THE 1987 PAN AMERICAN GAMES : Notes : Music for the Closing Ceremony Now Becoming a Point of Contention

Times Staff Writer

In the hallway of a downtown hotel here Tuesday, Manuel Gonzalez Guerra, president of the Cuban Olympic Committee, was intercepted by reporters, who asked if Cuba will boycott the closing ceremony if the Miami Sound Machine is on the program.

The Miami Sound Machine is a rock band whose two most prominent members are Cuban natives living in Miami. Lead singer Gloria Estafan's father was a bodyguard for the wife of Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban president who was overthrown in 1959 by Fidel Castro.

"If the band comes here, we're not going," Gonzalez Guerra said.

Asked what kind of entertainment he would prefer, Gonzalez Guerra, 73, did his version of a hula.

"I want to see a band from Honolulu with 20 girls," he said.

In a statement released later Tuesday, after a meeting between officials of the local organizing committee (PAX-I) and the Cuban delegation, PAX-I President Mark Miles said:

"We were told they understand and appreciate our efforts to bring a Latin-American influence and music that is appreciated by many age levels and cultures to the closing ceremony. They understand that this is a popular apolitical group, but emphasized that their perspective is different from our own."

The U.S. State Department sent two officials to a meeting of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) executive committee meeting Tuesday to explain the reasons for denying a visa to a Chilean shooter.

Francisco Zuniga, a former police captain, has been accused of human rights abuses, including murder, in opposing anti-government demonstrations in Chile in 1983.

PASO President Mario Vazquez Rana of Mexico said the denial of the visa is a violation of the PASO charter and that the organization probably will take some sort of action against the United States Olympic Committee.

But he retreated on a statement he made last week that the issue will adversely affect Anchorage, Alaska's bid for the 1994 Winter Olympics.

"I grasped at that (issue) in order to pressure the government," he said. "But once the visa was denied, I forgot it totally. I used it as a weapon to see if we could get the visa."

In an effort to smooth ruffled feathers, Mike Jacki, executive director of the United States Gymnastics Federation, softened the stand against the Puerto Rican judge who was ousted during Sunday's competition.

When the judge, Heriberto Crespo, was replaced with another Puerto Rican judge, the competition director, Robert Cowan, said that Crespo had been relieved because his scores favored Cuba and because he was calling lengthy conferences, during which he tried to persuade other judges to change their scores.

Jacki backed off a little in a press conference Tuesday morning, saying that Crespo was not accused of bias "on behalf of any country or group of countries" and that he had to be removed for the safety of the athletes. Jacki said that the conferences were leaving too much time between the athletes' warmups and performances.

The conferences turned what should have been a two-hour meet into a four-hour meet, with the crowd dwindling by the minute.

If you've ever dreamed of stepping up on a victory platform and having a medal put around your neck, follow these instructions carefully, and you're a cinch to win a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games boxing tournament.

First of all, move to a small Latin American country such as Costa Rica. Eat until you've reached super-heavyweight status, which is anything over 201 pounds.

When you get to the Pan Am Games, all you have to do is show up for the weigh-in. And don't worry about having to fight.

At the weigh-in, fake a hamstring pull. Your opponent in the semifinals will be declared a walkover winner, and you go straight to the victory stand to pick up your bronze medal.

At the Pan Am Games, there is always a shortage of heavyweight and super-heavyweight boxers. This afternoon, the super-heavyweights--all four of them--will make their first appearances of the tournament. The United States' Riddick Bowe will fight favored Jorge Gonzales of Cuba, and Brazil's Carlos Barcelete will box Lennox Lewis of Canada.

Since semifinalist losers are awarded bronze medals, everyone gets a medal.

Times staff writers Tracy Dodds and Earl Gustkey contributed to this story.

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