Two Cuban indoor soccer players defect in Costa Rica

You can add two more to the growing list of Cuban athletes who have taken advantage of an international competition to escape the chains of slavery to the communist Castro dictatorship. Barbaro Shelier and Ernesto Duanes, two indoor soccer players with the Cuban national team, have defected while the team was in Costa Rica for exhibition and training matches. These two latest defections bring the total of Cuban athletes who have escaped the Castro slave plantation this year to 67.

Via CubaNet (my translation):

Two Cuban soccer players escape from the national team in Costa Rica

Two members of the Cuban indoor soccer team abandoned the squad they had traveled with to Costa Rica for friendly matches in preparation for the CONCACAF Pre-World Cup. They are Ernesto Duanes from Ciego de Ávila and Bárbaro Shelier from La Habana.

According to reports from sports journalist Francys Romero, Bárbaro Shelier made the decision to leave the delegation days before the news became public this Sunday. Meanwhile, Ernesto Duanes, who had previously been part of the Cuban team, departed from the group at the San José airport, just as they were preparing to return to Cuba.

The exhibition matches between Cubans and Costa Ricans took place on November 21 and 23 at the Scotiabank Arena in the FCRF-Plycem Sports Complex. Cuba Futsal won the first game with a score of 3-1 but lost the second game 5-2.

According to Romero’s statistics, the “desertions” of Ernesto Duanes and Bárbaro Shelier mark the departure of 67 Cuban athletes from delegations or contracts during 2023.

Among the most recent cases are those that occurred during the Pan American Games in Chile. In that event, at least eight athletes decided not to return to the island.

They were basketball player Betsy Guiliarte Zamora; Yoao Illas, bronze medalist in the 400 meters hurdles; and six players from the national field hockey team: Yunia Milanes (Las Tunas), Jennifer Martínez (La Habana), Yakira Guillén (Villa Clara), Lismary González (Villa Clara), Helec Carta (Villa Clara), and Geidy Morales (Ciego de Ávila).

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