BUENOS AIRES (AP) — It’s among the few things that many Cubans and Americans can agree on: Baseball should return to the Olympics.
Antonio Castro, son of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, is in Argentina to argue before the International Olympic Committee that baseball — now in partnership with softball — should be returned to the Olympic games in 2020.
Castro, whose father stepped aside as Cuba’s leader when he fell ill in 2006, is representing the World Baseball Softball Confederation, which was formed earlier this year after the IOC said the two had to merge as one Olympic sport to be considered for a return to the Summer Games after being removed in 2008.
IOC members meeting in Buenos Aires are to decide Sunday if baseball-softball will be included in the Olympic program in 2020. Squash and wrestling are also being considered, but only one will get through.
“The task is to converse and try to convince the IOC members,” Castro said during a break in confederation meetings being held before the IOC gathering. “The message to the whole world is that our sport forms part of the Olympic program.”
“A sport like ours, which is practiced by more than 65 million people in the world, more than 4 million children, with more than 140 federations, more than 140 countries transmitting it on television, can add much value to the Olympic program,” Castro said, a baseball mitt on his hand.
He declined to talk about his country’s politics. But he smiled when asked about the former longtime leader of the Caribbean country. “My father is very well,” the younger Castro said.