On Thursday, amidst a controversy over athletes defecting, the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education, and Recreation (Inder), announced the termination of the contentious repatriation requirement for Cuban athletes living abroad.
This requirement had represented a barrier for those who chose to emigrate and wished to compete in an event on the Island.
The official newspaper Jit has acknowledged that this requirement has been at the heart of the most intense debates in Cuba.
It has been stipulated that it will be the responsibility of the various national committees to update their competition regulations, so that this decision can take immediate effect.
Yasmany Tomás, better known as “El Tanque,” is one of the most recent examples. Tomás expressed interest in returning to Cuba and competing with the Industriales team, however, the repatriation requirement proved to be an obstacle for him.
Tomás, who played for four seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was also part of the Mexican team Los Cañeros de Los Mochis, received the news that, following the removal of this controversial requirement, he can play with the Industriales in the playoffs.
“The Havana baseball authority has just informed Tomás’s family that he is permitted to compete in the 2023 playoffs,” Por La Goma posted on Facebook.Cuba Faces Low Medal Hopes at 2023 Pan American Games
The repatriation process, which was implemented in 2013, has been utilized by Cuban emigrants who wished to purchase property on the Island, live in their country after retirement, or regain access to certain social services.
Currently, the number of Cuban athletes who have defected from Cuban delegations in 2023 stands at 33.