A Cuban Baseball Player Escapes in Puerto Rico and a Triple Jump Medalist Arrives in the United States

Cuban baseball player Franky Quintana took advantage of an oversight in hotel surveillance in Puerto Rico and escaped. (@francysromeroFR)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 5 October 2023 — Cuban baseball player Franky Quintana escaped this Thursday from the hotel where the Island’s team is staying to participate in the fifth edition of the Caribbean Baseball Cup in Puerto Rico. The athlete “didn’t report with the group” to board the bus that took them to the Francisco Negrón Díaz stadium, located in Las Piedras, for the match against Curaçao, published El Nuevo Día.

The Baseball Federation of Puerto Rico confirmed to the same media that the Cuban authorities were already “investigating the matter.” The athlete would have left the hotel at night.

Journalist Francys Romero specified that with Quintana’s escape, there are 51 Cuban athletes who have left behind contracts or delegations in 2023. He said that the native baseball player of Isla de la Juventud was part of the Cuba pre-selection that was present in the World Classic and also toured Asia with the team.

Before traveling to Puerto Rico, Quintana had been selected by Armando Ferrer to reinforce the Crocodilos de Matanzas in the second edition of the controversial Elite League. In National Series he got 14 wins and 29 saves in 123 games.

The Cuban team, led by coach Armando Jhonson, had been highlighted by sports managers as the “most competitive team in recent years.” This group will define the backbone of the Cuban team that will attend the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile.

Cuban triple jumper Davisleydi Velazco shared on her social networks a video of her journey to the United States. (Instagram)

Cuba’s participation in the Caribbean Cup had been in doubt because of the delay in visas for the players.

The escape of Cuban athletes is already alarming. Last Sunday Yobanys Millán left the Hilton Garden Innde Mérida hotel, in the Mexican state of Yucatan, where the Alazanes de Granma team that participates in the Baseball Champions League of the Americas was staying.

On Tuesday, the departure from the Island by Enrique Abreu and Mario Serra was confirmed. The young men, born in 2011,  participated in the Pan American Under-12 of 2023 in Mexico. They are in the Dominican Republic seeking to perfect their skills to look for an opportunity in a U.S. Major League team.

This Wednesday, the arrival in the U.S. of the Cuban triple jumper Davisleydi Velazco was also confirmed. The gold medalist at the U-20 Pan American Games in Peru (2017), the NACAC U-23 championship in Querétaro (Mexico) and the Alba Games in Venezuela (2023) shared an image of her arrival in the United States on her Facebook page.

“Welcome to the USA,” was the message she shared in a video on her social networks where she has been posting images of her 19- day journey. “There are no words to express such satisfaction,” she wrote.

So far, Velazco’s best record was achieved at the Pan American Stadium in Havana in 2020, with a jump of 47.05 feet.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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