14ymedio, Havana, 19 July 2022 — The Cuban Baseball Federation “suspended for life from all sports activity” baseball players Alfredo Fadraga and Yosvani Ávalos. They are punished, says journalist Yordano Carmona, for having abandoned the team that participated in the Pan American Under-23 Championship in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Fadraga and Ávalos saw their escape attempt frustrated last June, due to the collaboration of the Mexican authorities who located and detained them. The arrest of the young people generated criticism; Amnesty International’s Director for the Americas, Erika Guevara, demanded an explanation from the Secretariat of Public Security of the state of Aguascalientes for not providing protection to the two Cuban athletes.
Also, Cuban baseball players Javier Carabeo and Yulián Quintana were also sanctioned. In their case, they will not be able to play on the island for two years. According to journalist Francys Romero, they were punished for “an unproven attempt to leave the hotel where they were staying in Aguascalientes (Mexico) during the Under-23 world cup last June.”
The journalist questioned the disciplinary measure leaked to him by a source, because the athletes were used until the end of the tournament by manager Eriel Sánchez. “If so, it must be denounced. It makes no sense for two players who are going to face a penalty to continue playing in the tournament.”
The Under-23 world cup was a terrible sporting disaster for Cuba. The bleeding of players was a constant; of 24 athletes who traveled to Mexico, only 12 returned. And the Cuban authorities found no other recourse than to blame the United States for encouraging the emigration of its talent.
Romero points out that we are facing a “discrepancy.” This is because Carabeo’s performance in the contest was outstanding. He was “the most distinguished batter in Cuba for hitting three home runs, the first time that a baseball player hits three in a world cup.”
Quintana, on the other hand, was the fastest pitcher. “He is a talented pitcher,” said the U.S.-based reporter. Among the audience were people who measured his speed with the help of gadgets.
While Carabeo and Quintana get the punishment of a year and some days after having committed an indiscipline, Yuddiel González, who abandoned the team at the Ramada hotel in Aguascalientes, was not sanctioned. This young man from Avila returned to Cuba and last May took advantage of his stay in Mayabeque to leave the island on a boat.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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