Cuban Baseball Player Departs Following the World Series in Florida

A Cuban baseball player failed to appear at Miami International Airport when his squad departed the country on Monday, defecting to the United States just one day after his team fell 14-2 to the United States in Little Havana in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic. The Miami Herald stated that Iván Prieto González, a 26-year-old bullpen catcher for his team during the World Baseball Classic, was missing to be located as the squad prepared to depart. Notwithstanding the turmoil, Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel greeted the squad upon their return home, even hosting an official ceremony. According to Fox News, Prieto’s defection is not unprecedented in Cuban baseball; after the Cuban Revolution prohibited baseball, other players deserted before him. Since then, rules have been significantly loosened, but problems remain.