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Good afternoon.

As part of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, I would like to give thanks for your hospitality and generosity.

It is already too cold in Minnesota, and there is a lot of snow. For that we are happy here in Cuba because of the warm climate and, most importantly, because of the warmth of the Cuban people (applause).

Our baseball team feels honored to have the opportunity to play against the University of Havana team, and we expect that someday your players could visit Minnesota.

This game is, for us, an expression of friendship and solidarity that exists between our university communities.

From the University of St. Thomas, there are present more than 80 friends, professors, members of our professional staff and members of our Board of Trustees.

I would like to give special thanks to Dr. Juan Vela Valdes, rector of the University of Havana, for his vision that has made possible this exchange between both universities and this historic game.

We also are grateful to the Cuban government for offering this opportunity to our university community.

Our hope is that we can return soon to Cuba. We hope and we pray that when this happens, we will find the boy, Elian Gonzalez, here with your people (extended applause).

After having personally experienced the intellectual and human vigor of the University of Havana, I don’t think for a Cuban boy like Elian there would be a better school other than this university to make him a dignified man of his country and of his people.

Thank you very much.



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Equipo Caribe vs St. Thomas, Havana, Cuba 2000

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