Little Leaguers from Vermont head to Cuba to play ball

Little Leaguers from Vermont head to Cuba to play ball

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Little Leaguers from Vermont head to Cuba to play ball

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BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Little League team from Vermont is heading to Cuba to play ball for a week.

The group is allowed to travel to Cuba as part of a special education exchange, and organizers hope the games and cultural exchanges will lead to a lasting connection between the island nation and the state, Vermont Public Radio reported.

The team of 11- and 12-year-olds from Burlington, Essex, Shelburne, and Bristol was due to arrive in Havana on Sunday.

A group of players from Connecticut also is making the trip to a different part of Cuba.

‘‘I don’t think they quite understand, grasp the history of this,’’ said Jim Carter, the faculty adviser and coach for the University of Vermont Club baseball team, who helped organize the trip and will be coaching the team.

They will play against five Havana Little League teams. Cultural events, including dinners with local families, have also been arranged for students and their parents, Carter said.

The coaches hope that eventually, Cuban players could visit Vermont and play some baseball, Carter said.

A team 14 players who were 11 and 12 years old from New Hampshire and Vermont traveled to Cuba in 2008, despite criticism from a member of Congress and others.

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Little Leaguers from Vermont head to Cuba to play ball
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