14ymedio, Havana, 19 January 2024 — Despite the cancellation of the Intercontinental Baseball Series in Colombia this January, the Dream Team team of exiled Cuban baseball players of the Cuban Professional Baseball Federation (Fepcube) continues to play exhibition matches in the United States. After a first “premiere” match this Wednesday against the Miami Dade College Sharks, which they defeated 3-2, the team will face the Houston Apollos next Monday. The tournament against the Texans, who were also going to participate in Colombia representing the United States, was announced by the Dream Team on their X account.
Fans of the team, made up of exiled athletes, including some who play in the U.S. Major Leagues, soon took the announcement as a response to the Cuban regime, to which many attribute diplomatic pressure to cancel the competition in Colombia, which was scheduled from January 26 to February 1 at the Edgar Rentería Stadium in the city of Barranquilla.
The Cubans have not yet announced the place or time in which the game with the Apollos will take place
The Cubans have not yet announced the place or time in which the game with the Apollos will take place, but the empathy of the American team has not gone unnoticed. “Everything indicates that this is a meeting that serves as a sign of solidarity with the Dream Team over the cancellation of the tournament in the face of the common pressures of the Colombian and Cuban governments,” said El Nuevo Herald.
Days earlier, in the confrontation with the Sharks, another event attracted the attention of the public. The team did not go out to play with the caps that carried the “Patria y vida” sign – a name that the team first took and then changed to “Dream Team” -, allegedly because the musician Yotuel Romero, co-author of the song of the same name, banned the use of the brand. The information was confirmed on X by sports journalist Yordano Carmona, who covered the first game of the Fepcube team.
The cancellation of the event in Colombia that would host teams from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Curaçao in addition to the Cuban American team, was reported on Tuesday by the company Team Rentería USA. The company had requested financial support for the event, something that the Ministry of Sport said it had rejected for not complying with the formalities. According to the Colombian rule, for this type of public-private collaboration to exist, plans must be presented to the national sports federations, something that, according to the statement, was not done.
“The leagues, teams and entities involved have all expressed their willingness for the Series to be carried out,” said the text. In addition, the money for the tickets already sold would be refunded, and they have worked with the affiliated leagues so the competition could take place in another country.
Both the Ministry’s allegation and the previous prohibition of baseball players from using the Cuban anthem and flag were pointed out by the fans
Both the Ministry’s allegation and the previous prohibition of baseball players from using the Cuban anthem and flag were pointed out by the fans and the players themselves as being a result of the pressure from the Cuban Government on Colombia.
Camona recalled that, after losing the headquarters for the Pan American Games, the Latin American country would try to recover the right of organization, and for this “it will need the vote of the countries of the area.” “Somehow Cuba has already started with that blackmail,” noting that “they are going to need that support,” he said.
“This is a decision that offends and mocks democracy and freedom, which comes in addition from a totalitarian regime that systematically represses its citizens,” Fepcube said, attributing the suspension entirely to the pressure of the Cuban Government against its participation.
“It has been both the media and the civic and political impact of the Fepcube team that forced the Cuban dictatorship to extend its tentacles outside its borders to prevent our participation in the Intercontinental Series,” it concluded.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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