Yuli Gurriel Prohibited from Visiting His Relatives in Cuba

Yuli Gurriel with his Houston Astros uniform.  He uses number 10, the same one he used in Cuba.

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES – Yulieski Gourriel (Yuli Gurriel in MLB) hoped to visit relatives in Cuba at the end of January after a five year absence from his home country. However, a few minutes before boarding his plane the airlines told him the Cuban government forbid his entry to the island, reported 14ymedio.

Gourriel was one of the top Cuban baseball players for over a decade. Praised dozens of times by Fidel Castro, the Communist Party media, and the island’s leaders and fans, he became persona-non-grata one fine day in 2016.

Yuli and his younger brother Lourdes Jr. decided they wanted to play baseball at the highest level and also earn a salary accord with their abilities. Yuli, now 37, became a star first baseman for the Houston Astros and Lourdes Jr., 28, is a key player, both as an outfielder and infielder, for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Yuli won the batting title in the American League of Major League Baseball in 2021 and played in the World Series, which his Houston Astros lost to the Atlanta Braves.

The plan of the baseball star was to arrive in Varadero to spend a holiday with his relatives.  When he was denied the possibility of boarding his flight and entering Cuba it was a reminder that athletes used by the Cuban government to promote its Sports successes are considered traitors if they abandon ship.

Just like doctors who work abroad on government contracts and decide to abandon the program or decide to stay when the contract is over, they automatically are banned from entering Cuba for at least eight years. The cruel measure has divided many families.

It appears that Yuli thought five years absence might be enough punishment, but the government was not making any exceptions and he was denied entry on orders “from above”.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

8 thoughts on “Yuli Gurriel Prohibited from Visiting His Relatives in Cuba

  • Chas , traitors to a dictatorship that no one elected? Free election now and you would see who are the traitors.

  • I only ask this, because he is a relatively wealthy star baseball player, does that give him and edge then over all the other Cubans banned from visiting their families for 8 years? Just saying…

  • Joseph McCarthy would be proud of Chas, they are on the same wavelength. Ban or shoot the traitors, ban ban ban….

  • They are still traitors, even after five years. Maybe Cuba should let him in and then not let him out, make him take a raft back. Or how about let him in and then make him pay $1 million tax before he can leave.

  • When the Freest Continent as North America in the World is Paying for the Worlds Best sports Players in the world, you mite think the King of Cuba would be Proud, Its Got to be that Counter Clock wise Curve Ball in a Right hand Rewarding World. Go Figure

  • Luis, I am totally against the embargo myself and have been for many moons. But I am not blind. Keeping Yuli Gurriel and many other Cubans from visiting with their relatives in their own country is not a decision made in USA. Its 100% from Havana. If the embargo is wrong, how does Cuban government cruelty towards its own citizens make things better?

  • Usa Cuba embargo terrorism American style

  • The military junta owns the Ranch named República de Cuba. Everyone must obey even in exile otherwise La Junta will not let you in

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