Photo: Randy Blanco and Ernesto Alfonso
Two members of Cuba’s national tennis squad defected after taking part in a regional Davis Cup qualifying event in Puerto Rico and have already arrived in Miami, the news Web site Cafefuerte reported Wednesday.
Randy Blanco, 21, and Ernesto Alfonso, 24, abandoned the Cuban delegation in the Puerto Rican city of Humacao and arrived at the Miami International Airport around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, according to a source close to the athletes.
This latest incident comes a few days after seven members of the Cuban National Ballet defected during a tour of Puerto Rico and traveled to Miami. An eighth dancer was reportedly still in the U.S. commonwealth.
“A source close to the Cuban Tennis Federation confirmed that Blanco and Alfonso were not part of the group that returned on Monday to the island,” Cafefuerte reported.
The Cuban squad came up short in its bid to advance to the next level of the Davis Cup, tennis’ premier international team competition.
Separately, the dancers who defected from Cuba on Saturday said in a press conference Tuesday in Miami that “there is no future for young people” on the Communist-ruled island.
They will debut with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami on Sunday, just a week after leaving behind one of the world’s leading ballet companies.
Since 2007, at least 35 Cuban ballet dancers have sought asylum in the United States and other countries, according to figures provided by the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami.