A third member of the Cuban team remained in Miami and participated in the pre-Olympic baseball game.
He is Lázaro Blanco, a 35-year-old veteran pitcher, born in the Granma province to the east of the island.
Blanco fled the delegation hours before boarding the plane. The bowler had a Mexican league contract with Saraperos de Saltillo.
Pascual Castro, who represents several Cuban players playing Mexican football, confirmed the player’s escape.
The player did not appear at the airport to board his flight and told the delegation that he would not return to Cuba or play in the Mexican league.
Blanco said he’s happy to be in Miami, and if he can play baseball, he’ll be fine, and if not, he’ll work on anything. He also confirmed that he feels comfortable in the city.
The Cuban bowler actually played in the Kanam League where he got good results. He has also competed in the World Classics, Caribbean Series, Central American and Caribbean Games, and Pan American Games.
“I thank God for being here. It was a decision I made to play in any league. Or work in anything (…) The most important thing was the decision I made for myself and my family,” the player said. .
“The criticism will come, the comments will come. But they have to respect the decisions that every human makes,” says Blanco, ready to start a new life.
Blanco turns out to be the third member of the team to leave the delegation. He was preceded by second starting player Cesar Prieto and team psychologist Jorge Figueroa. Figueroa, 33, did not show up for the flight on Thursday and her fate is not currently known. s Cesar Prieto The team left the same day it arrived in South Florida.
“Life is very difficult in Cuba. But hey, we made the decision to stay here to move forward.” Blanco states.
Blanco says his decision was only discussed with his close family, and that he lives today with friends who support him.
“It’s hard because you leave everything behind, family and friends,” Blanco says.
The bowler also said he was satisfied with many people yelling at him on the field to stay.
The Cuban government blamed the US government for providing large sums of money to the players, although Blanco said he had not received any offers so far.
Cuba, which has won medals at every Olympics since 1992 including gold in 1992, 1996 and 2004, has not had the same luck in this year’s games. The island team was eliminated from the Olympic qualifiers for the first time in the history of Cuban sport, after their first two matches against Venezuela and Canada.
The third confrontation against the whole of Colombia, which no longer determined their qualification for the knockout round, restored the Cubans their known strength on the ground, as they beat the coffee growers 16-3, but this little can be counted because of the illogical in the game.