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Cinema

Cuban state television shows El Duque, other top baseball defectors for first time

Summary: 
Cubans caught their first glimpse of Orlando Hernandez on state television since he fled to the United States a decade ago as authorities aired a documentary in which the New York Mets pitcher vowed he was no traitor.
Text: 
El Duque was among the Cuban players who defected to the United States interviewed as part of "Furea de Liga," or "Out of This League," a 68-minute film by Ian Padron which was released in 2004 but not seen until Saturday night on government-controlled television.

Cuban authorities consider athletes who defect traitors and Saturday's documentary marked the first time in recent memory players who fled the island have been seen on official airwaves. The island's film institute financed the movie, but had refused to distribute it given its sensitive subject matter.

"I am not a traitor. I am an Industrial," Hernandez says during the documentary, referring to Havana's Industriales, Cuba's most-famous team and the squad he played for before fleeing to the United States in December 1997.

"I have had the opportunity to play for the two best teams in the world: Cuba's Industriales and the New York Yankees," says Hernandez, who this season will enter the second year of a two-year, US$12 million deal he signed with the Mets in 2006.

(Herald Tribune)
Cubans caught their first glimpse of Orlando Hernandez on state television since he fled to the United States a decade ago as authorities aired a documentary in which the New York Mets pitcher vowed he was no traitor.
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