Cuba slams attacks on its baseball team in U.S.

(Xinhua) 13:09, March 23, 2023

HAVANA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Cuba's government on Wednesday denounced attacks against its national baseball team while competing at a world championship in the U.S. city of Miami, Florida.

"During the semifinal game of the 5th World Baseball Classic between the Cuban and United States teams ... unfortunate and dangerous incidents occurred against the Cuban team that participated in the competition, which Cuba emphatically denounces," Cuba's Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

The team suffered "direct attacks, threats, the use of offensive and vulgar language, harmful attacks on the morale of the Cuban team and other incidents aimed at undermining the spirit of the athletes and damaging the event," according to the ministry.

"The rules of order and conduct established by the (LoanDepot Park) stadium were not enforced," the ministry said, noting "there was apparent complicity between certain representatives and personnel of the sports facility and local authorities, in particular those in charge of order and security."

Objects were thrown at the baseball players and their families, including women, children and the elderly, and at members of the delegation and representatives of the Cuban press, as well as at spectators cheering on the Cuban team, said the ministry.

In general, when "representatives of the Cuban delegation or of Major League Baseball approached police officers to denounce the attacks described above, they took no action," officials added.

"Incitement by local politicians and figures who hold public office" were at least partly to blame for fomenting hatred against its athletes, said Cuba.

The events "confirm, once again, that the city of Miami does not meet the minimum conditions to host an international event," it concluded.

Cuba's team lost to the United States in the semifinal game last Sunday.

The team received a warm welcome in Havana, where players were celebrated for reaching the fourth place, the Cuban squad's best performance since 2006, when it lost to Japan in the final of the 1st World Baseball Classic.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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