Gabriel Rodríguez

Gabriel Rodríguez

Erislandy Savon: Best boxer of the Americas in 2014

Before the insertion of Cuba in the World Series of Boxing (WSB), Erislandy Savon was just another Cuban fighter. He bears a name that weighs much in the boxing history of the island and the coaches forced him to change from 91 Kg to + 91 Kg divisions repeatedly, seeking the ideal formula of make him, and the rest of his teammates, a boxer able to rescue the discipline and return it to the stellar space from which it was absent for several years due to desertions and wrong policies of the authorities. But in 2014, with enrollment and subsequent coronation of the franchise Cuba Domadores in the fourth edition of AIBA elite tournament , the story changed to Erislandy and many other boxers who defend the glory of the Cuban Academy . He and other fighters of the team managed to finish first in the rankings of their divisions. In his particular case, he remained unbeaten in eight bouts and demonstrated the attributes and his spectacular boxing. He began to shape his own history without being overshadowed by the wake of his uncle, the great Felix, three-time Olympic champion. Erislandy´s effort and talent were rewarded again last Tuesday when...

Havana Biennial: An opportunity for people to people exchange

In the middle of the process towards the restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States and the long transit waiting towards normalization, coveted by most of both peoples, the twelfth edition of the Havana Biennial, which initiates the coming May 22 is displayed as a unique opportunity for Americans to visit the "forbidden” island and see firsthand its idiosyncrasies, desires, concerns and deepest feelings, expressed through art. The Biennial, as the name suggests, opens its doors every two years, but its organizers opted to postpone the edition corresponding to 2014 for this year, which ultimately resulted in the greatest chance for cultural exchange between two neighboring nations with historic ties in the field, frozen for more than half a century. Insight Cuba, the leading organization of people to people travel, only to allow Americans of the 12 categories approved by the State Department to come to Cuba, now without having to go through a cumbersome process to obtain a special license company OFAC will not miss the opportunity and already is celebrating the Biennale with the launch of three special tours to enjoy art at the Biennale. Exclusive to OnCuba Tom Popper, president of the company, said...

US farmers in Havana against the embargo

As part of the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States an agricultural delegation from the latter, the most significant in the last decade, began Monday in Havana a round of three days of meetings to strengthen ties with potential business partners of the island. The visit was organized by the Agricultural Coalition of America to Cuba, created following the announcement of Presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama last December 17 on the start of a process for the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries; process in which the rounds of talks held between high-level delegations from both countries on January 22 and February 27 in Havana and Washington respectively fall. Among the members of the delegation of 95 US companies highlights two former Agriculture Secretaries, officials and representatives of various state farms. Devry Boughner Vorwerk, an executive of multinational Cargill presiding the coalition told Reuters news agency that they hope to return to the US with the message that they are "a unifying voice that would like to see Congress act in 2015 and end the embargo ". Devry Boughner Vorwerk, CEO of the multinational Cargill According to Vorwerk, US farmers crave to...

Cuban players to the Caribbean Series already have their visas

Luckily for baseball lovers in the Caribbean region, the uncertainty generated by the refusal of visas to members of the Cuban baseball team was already cleared and it appears that Cuba will be present next week at Hiram Bithorn Stadium San Juan, Puerto Rico, to fight for the title in the Caribbean Series. As Juan Francisco Puello Herrera, president of the Caribbean Baseball Confederation confirmed in yesterday to AP, “already five of the six who had problems received their visas." Although he didn’t explain the reasons for the initial refusal, the highest ranking official of baseball in the area said it was due to routine matters that have already been solved. One of those who did not get his visa in the first moment, presumably by the situation, in which he was involved during its passage through the Mexican Baseball League, where he was registered with a fake passport of Dominican nationality, was the Granma slugger Alfredo Despaigne. About him, Puello said that "he has his visa and there is only a visa to be issued a of yet. Cuba is in the Caribbean Series with its entire team without problems. " The 2015 Caribbean Series will begin on Monday...

