REPORT: Ivan Prieto Leaves Cuban National Team Before They Fly Back Home After Being Eliminated From WBC

[Screenshot/YouTube/ Tele Rebelde Deportes]

Andrew Powell Contributor
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Welcome to America, Ivan.

The 2023 World Baseball Classic has absolutely been a success. Before this year’s edition of the tournament, we hadn’t seen Major League-level international baseball since 2017, and the six-year long wait was most certainly worth it.

But it hasn’t just been the product on the field and the waving of the flag in patriotic glory, there have also been some headlines that have led to protests, and multiple people even running onto the field in the middle of games to make a statement.

I’m, of course, referencing the Cuban community in Miami protesting the team, and it’s led to some pretty intense stuff:

And things have ratcheted up even more, with the World Baseball Classic now reportedly seeing its first-ever defection, and it’s unsurprisingly coming from the Cuban national team, according to Cuban-American baseball analyst Yordano Carmona.

Before the team flew back to the communist nation, their bullpen catcher Ivan Prieto reportedly left the team while they were still in Miami. Cuba was scheduled to fly back after getting smashed and eliminated by the United States in the World Baseball Classic semifinal.

I’ve been to Miami plenty of times and have a lot of experience with the Cuban community in South Florida (I live in Florida now), and I’ve had nothing but wonderful interactions with those people, and I’ve always supported them in their stance against communism.

I also know a lot of Cubans who have escaped from the country to come live here, and they’ve done nothing but contribute great things to society, so as far as I’m concerned, I welcome Ivan Prieto with open arms. (RELATED: Team USA Completely Annihilates Cuba To Advance To World Baseball Classic Championship)

Welcome to America, Ivan.