Baseball season is beginning as teams play in the southern states for spring training, scrimmaging other teams and giving their young players a chance to make the major league. But one spring training game has different circumstances than the others.
The Tampa Bay Rays played a spring training game in Cuba, making them the first American baseball team to play there since 1999. This game made world news because President Obama was in attendance, making him the first sitting president to visit Cuba in 88 years.
Many Cubans see this as not only a baseball game, but as a gateway into new relations between Cuba and the United States. Cuba has not been able to trade with the U.S. since 1960 which has left Cuba outdated and rusty.
When President Obama was asked about the trip he said:
“That’s what this visit is about: remembering what we share, reflecting upon the barriers we’ve broken — as people and as nations — and looking toward a better future.”
If the Unites States opened up trading routes with Cuba they would be able to bring in resources, they could change the entire landscape of the country. Cuba was the Vegas before Vegas, and without the embargo they could turn it back into a thriving tourism hotspot.
Baseball isn’t just a sport, it’s a way to unite people. A simple spring training game brought the United States back into Cuba and started a new era in the relationship between America and Cuba.