Foto: http://www.cubaeducationaltravel.com/

Rising Interest in Americans to travel to Cuba

The announcement by President Barack Obama on December 17, about the beginning of a process for the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba, the entry into force last Friday of the new more flexible travel and trade regulations, and celebration this week of high-level talks between delegations from both countries have determined an increase in the interest of Americans for the people-to-people trips. This method is applicable and without the need for special licenses from the Treasury Department, is the only one that allows US citizens to travel legally to Cuba if their trips are inserted within 12 authorized categories, such as family visits, humanitarian projects, professional research, and journalistic, educational, religious, artistic or sports. From these possibilities, companies specializing in the management of itineraries to Cuba for people to people exchange have seen an increase in demand. To cope it, InsightCuba, the leading institution, launched 70 additional starting dates for this year and next. Tom Popper, its president, told AFP that "the overwhelming majority of Americans had no idea that travel to Cuba was a possibility." But because of the historical approach the situation has changed and now besides knowing that they can, they take an interest...

Alexei Ramírez

Two Cuban White Sox players awarded the Silver Slugger

Cuban baseball players José Dariel Abreu and Alexei Ramirez, first baseman and shortstop in the Chicago White Sox, respectively, added one more award in their windows for their good performances in the 2013-2014 season in the United States Major League Baseball. It is the Silver Slugger Award, an prize given since 1980 at the end of each season to the players of both circuits with best offensive performance this time and this Thursday they were announced by the company Hillerich & Bradsby, maker of Louisville Slugger bats and institution granting the award. Alexei Ramirez had already won the trophy in the 2009-2010 season. His average of 273 this season, with his 74 RBIs, 35 doubles, 15 homers, and 21 stolen bases in 25 attempts, allowed him to rise again with the prize and become the first shortstop in White Sox to conquer it twice. His name is now inscribed alongside the other legends of the franchise who also scored on more than one occasion as Frank Thomas, four-time Silver Slugger; Carlton Fisk three; and Magglio Ordonez with two. Meanwhile José Dariel Abreu had a dream season for a rookie. His average of 317, with 35 doubles, 36 homers, 107 RBIs,...

Puig included among MLB stars to face Japan

The Cuban Yasiel Puig, center fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, continues to grab headlines in the sports media that covers the events of the MLB. Whether for his performance or his unlimited explosiveness to play, the fact is not three days go by without the Cuban star being in reports analysis, and even images and curious videos where they build a graceful and unruly little character, hard to adapt to the tranquility of the first world, but mostly talented, as is the case with Mario Balotelli but in soccer. This time the news on Puig cannot be more positive: he was selected among the top four players who will comprise the all-star team in the majors to face the national team of Japan in a series of five games this November. The Cuban outfielder shares credit with Dominican star Albert Pujols and Robinson Cano, and the American slugger Adam Jones, from the Baltimore Orioles, players that show on advance how important is for Ron Washington, manager of the Texas Rangers and responsible for directing the American team, the match against the Japanese, champions in the first two World Baseball Classics. The rest of the 28 players who will go...

Since Marabana was first held in 1987 few American runners have been able to participate in the race / Photo: INDER.

US Marathon runner can participate in Marabana

American marathoners can travel to Cuba this year and compete in the marathon and half marathon in Havana, to be held on Sunday, November 16. This will be possible under a special license for amateur sportspeople issued by the US Treasury Department to Insight Cuba, the leading provider in organizing people to people exchanges that allow United States citizens travel to the island. The novelty has taken a new enhancement these days due to the launch by the company of its promotion "Win a free trip to Marabana" which is inserted into the 4 day Havana Tour, one of three tour packages offered regarding the competition. To qualify for the award, candidates can visit the Facebook page "Insight Cuba-Havana Marathon" and enter the "Win a Trip" tab on top. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. The first Marabana was held in 1987 and since then only a few American runners have been able to participate in this race until 2014, where 156 runners of that nationality may register at the competition under the new permit. For Carlos Gattorno, director of Marabana-Maracuba project, the possibility of having marathoners from the United States in the...

