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|August 30, 2000||
Cuba protests 2008 cutoff
Vowing to keep applying to host a future Olympic Games, Cuba's Olympic Committee condemned on Tuesday the final list of candidates for the 2008 Summer Olympics as another blow to the Third World.
"We will continue fighting for the right of poor countries, who are the world's majority, and we will keep demanding, as our merits deserve, the right to host an Olympic Games in Cuba," a statement from the committee said.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) halved the list of candidates for the 2008 Games on Monday, with Beijing, Paris, Toronto, Osaka and Istanbul reaching the final stage. Ruled out were Bangkok, Havana, Seville, Kuala Lumpur and Cairo.
Staging the games have become a lucrative business and provide a huge boost to a country's economy. Sydney will host the 2000 Games next month while the 2004 Summer Games will be held in Athens.
Cuba, where the communist government of President Fidel Castro runs sports, said Monday's decision showed the prejudice against Third World nations and the excessive influence of money in the Olympic system.
"Once again, the right of the poor to organize an Olympic Games has been overturned, by not including any of the capitals of those (five) countries in the decision .... It's another proof of the commercialism and mercantilism of the Olympic movement, of the business, of the corruption," the Cuban committee said in its statement.
Third World nations like Cuba could, it added, organize "efficient, modest games, open to everyone", although without the "great excess and ostentation of recent times, where hundreds and thousands of millions (of dollars) are spent organizing the event."
Cuba is the strongest Olympic nation in Latin America and the Caribbean, finishing eighth in the Atlanta games in 1996, and fifth in Barcelona in 1992. Havana hosted the Pan American games in 1991.
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