as to why the Feds didn't at least question him is that they did their homework and found out what kind of guy he was. and decided they didn't want to touch the issue with a ten-foot pole.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this:
http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY