The Miami Herald
August 14, 2000

Two Cuban players defect in Canada

 From Herald Wire Services

 EDMONTON, Alberta -- Two members of Cuba's national junior team who
 defected at the world junior baseball championships were reported to be in
 Mexico on Sunday.

 ``It was not a spur of the moment decision,'' Ron Hayter, chairman of the group
 organizing the junior championships, said. ``This was all pre-planned, and when
 they got to Canada the arrangements were made for them to leave and get to

 William Plaza, 17, a catcher, left on Saturday, said Joe Kehoskie, a U.S.-based
 player agent who helped the two defect.

 Yolexandry Reina, 18, a pitcher, slipped away Monday.

 Hayter said his contacts with the Cuban team told him the two players were in

 Defections by Cubans at international sports events have drawn the anger of the
 country's leaders.

 About a year ago at the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg, 10 Cubans defected,
 including a 36-year-old softball coach.

 The move prompted Fidel Castro to describe Canada as ``enemy territory.''

 Hayter said there's little organizers can do to prevent such schemes.