As the United States and Cuba both step forward progressively towards improving relations, the plight of many different cross-sections of society become a topic of conversation. What will happen to families divided since the 1959 American embargo of the tiny Communist run island? What about those who defected in the fifty odd years since? Or what about the unresolved human rights issues on the island? I am wondering specifically about the baseball players that have defected from Cuba to the Unites States in order to play in the Major Leagues where lucrative contracts exist alongside a high level of competition.
Not just for the sporting benefit, but for the social benefit if José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds, and Yoenis Céspedes of the Detroit Tigers were all able to return home during the off-season with their multi-million dollar contracts. The amount of good their foundations will be capable of doing on the impoverished island would be astounding. I assume that they are from the humanitarian school of generous athletes, following in the footsteps of the late great Puerto Rican baseball legend Roberto Clemente and his modern disciple Panamanian and New York Yankee legend Mariano Rivera. I certainly hope they are, for the sake of the people. Baseball has always had an intricate relationship with the Cuban people and to allow these massively gifted athletes to represent Cuba following their defections would bring a lot of smiles to Cuba and export these smiles globally!