Schwartz: Cosmos, Cuba To Meet In Match Of Historic Proportions

CBS New York

By Peter Schwartz
» More Columns

Over 50 years ago, the relationship between the United States and Cuba changed.

From a sports perspective, relations were affected in 1960 when Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro nationalized all United States-owned enterprises in Cuba. That move prompted Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick, under pressure from U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter, to relocate the Triple-A Havana Sugar Kings, a Cincinnati Reds affiliate, from Cuba to Jersey City.

Then, in the fall of 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower imposed a trade embargo with Cuba and followed that up in January 1961 by breaking off diplomatic relations.

It would be a while before an American team returned to Havana. In March of 1978, the Chicago Sting of the original North American Soccer League became the first United States club to play in Cuba since Fidel Castro’s takeover when they played an exhibition match against the Cuban National…

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