Two players from Cuba’s national baseball team have escaped communism and slavery to the Castro dictatorship, defecting after the 5th Caribbean Baseball Cup being played in Puerto Rico. Neither Osday Silva nor Yeudis Reyes showed up at the airport for their flight back to Cuba and join a teammate who defected last week in Puerto Rico. With the addition of these three players, the total rises to 53 top Cuban athletes who have defected from the Castro dictatorship this year.
Another two baseball players defect from the Cuban team in Puerto Rico
Cuban baseball players Osday Silva and Yeudis Reyes defected from the national team this Monday shortly before returning from Puerto Rico, where Cuba was crowned champion of the 5th Caribbean Baseball Cup.
Journalist Francys Romero reported on social media that Yeudis Reyes, a 28-year-old pitcher from Guantanamo, left the team at the airport before boarding the plane that would take him back to the island after participating in the tournament. Reyes was the third Cuban baseball player to leave the team on Puerto Rican soil in the last week.
Earlier this Monday, Romero confirmed that the slugger from Santiago, Osday Silva, 30 years old, had left the team in the early morning.
Silva was the leader in home runs in the recently concluded 62nd edition of the National Series, with 18, and batted .336 with 80 RBIs. He was selected as the Most Valuable Player and First Base of the All-Star Team.
With these two defections, the sports journalist stated that a total of 53 top Cuban athletes have left the delegation or contracts during 2023.
Silva and Reyes followed in the footsteps of pitcher Franky Quintana Gamboa, who was the first to leave the national team during the ongoing Cup in Puerto Rico last Thursday.
Quintana, who is 28 and a native of the Isle of Youth, was part of Cuba’s pre-selection for the World Baseball Classic and participated in the team’s tour in Asia.
The right-hander, who played for six National Series as a “Pirate,” was selected to reinforce the “Crocodiles” of Matanzas in the Cuban Baseball Elite League.
As of the time of writing this report, the Cuban Baseball Federation had not confirmed the departures of the three players who participated in the 5th Caribbean Baseball Cup in Puerto Rico.