HAVANA – Cuban leader Fidel Castro said that two people had deserted from the delegation that traveled to San Diego, California, to take part in the World Baseball Classic, one more than had been previously announced.
“Of the 73 who flew to Mexico and San Diego, two poor devils didn’t come back,” the 82-year-old president said in a new article in his “Reflections” series, published on Friday.
“One edited baseball video footage for Cuban National Television. His whining published by the news services makes one ashamed. He moaned that the only sad thing was that his dear mother and his adored girlfriend didn’t travel with him. He was gone the first day the delegation arrived in San Diego,” Castro said about the first desertion, which El Nuevo Herald in Miami reported last Tuesday.
“The other,” he continued, “wrote for (the official daily) Juventud Rebelde on the same subject. He had gone out of the country on several occasions, but waited for the Classic to carry out his big crime. He was always with the team. He was stupid. Two hours before they were to leave for the airport for the return flight, he disappeared.”
According to the ex-president, “these cases serve to underscore the merit of the athletes of our honorable national team, ready to give their lives for their country.”
With regard to the first case, U.S. media reported last Tuesday that the technician for Cuban state television Yuri Boza slipped away from the group accompanying the baseball team to fly to Miami and apply for political asylum.
Boza, 31, said in Miami that both Cuban players and coaches were under “extreme pressure” from the government of the island to give a good account of themselves in the second edition of the World Baseball Classic, from which they were eliminated by Japan earlier this week.
““The security people (State Security agents) have kept the ballplayers under severe control, without letting them get close to anyone,” he said.
As for his own motives in defecting, Boza said in Miami that “I want to feel free, to do what I want, to decide for myself where I’m going.”
“We young Cubans don’t have any commitment to the Revolution. It just doesn’t interest us to stay there because we don’t see any future,” he said.