Republican lawmakers have pushed back against the Cuban baseball team's involvement in the World Baseball Classic. Citing the threat of the members being spies for the Cuban regime, Republicans have called for the investigation of the team members. As the Cuban baseball team readied to play, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) commented on the controversy of people not being allowed entry for protesting the players.
I keep getting reports the @Marlins are enforcing the Cuban regimes censorship rules against U.S. citizens attending tonight’s #WorldBaseballClassic2023 game between the USA & Cuba pic.twitter.com/65UhxYQfqX
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 19, 2023
With the Cuban baseball team ready to go to bat, Cubans in South Florida prepared to protest the team, citing the threat of the players being spies for the Cuban communist government. In an effort to do so, South Floridians donned shirts reading "Patria y Vida." The controversy was further fueled after people wearing those shirts to protest the players were not allowed entry into the game.
In response to the controversy, Senator Rubio took to social media to question the allegation and arguing that attendees being denied entry into the game is an infringement on their first amendment right.
"I keep getting reports the Marlins are enforcing the Cuban regimes [sic] censorship rules against U.S. citizens attending tonight's World Baseball Classic 2023 game between the USA & Cuba," wrote Rubio, arguing in the video that people were not donning shirts with profanity for them to be denied entry into the game.
Rubio affirmed that people should not be denied entry because they're wearing shirts with "slogans that the Cuban regime finds offensive."
Last week, Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R) directed a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, expressing disappointment in the Biden Administration for its "decision to allow the regime to export its shameful exploitation of Cuban baseball players to the United States." The Florida Republican called on the administration to conduct an investigation into the baseball players to ensure that they do not have ties to the communist Cuban regime.