Havana, (Prensa Latina) The 61st International Ernest Hemingway Marlin Fishing Tournament, the oldest of its type, starts Monday in Cuba, but without a group of U.S. sportsmen whose government did not grant them travel permits.
Cuban Commodore Jose Miguel Diaz has called on the U.S. government to provide permission to anyone from the United States interested in competing in the June 6-11 tourney.
Diaz, the president of the Marlin Marina and Nautical, which organizes the event, explained that the crews of five yachts from the USA had been allowed to attend, but the crews of another 20 boats who expressed interest had not received permission from the U.S. government.
The event will take place offshore Havana, starting from the Hemingway Marina, the tournament´s venue since 1950.
Diaz told the press that the organizing committee called on Washington to coherently apply the so-called eased travel regulations so that all those interested would be able to take part in these types of tournaments.
For this year´s competition, there are 24 teams from 14 countries. Besides the home competitors, there are fishermen from Germany, Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, France, Guatemala, England, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Russia and the USA.
The Marlin Group was created on May 25, 2005, and encompasses 12 companies and subsidiaries throughout Cuba, with the most important being the Hemingway Marina in western Havana, the Tarara Club in eastern Havana and one in Varadero, Matanzas province.