In the midst of an economic and social crisis in Cuba, baseball, considered the national sport, finds itself at a crossroads that threatens to forever change the dynamics of the National Series. The Cuban dictatorship, facing an increasingly unsustainable situation, has sought solutions in unconventional alliances that have generated controversy and discontent among followers of the Cuban national pastime. Recently, the top brass of Cuban baseball and sports held a meeting with small and medium-sized companies (Mypimes) to discuss the possibility of them assuming responsibility for the misnamed “Liga Elite.”
At this meeting, the idea of transferring the equipment to these institutions in a consortium with the government was raised, but according to close sources, the business was not seen as profitable. The “Elite League” has exacerbated discontent among players, who protest low salaries, set at $3,500 Cuban pesos, which has led to a tense atmosphere within the some of teams. A anonymous player in the tournament expressed his frustration, highlighting that the leaders seem to be disconnected from the day-to-day reality of the athletes. “There is no meeting, bus or field that shows that someone shows there face to assume responsibility for the series shortcomings and hear all the truths,” said the player, reflecting the magnitude of the dissatisfaction among the athletes.
The lack of motivation among the players is worsened by the fact that there are no international tournaments on the horizon. The situation is so precarious that Juan Reinaldo Pérez Pardo, the national commissioner and president of the Cuban Baseball Federation, announced in a press conference that the attitude of the players will be taken into account for the integration of future Cuban teams. However, the news that the FCB will call up players from foreign leagues for the next Premier 12 has accentuated discontent. “Why are we going to play under the sun for 3,500 pesos if they are going to call outsiders for the Cuba team?” questioned a player from the Elite League, encapsulating the general feeling among the athletes.
The country’s difficult economic situation is aggravated by the suspension of all national championships in other categories due to lack of funds. Given this scenario, the inevitable question arises: What will happen to the Serie Nacional? Is it destined to disappear? The uncertainty in Cuban baseball reflects the broader challenges facing the island and raises questions about the future of one of the country’s cultural and sporting pillars. As the National Series hangs in the balance, the answer to these questions could redefine the very identity of Cuban baseball.