Cuba lost to the USA 6-1 in a World Cup qualifier Saturday night.
They had an excuse. They played a little undermanned.
Reinier Alcantara did not believe he would have another opportunity to pursue freedom, so on Thursday night, as he and his Cuban soccer teammates were preparing for a team dinner at the Crystal City Doubletree Hotel, the 26-year-old forward made his break.
Sharing details in a telephone interview with The Washington Post last night, Alcantara said he was in the lobby, wearing a casual shirt, shorts and tennis shoes, when he saw the coaches wander into the gift shop. He rode the escalator down to street level and "started running like crazy and didn't look behind," he said through an interpreter who arranged the interview and requested anonymity for political reasons.
After sprinting for about eight blocks, Alcantara said he flagged down a taxi and, with the few words of English he knew, told the driver, "Go, go, go!" You should read this whole story. This guy had the phone number of a friend who lived near DC and was able to arrange refuge.