Before concluding his historic stay in Havana, U.S. President Barack Obama visited the newly renovated stadium Latinoamericano stadium, with his wife and daughters, for a friendly match between the national team and Tampa Bay Rays.
In his last public event before heading on to Argentina, Cuban President Raul Castro greeted his counterpart as they sat down together in the stands.
Prior to the start of the game, players and fans stood for a minute of silence for the victims of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, which left at least 30 dead and more than 200 wounded.
The symbolic first pitch was thrown by two Cubans, Pedro Luis Lazo, 42, one of Cuba’s best ever baseball players, having won two Olympic gold medals, and Luis Tiant, 75, a pitcher who left Cuba in the 60s and became a MLB star for the Boston Red Sox.
More than 55,000 fans filled the bleachers of the stadium to witness the first visit by an MLB team to Cuba since 1999, when the Baltimore Orioles played the national team.
The Cuban Baseball Federation said the meeting with Tampa Bay “shows the interest in increasing mutually beneficial relationships and in consolidating the sport as a bridge of exchange between the two peoples.”