November 19th, 2009
05:57 PM ET
13 years ago

U.S. and Cuba practice softball diplomacy

Havana, Cuba (CNN) - A metaphorical timeout has been in place between the United States and Cuba for nearly 50 years. But that could all be changing with the help of sports.

Fifty-six Americans flew to Havana this week for a series of games with Cuban counterparts. The games are friendly, But these veteran players take their softball seriously.

"Well we sort of got a handle on softball diplomacy and big things start in small places and maybe this will be the spot for it," said U.S. softball player Stu Gray.

For the opposing pitcher, it's working.

"This bolsters ties between the two countries ... There's a real friendship between us," said Cuban softball player Roberto Castelo.

Players from the two baseball-crazed nations are all over 55.

"I'd like to see more Americans have the opportunity to come to Cuba and see what Cuba is today. And I think the Cubans appreciate Americans," said U.S. softball player David Brissen.

And that idea is gaining traction in Congress.

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Filed under: Cuba
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Through 51 years, the different US Administrations have been pandering Cuban American votes putting the US foreign agenda with Cuba, in hands of Miami-Cuban right wing hardliners. Few things in the UNITED STATES have been more shameful, immoral and absurd that this 50 years old cruel, illegal and criminal embargo. The blockade has been so hard, that it forbids US Corporations to sale any article (not even a bandage or a pencil) to Cuba, albeit the transaction happens through a third country.

    But there is more. Cubans enjoy the biggest and generous Immigration treatment as no other country has had in the United States. Exist a discriminatory law named Cuban Immigration Adjustment Act granting the Legal status to every Cuban steeping in our shores. I repeat: Just Cubans. Nobody else.

    Honestly, I think it´s time we should take back to Washington our decisions about Cuba.

    It is time to finish right away the ban that prohibits Americans to travel to Cuba, while the Cubans that arrived crying and complaining that Cuba was communist and that they were pursued and mistreated by the Cuban government, they are authorized to travel to their homeland . What paradox! ! !

    November 19, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. S Callahan

    So in essence, what you are saying CNN is we can get the tour of Cuba if we join the over 50 baseball/softball me up! 🙂

    November 19, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. Nostradamus

    It's time to end the US government ban that it prohibits Americans travel to Cuba, while paradoxically, Cuban nationals that arrived to our land crying and complaining that Cuba was communist, that they were pursued by the Cuban government and blah, blah, blah, they are authorized to travel. I don´t know about you, my dear, but I see something extremely wrong in this picture.

    November 19, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. OzarksWisdom

    Hmm... no surprise here. Obama, Castro, and the liberal DimRats in Congress already play for the 'Marxist All-Stars', so I guess normalization of relations is the next step.

    November 19, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Stu

    Note to Cuba, communism doesn't work (never has, never will) and La Revolucion is dead. Give it up already. Like it or not, for all its flaws, capitalism works better than any other economic system. If you want Cuba to flourish abandon the useless rhetoric of communism.

    November 19, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  6. Bob the Observer

    I'm for anything to thaw relations with our neighboring country. The reasons to freeze out Cuba and Castro are long past. They are potiential friends and allies. It is hypocritical for a country that stuffs Walmarts with billions of dollars of products from communist China to continue to stiff-arm Cuba.

    The sooner we normalize relations with Cuba the better. We should have done this 20 years ago.

    November 19, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |