Two Cuban tennis players defect to US: reports

Posted at 06/12/14 5:13 PM

MIAMI - Two members of Cuba's national tennis team who defected after Davis Cup qualifiers trip in Puerto Rico have arrived in Florida, US media reported Wednesday.

Ernesto Alfonso, 24, and Randy Blanco, 21, ditched the team after their matches in Humacao, Puerto Rico, according to Cafe Fuerte, a news portal focused on the Cuban-American community.

They were able to give the slip to security which usually travels with Cuban sports delegations, America TV reported.

The pair arrived in Fort Lauderdale and did not immediately speak to media.

News of the tennis players' defection comes just days after a group of dancers with the National Ballet of Cuba defected in Puerto Rico. They also traveled on to Florida.

Puerto Rico is a mostly Spanish-speaking US commonwealth in the Caribbean, meaning Cubans can stay and seek US residency if they arrive there. They also can then easily travel to Miami or elsewhere in the United States.

The United States and Cuba have not had full diplomatic relations since 1961.

In 1962, Washington imposed an economic embargo on the island, the only Communist-run country in the Americas.

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