The Cuban Players Returned From Miami Without the Cup but With a Lot of Purchases

The Cuban delegation to the World Baseball Classic returns to Cuba from the Miami airport. (Collage)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 20 March 2023 — The players of Team Asere, the Cuban team that lost its pass to the final of the World Baseball Classic to the United States, returned to the Island this Monday without the event’s cup but loaded down with purchases.

Flat-screen televisions, air conditioners, car tires and many, many suitcases: this is how the representatives of the Island were captured before boarding their flight back to Havana this Monday morning.

The luggage to Cuba is very different from the few suitcases they carried when they entered the United States and arrived in Miami on March 16, as seen in the images of reports from several Florida media outlets.

According to the La Familia Cubana [The Cuban Family] page, directors of the Cuban Baseball Federation, the team’s management body and the players residing on the Island returned on the flight.

The catcher of the national team, Iván Prieto, was the only one who did not board the plane after escaping from the hotel where the group was staying, as confirmed by several sources from Miami. The native of Holguin  became “the first player to leave the Cuban national team in a World Baseball Classic,” journalist Francys Romero posted on his social networks.

On the other hand, it is still not known how the 1,500,000 dollars that Cuba obtained for having reached the semifinal of the World Classic will be distributed. According to the journalist of Pelota Cubana [Cuban Baseball], Yordano Carmona, the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) “cannot collect anything from that money” and “it is in writing.”

The sanctions of the United States Treasury Department do not allow payments to institutions on the Island. Given this, the 50% that corresponds to the FCB will go to the organizers of the tournament.

The rest, 750,000 dollars, must be distributed among the 30 members of the sports delegation, that is, $25,000 for each one. For professional athletes, Carmona explained, these amounts are deposited, but those who returned to the Island do not know if they will be given the money and under what procedures.

For the second and third editions of the World Baseball Classic, according to data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the players “are owed $2,300,000” because “the blockade prohibits transferring money to Cuba.” What was awarded to the Cuban baseball team was donated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Cuban athlete Sergio Reinaldo González Bayard could not receive 28,000 dollars, which he won as a prize at the World Beach Volleyball Circuit. Other cases include referees Ricardo Borroto Iglesias and Lourdes Ester Pérez who were unable to receive 9,282 and 8,680 dollars, respectively, for their services provided at different international events.

Meanwhile, the Cuban Volleyball Federation could not access the prizes obtained by the men’s team in the Challenger tournaments held in Portugal (4th place in 2018) and Slovenia (2nd place in 2019), for a total of 7,000 dollars.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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