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Since the 1991 defection of Cuban pitching star Rene Arocha, dozens of Cuban baseball players have defected in order to play professionally in the United States. The system of Cuban defection poses considerable humanitarian risks for defecting players and their families, including physical danger, family dissolution. and an entangling web of immigration and repatriation laws. Despite these dangers, Cuban ballplayers-boxed in by a complex combination of historical, political, and legal forces outside of their control-have no choice but to defect if they wish to play professionally in America. This Note argues that the prevailing system of Cuban defection clearly violates important humanitarian concerns and should be abandoned. It concludes, however, that defection by Cuban baseball players will likely continue until the fall of the Castro regime and end of the U.S. embargo of Cuba.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
7 Sep 2022
3.75 MB



  • Subject
    • Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law

    • Immigration Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Third World Law Journal

  • Volume
    • 25

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Pagination
    • 383

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022