Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Golden boys start to return
An interesting consequence of the new migraton rules now in place is the way in which the Cuban government has turned what was once a loss into a gain.
It now appears from this report from NBC that Major League Baseball pitcher Jose Ariel Contreras Camejo is in Cuba tending to a family matter.
This makes him the first recorded Cuban athlete to return to the country under the new immigration policy, after leaving the island to play professional baseball and earn millions in the lucrative game 'north of the border.'
In a phone interview with NBC News, Contreras denied having any problems entering the island.
“If there had been a problem, they would have sent me back,” said Contreras on the phone before declining a more extended interview. “I do not want to talk to anyone about what I am sharing with my family.”
His brother Humberto Demetrio previously stated that Contreras traveled to Cuba because his mother had to undergo a limb amputation and is recovering in the Salvador Allende Hospital .
Under the new immigration guidelines adopted on 14 January, Cubans who left the country through irregular channels in the 90s and had spent eight years outside of the country since their emigration, would be allowed to make temporary visits.
Contreras was once a golden boy of the Cuban amateur game, now he is a golden boy of a different kind - basically he's loaded. It is hard to imagine that he will not use his newly-acquired right to return to put some of his fortune to use in the island... It's the latest Cuban ruse yet to beat the blockade - export athletes and then import them back again. Why wouldn't they? Their money will go much farther in retirement in Cuba than it would in the USA - especially if they invest in a business...