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Retired Cuban baseball stars to play Miami exiles

MIAMI (AP) – Baseball. It’s the national pastime of Cuba and has long united exiles and those still on the island. It also has divided them.

Over the years, dozens of top players have defected to the U.S. On Saturday, a retired group of those players will finally match up against their island counterparts in a game that would have been inconceivable a decade ago and that was nearly derailed earlier this summer.

The Fort Lauderdale game is between former members of the Industrials, Cuba’s version of the Yankees.

It had been slated for last month at Florida International University in Miami. But in July, the university canceled the deal, citing “contractual issues.” But a letter from the school’s attorney sent to the ACLU shows officials got twitchy about the event’s political nature.

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