Was Cuban defector and baseball superstar Aroldis Chapman an agent for State Security in Cuba?
Was Baseball Star Aroldis Chapman a Cuban Spy?
Those are the blockbuster allegations in this suit pending before Judge Altonaga. Chapman, a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, is accused of some pretty outrageous things. According to the complaint, as summarized by Judge Altonaga:
Plaintiffs allege Chapman is liable for Curbelo Garcia and Perdomo’s prolonged arbitrary detentions and torture, not because Chapman was personally involved in detaining or torturing Plaintiffs, but because he provided the Cuban government with the false accusations in the first instance. This furnishing of false accusations, Plaintiffs allege, was part of a conspiracy between Chapman and the Cuban government that Chapman entered into on the day he met Raul Castro. (See id. ¶¶ 301–10). When Chapman agreed to the conspiracy, he became part of a pervasive “snitch network of athletes.” (Id. ¶ 216). This network included “athletes in every team in Cuba,” and was so widespread that “[t]here was a special unit of security officials that were in charge of connecting directly with the athletes to seek out reliable informants.” (Aff. of Gregorio Miguel Calleiro (“Calleiro Aff.”) ¶¶ 8–9 [ECF No. 48-5]). Athletes who voluntarily became government informants reported “suspicious” behavior to their individual handlers in the Department of State Security (“DCSE”). (Id. ¶¶ 10–12; see Am. Compl. ¶ 216). In return for providing “actionable information for the state,” the informants received benefits from the Cuban government, such as the ability to travel with a national team. (Calleiro Aff. ¶ 14). Chapman sought the opportunity to travel with the National Baseball Team as a means of defecting. (See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 218, 221).