Cuban Rower, Taekwondo Martial Artist and Baseball Player Escape in Mexico

With the escape of these athletes, there are now 49 Cubans who have abandoned their teams abroad in 2022. (Collage)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 15 November 2022 — Mexico is again an escape platform for Cuban athletes, in this case the taekwondo martial artist Yamitsi Carbonell, the rower Boris Luis Guerra and the baseball player Miguel Flores. As usual, the official press called them “traitors” to their team and “their country.”

The bad news came for the regime on Sunday, when the Jit sports site confirmed the escape of Carbonell, who was part of the team that represents Cuba in the Taekwondo World Championship, which is held in Guadalajara between November 13 and 20. The woman from Santiago left the national delegation as soon as she arrived in Jalisco.

Carbonell was a team leader in the 160 lb. category. Her most outstanding participation was at the Pan American Games in Lima in 2019, where she took fifth place and, locally, last June won the silver medal at the Havana Taekwondo Open.

The Island squad was left with eight athletes led by the Olympic bronze medalist and current world champion in taekwondo, Rafael Alba, and the outstanding Akely Matos (119 lbs.), Kelvin Calderón (163 lbs.), Yarobis Michael Castañeda (176 lbs.), Guillermo Enrique Pérez (192 lbs.), Dalila Oneida Villamil (101 lbs.), Tamara Robles (117 lbs.) and Arlettys de la Caridad Acosta (137 lbs).

Carbonell’s abandonment was joined by the escape, this Sunday, of rower Boris Luis Guerra. The Havanan escaped from the group of 15 athletes who have been concentrated since November 1 in Mexico City and are developing their training on the Virgilio Uribe Olympic track for the Central American and Caribbean Championship that will begin here on November 23 in El Salvador.

Guerra, along with Adrián Oquendo, won the silver medal in double pairs of short oars at the Pan American Games in Lima 2019; in September, he reached the quarterfinals in the same category with Carlos Andrei Ajete, in the World Rowing Championship, in the Czech Republic.

After the flight of Guerra, the president of the Cuban Rowing Federation, Ángel Luis García, highlighted the presence of the Olympic medalist in Tokyo 2020, Milena Venegas, and the Pan American medallist, in Lima 2019, Carlos Ajete, as the athletes who lead the representation.

This Tuesday, the escape of baseball player Miguel Flores was also confirmed. According to journalist Francys Romero on his social networks, the member of the Under-18 team slipped away an hour before boarding the flight at Mexico City International Airport bound for Havana. “He is the 49th athlete to leave a delegation in 2022,” Romero stressed.

The left-hander was highlighted by the reporter as “among the best prospects of Under-18 baseball in 2022, backed by a fastball between 88-90 miles per hour and dreamlike numbers in the National Championship of the category.”

In recent months, there have been defections of Cuban athletes from various disciplines – mostly baseball — to which have been added boxing, volleyball, Greco-Roman wrestling, handball and athletics. Official data estimate more than 800 athletes who have left Cuba in the last decade.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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