14ymedio, Havana, 22 January 2024 — The musician Yotuel Romero and the Cuban Professional Baseball Federation (Fepcube) differ in their version about the use of the “Patria y Vida” brand by the team of exiled Cuban baseball players Dream Team. While the players claim to have agreed with the artist to deliver a percent of the profit of the merchandise sold with the slogan, Romero alleges that he doesn’t want Fepcube profiting from the brand.
The change of the name of the Patria y Vida team to Dream Team was an exclusive decision of the Federation, the artist said in a Facebook post. “It is important to clarify that Fepcube is looking for financing in an open way, using all available means (…). However, we were never informed that they would use the name ’Patria y Vida’ for that purpose (selling merchandise),” he explained.
After insisting that the brand “has never been associated with collection operations or economic contributions since its creation,” Romero added that he decided to disassociate himself from the players “so as not to damage the ’Patria y Vida’ movement.” The artist points out: “Contrary to what has been mentioned, Fepcube’s use of the name ’Patria y Vida’ was granted by mutual agreement and without any form of remuneration.”
The design proposals with the slogan, the Federation explained, were sent to the singer’s company for approval
In another statement published on X this Sunday in response to Romero’s statements, Fepcube said that “Fepcube’s extensive contractual agreement with YB Entertainment LLC – Romero’s company – and its legal team includes, among other things, a percentage of profits for the ’Patria y Vida’ brand in case of selling merchandise where it is part of the design,” a version that differs from what the artist said. The design proposals with the slogan, the Federation explained, were sent to the singer’s company for approval.
“The pressure on the Colombian government by the Cuban regime, far from the sports, forced us to remove the name of the team” and rename it Dream Team, the statement underlines. “This change was agreed and approved by Yotuel, who showed total understanding and support,” he adds.
After the cancellation of the Intercontinental Baseball Series, which was to be held in Barranquilla, Colombia, from January 26 to February 1, Fepcube is going through a tense moment. In addition to the controversy about the brand, one of its players, former Major League player Yunel Escobar, announced this Sunday that he was leaving the project.
“I want to make it clear that my decision is not related to any player or member of the management. It’s a genuinely personal decision,” said the player. His reasons, he explains, come from his changed feelings about the team. “I originally gave myself to this cause with the belief that we would have a firm and confident attitude towards a collective goal,” said the athlete. He added that although he was abandoning the project, he continued to represent the Cuban exile and wished them luck in the future. Fepcube has not spoken about the matter.
In its short existence, Dream Team has experienced more controversies than matches
In its short existence, Dream Team has experienced more controversies than matches. After the failure of the event in Colombia where it planned to premiere, the team agreed last Wednesday on a first confrontation with the Sharks of Miami Dade College, whom it defeated 3-2. For January 29, the team has already scheduled another exhibition game against the Houston Apollos, who were also going to participate in the frustrated Series on behalf of the United States.
For their part, the Cuban authorities announced this Sunday in the ’official’ media Jit that they plan to hold a Star Series after the end of the II Elite League of Cuban Baseball to take advantage of “the effervescence that the fans have about the play offs.”
“We have identified, as part of our dialogues with federations in the area, the intention that one or two teams can join, which would assign an international character to the appointment,” Juan Reinaldo Pérez Pardo, president of the Cuban Baseball Federation, told Jit. So far, teams from Nicaragua, Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia have been invited, although they have not yet confirmed their presence, added Prensa Latina.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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