Yadiel Hernández

Cuba Sweeps US Collegiate Baseball team in friendly match

What many thought it would happen, due to what was seen in the previous four games, happened. The Cuban baseball team defeated on Sunday the US Collegiate squad with a tight score 1-0 in the fifth and final game of the friendly match, and thus returned last year´s sweep. The win was secured by good pitching performances of right-handed Yaisel Sierra and Vladimir Gutierrez, whose combined efforts allowed that the only Cuban run was enough for a victory in the closest game during this year's match. Everybody thought Cuba would repeat in the mound with Camagüey Norge Luis Ruiz, winner of the first match. However, a blister on Ruiz´s throwing hand, who only had four days off and maybe because it was Urquiola's decision to test all his squad members, especially since the match was already secured, determined that the Yaisel Sierra would be the starter, made us forget the best pitcher in the staff. Sierra knew how to deal with his brief moments of losing control and the two walks went unnoticed against seven strikeouts in five innings of action. The four hits he gave up, three of them in the top of the fourth inning, the best time...

Kendrys Morales Returns to Seattle

Amid pleasant and subsequent news about the good performance of Cuban baseball players in the MLB there is one that demands a lot of attention: Kendrys Morales left Minnesota to return to Seattle. The information does not refer to any one transfer but one that transcends and brings out smiles and faces of surprise among baseball fans since precisely Kendrys and the franchise to which he returned staged late last year a soap opera whose main plot was the signing or not of the Cuban to continue playing in the city of the Space Needle. Coming from the LA Angelinos, Morales was with the Mariners all of last season. He participated in 156 games in which he averaged 277, with 23 homers, 34 doubles and 80 RBIs; statistics that motivated management team to offer him a contract of $ 14.1 million for acquiring his services for another year. However, the deal did not approach Kendrys requirements, requesting a three or four seasons and around 50 million. From there, who at the time of his departure from the island eight years earlier was defined by experts as the greatest prospect arrived from Cuba to the big leagues, began to see his...

Odrisamer, the sweet taste of the unpredictable

Although during his last national series with Industriales he was a sure trump card if the offense could respond, Odrisamer Despaigne was never granted, by fans or experts, the possibility of a position in the top three or top five pitchers in Cuban baseball. The fact that his arm was strong for exceeding the 90 miles without much noise, walk an average of more than six innings, to be among the leaders in strikeouts, and possessing a tough and serious face, as well as a strong character who seems unfazed by any batsman, is not enough to integrate many Cuban selections or be among the best starters on the rare occasions that he made the grade. Throughout the Third World Baseball Classic, which the most enthusiastic Industriales fans thought could be his chance to shine beyond the domestic tournament, Victor didn’t give him the chance to climb the mound even to settle a third of an inning, maybe because he was mistreated by Asian batters in preparation games before the big event. The snub didn’t seem will bode ill with his career, but a big change. On his way to participate in the XIV interports Tournament in Rotterdam, Holland, Despaigne...

Cuba wins the title in IV World Series of Boxing

It was necessary to reach the tie break and hold our breath until we saw that there would be no more surprises. Following the unexpected defeat of Alvarez (60 kg) against an opponent to less quality and Larduet´s (+91 Kg) , that not for foreshadowed was less painful and somewhat outrageous as the double world champion had actually won on the ring, the nerves of fans and admirers of the debutante franchisee in the World Series Boxing should be almost at break point; and they thought for minute that the Cuba Domadores, despite the favorable forecasts and demonstrations they made along tournament, could not take the title of Champions. But the doubt would only last a few minutes. With the favorable final match 5-4 for Baku Fires Julio Cesar la Cruz, also double world champion and perhaps one of the most exotic amateur boxing fighters, entered the ring and delivered a lecture on the Belarusian Mikhail Dauhaliavets to take the unanimous decision victory and perfect score, and thus tied the match and the defuse a little the pressure. And then everything was ready for Arisnoidys Despaigne (69 Kg). Forecasts announced that perhaps the World Cup runner in Almaty travel in...

Domadores Announces Squad for the IV World Series of Boxing´s Final

After some waiting, the Cuban squad is already known for the final of the fourth edition of the World Series of Boxing the coming June 6 and 7 against the Baku Fires at their headquarters in the Azeri capital, at the Olympic Sports Center ' Serhedchi ‘. The Domadores will be led by Olympic champion in Londres'12 Roniel Iglesias (69 Kg) and two-time world champions Lazaro Alvarez (60 Kg) and Julio Cesar La Cruz (81 Kg) , who together with flyweight Yosbany Veitía and heavyweight Erislandy Savon both undefeated in seven combats and occupants of first place in the ranking of its divisions, are the main trump cards of the Cuban team . In the most favorable forecasts for the conquest of the scepter by the Cubans people put much trust in what light welter Yasnier Toledo can do. His five wins against one loss, and his first place in his division so far, presage a defining battle in the match probably against Azerbaijan Gaybatulla Gadzhialiyev , author of his only missteps . However, if that combat did happen, the good form shown by Toledo in his fights, rising date after date, will favor him in the possible rematch. The...

