14ymedio, Havana, 18 September 2022 — Former Granma pitcher and pitching coach Ciro Silvino Licea has left Cuba. Last Thursday, the player took a flight at Havana José Martí International Airport bound for Nicaragua, from where, according to journalist Francys Romero, he undertook the journey to the U.S.
The departure of this athlete from the Bayamo municipality was surprising, because he was part of the squad of coaches of the Agricultores team, which in October will play in the Elite League of Cuban baseball. Licea’s absence from Friday’s training made it clear that something was wrong with the team led by Carlos Marti.
The report indicated that the player, who participated in several Cuban teams for more than 10 years, hopes to meet again soon with his wife, “who had also left the Island two months ago.” A relative of the athlete confirmed the crossing, in addition to specifying that his “family, his wife and brother-in-law are in Houston,” Texas.
Licea was a leader among the pitchers in 23 National Series with 208 games won in 3067.1 innings, where he had 1,887 strikeouts with an average of 3.69. He pitches “a difficult slider to hit and a straight of more than 90 miles with a repertoire that over the years was improving,” he recounted on Facebook in Deportes por Modesto Agüero [Sports by Modesto Agüero].
Licea’s departure is in addition to that of Adriel Labrada. The former captain of the Avispas team surrendered to the U.S. authorities in Texas after crossing the Rio Bravo through the state of Coahuila, as reported in Swing Completo.
Before Labrada, on Saturday, September 10, Matanzas’ natural right pitcher, Alain López, arrived in the U.S. This young man was able to achieve his dream thanks to “the family claim way” and settled in Florida, said Francys Romero.
López was a “an effective leader in the 2019-2020 National Youth Championship with Matanzas. He participated in nine victories of his Matanzas team in the last National Youth Championship,” published the portal, Béisbol FR!
A day before López set foot on U.S. territory, it was confirmed that the Cuban Juan Carlos Hernández had arrived in Miami. The former Mayabeque player left the Island and took the route of Nicaragua from where he began his journey until he reached the Mexican city of Piedras Negras, in Coahuila. After 25 days, he was able to cross the Rio Grande.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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