14ymedio, Havana, 15 August 2019 — Cuban baseball player Yasiel Puig announced this week that he obtained U.S. citizenship. The Cleveland Indians outfielder arrived in the United States in 2012; he performed his naturalization ceremony in Miami, according to a team spokesman.
Puig, who until last month played with the Cincinnati Reds, uploaded a photo on social media on Wednesday waving a small American flag. “Thank God for this great opportunity to be a US citizen,” he wrote.
Puig escaped from Cuba seven years ago after several attempts to leave the country. Shortly after his arrival in the United States the publication LA Magazine released the details of the player’s trip, which involved smugglers and a drug cartel.
The smugglers, under the control of Los Zetas, organized a boat to pick up Puig and three other people on a Cuban beach and took them to the Yucatan Peninsula where they remained hidden in a motel room until the traffickers received the payment demanded.
Upon arrival in the United States, Puig signed for the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Currently, the 28-year-old slugger has hit .357, with a home run and six RBIs in 11 games with Cleveland.
Last Monday, the player decided to withdraw his appeal to a three-game suspension for his participation in a brawl when he was a member of the Cincinnati team.
Puig will begin serving his suspension from Monday’s game in which the Indians, who are tied at the top of the Central Division of the American League, start a series of three games against the Boston Red Sox.
The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.