Chapman back to the mound

After the terrible hit suffered in a preseason game and subsequent weeks of recovery and bullpen sessions, supersonic Aroldis Chapman pitched again in a real game on Thursday, although in Class A Minor League. According to reports, Chapman was the starter of the game against the Dayton Dragons, a branch of the Cincinnati Reds, with the Lansing Lugnuts, affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. He struck out the first two batters in a 3-2 count with two fastballs at 101 and 99 miles per hour, respectively, and the third out was at the expense of Mitch Nay, who managed to avoid striking out with a drive line to the left field that did not require a lot of defense. Chapman, consistent with what he has shown in his training sessions after the injury, was relaxed in the mound in what was his first pitching outing of the four he is likely to have during his rehabilitation at branches of Cincinnati. This brief performance confirms what was stated in numerous reports of publications that have followed his evolution and argue that Reds pitcher seems to be fully recovered. However, prior to Thursday's clash Bryan Price, manager of the Reds, said the...

Pinar and Urquiola: Again the right formula

They say that when you are cornered and there are only two diametrically opposed ways out, depending on the chosen is that the essence of every being can be assumed about. Taking it to the sport , and seen what happened yesterday in the Victoria de Giron stadium, no one can now doubt anymore that the Pinar del Rio team , whatever its situation , is an eternal champion who does not believe in cabals or favors and if it is pressed , will always choose the exit meant for the greatest . It had already shown it in the semifinal round. It stumbled on three consecutive occasions against archrival Industriales and when almost everyone thought they were beaten, they drew their caste, one that is further exacerbated when guided by Alfonso Urquiola, and overcame Industriales mercilessly for a berth in the final playoff. At that point, no one dared to take them for dead. They had, besides a winning management, described by all as a lucky charm, the best pitchers and a non negligible offensive that if operating properly, would make it very hard the work to their rival. But Matanzas also pushed hard. It was the third year...

Olympic Champion Robeisy Ramirez returns to Domadores team

The news last Saturday of Marcos Forestal’s leaving was buried on Monday. Cuba Domadores team informed that the Olympic champion in London 2012, Robeisy Ramírez, will once again be a leading figure in the category of 56 kg as soon as the sanction that bans him from participating in international events is over. According to a press release by the Cuban Boxing Federation, Robeisy returns a few months earlier than stated in the sanction for his perseverance during trainings, “which has assured him an opportunity we had scheduled for the qualifying event for the Centro American and Caribbean Games, by early May”. Thus, Robeisy, who is in the fifth position in his division in the current World Series in view of his two victories against Mexican Brian González and Azerbaijani Magomed Gurbanov, recovers his position and will participate in the semifinals against the Russian Boxing Team on April 24, in Moscow. The press release also noted that if Ramon Luis doesn’t regain his good shape by April 19, when the Cuban team will travel for the clash, the tamer in the 75 kg will be Arlen López. The rest of the contestants fighting that day are, as usual: Yosbany Veitía...

Pinar del Rio wins in spectacular game but…

So great baseball is that even in games where it floats too much the main reason it was removed from the Olympic movement , time , and fail some of its attractions as timely hitting and quality pitching , those we love it are able to enjoy it no matter how long it takes or all exhibiting deficiencies . Proof of this was the fifth game of the final of Cuban baseball between the teams of Pinar del Rio and Matanzas, because despite lasting nearly five and half hours and the constant winking of the pitching staffs of both, that imitates the quality and quantity of balls, all the ratings we give it are close to the positive: sensational, spectacular, epic, full of strategic moves, etc. . Not that I consider that the game this Sunday does not deserve these ratings, but in my personal opinion the summary is not defined by the spectacular walk off homer by Osniel Madera in the eleventh inning or the persistence shown by both for victory and making of the scoreboard a rollercoaster, as it is defined by the fact that fatigue showed up the shortcomings that keep our baseball away from the existing...

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