Nearshore Americas
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Baseball: The One Constant in U.S./Cuba Relations

This week, Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to make an official visit to Cuba since Calvin Coolidge. On top of discussing a post-embargo future, he joined Raúl Castro to enjoy something that has connected the nations even amid severe hostility: baseball. The game has been played on island for nearly 150 years — as pastime, protest, and pride — and Obama, facing criticism about spending a day at the park after the terrorist attack in Brussels, spoke about how the sport can help people heal. For decades, the highest-profile exchange between Cuba and the United States has been people defecting to play in the Major League. The famous Field of Dreams quote applies: “The one constant through all the years … has been baseball.” But now, following Obama’s symbolic presence at a game in Cuba, there will be more. And as the nations continue down a path towards normalization, opportunities outside of sport — for tourism, technology, telecoms, and other sectors — will start to replace the half-century void of interaction.

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Jared Wade

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