Was the FIU president coerced?

industriales en miami

MIAMI – Part of the community is up in arms. A baseball game featuring former players from the Industriales, Cuba’s version of the Yankees, was suddenly cancelled this week. Scheduled to play were ballplayers who now live in the U.S. – including the likes of former professionals like “El Duque” Hernandez and Rey Ordoñez. Also invited were players who still live in Cuba.

The game was scheduled for August 10 and 11 at the Florida International University (FIU) baseball stadium in Miami. Sources allege that coercion of Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg, FIU president, took place, which led to the cancellation. Names like Marco Rubio, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart have been bandied about as persons to blame. Another group alleged to have some responsibility for the cancellation is the Cuban Liberty Council, whose membership is made up of former Cuban American National Foundation members.

I decided to call the university. I know for a fact that the game’s promoter, Alejandro Canton, also attempted to speak to Dr. Rosenberg. But, apparently, the FIU president refuses to address the issue.

I spoke to FIU’s media relations department and was told they were not at liberty to discuss it. In fact, Marlen Mursuli told me she knew little of the situation. But Ms. Mursuli politely added she would email the statement issued by the University. Here it is. All of it:

“FIU Athletics has canceled a contract with Somos Cuba Entertainment Group for the use of one of FIU’s athletic venues. The event was canceled due to a contractual matter. We regret any inconvenience this has caused.”

After reading it I asked myself, “And what’s FIU trying to hide?” If there’s a good reason for the cancellation, state it. Instead, they offer a brief three-sentence explanation which explains absolutely nothing.

Also, lest we forget, it’s not the first time something of this nature has occurred in this city. Especially when dealing with visitors from Cuba.

(Design for this article courtesy of OnCuba Magazine)