Entertainment

For A Moment, The First Lady Looked Kinda Annoyed At President Obama During The Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Cuba Game

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Days after President Barack Obama landed in Havana for a historic visit, Major League Baseball returned to Cuba for the first time in 20 years. The Tampa Bay Rays arrived at the Estadio Latinoamericano to face off against the Cuban national team, and the stadium was packed. President Obama and Raúl Castro were both in attendance, along with several baseball legends. Here’s what went down:

Before the game began, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer made a new friend.

Credit: @MLB / Twitter

After a game of catch, Archer made his way over to President Obama…

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Earlier this month, Archer asked Obama to join him for lunch in Cuba. Obama didn’t reply to his tweet, so Archer teased him about it before the game.

The Cuban national anthem rang out loudly at the Estadio Latinoamericano.

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As did the “Star Spangled Banner.”

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Cuban baseball legend Luis “El Tiante” Tiant threw out the first pitch along with two-time Olympic gold medal-winning pelotero Pedro Lazo.

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Lazo, who is still playing at 42 years old, is the one on the left. Tiant, who left Cuba in 1961, told Fox Sports it wasn’t easy to return to Cuba. But the 75-year-old former pitcher said he hopes the U.S. and Cuba can mend their relationship: “The world changes. We have to fix it.”

After a moment of silence for the victims of the terror attack in Brussels, Belgium, the game began.

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Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty

Obama later defended his decision to attend the game following the attacks: “The whole premise of terrorism is to disrupt people’s ordinary lives.”

Once fans heard the first crack of the bat, things became a bit more festive. Here’s everyone doing the wave:

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And, yes, both President Obama and Raúl Castro joined in.

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When the Rays scored the first run of the game, Obama started a little trash talk.

But the Cuban team showed they’re also loaded with talent.

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At one point, President Obama must have ticked off the First Lady, because we all know a “Hey, don’t be mad me” shoulder grab when we see one.

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Seems like everything was OK, because Obama was all smiles when he met up with Derek Jeter.

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When it all ended, Tampa Bay was victorious, defeating the Cuban national team 4-1.

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Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty

After the game, Dayron Varona, a Cuban player who defected from Cuba in 2013, embraced old friends.

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Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty

Varona, who plays for a minor league team affiliated with the Rays, was not even thinking about making the trip to Cuba. But several Rays players, including Evan Longoria, Kevin Cash and Chris Archer, asked for Varona to be included on their roster. Varona told ESPN he was surprised by the gesture: “It’s amazing. Longoria, Archer, the manager and other players on the team, who I’ve only known for around 20 days, have supported me so that I can go back to my country.”

Just a few days earlier, Varona reunited with his family for the first time in three years.

Credit: @RaysBaseball / Twitter

Moments after the game, a protestor interrupted a live report from ESPN’s Bob Ley.

Credit: CorkGaines / ESPN / YouTube

A man in a white shirt jumped in front of the camera and threw up a handful of pamphlets in the air.

Cuban police quickly swarmed the man in the white shirt and another man, then threw them into a police car. Ley then remarked that the situation underscored “the entire political nature in which this game took place.”

Credit: @Lizzs_Lockeroom / ESPN / Twitter

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More Than 360,000 People Have Signed A Petition Calling For Trump Tower’s Address To Be ‘President Barack H. Obama Avenue’

Entertainment

More Than 360,000 People Have Signed A Petition Calling For Trump Tower’s Address To Be ‘President Barack H. Obama Avenue’

There is something so satisfying about being petty or watching a petty situation take place. That is exactly what we are seeing right now with a petition asking for New York City to rename a stretch of 5th Ave. in front of Trump Tower to President Barack H. Obama Avenue. Obama’s name has been used to rename some roads in the U.S. already and people are pushing for that trend to land right on Donald Trump’s doorstep.

A petition on MoveOn.org is calling for NYC to rename a portion of 5th Ave. after President Obama.

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The petition started as a joke but it quickly gained attention and speed and has continued to grow. So far, more than 360,000 people have signed the petition and are hoping the Mayor Bill DeBlasio listens to their request.

Some are not sure if it will happen but so many people are really pushing for the change.

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“The City of Los Angeles recently honored former President Barack Obama by renaming a stretch of the 134 Freeway near Downtown L.A. in his honor,” reads the petition. “We request the New York City Mayor and City Council do the same by renaming a block of Fifth Avenue after the former president whose many accomplishments include: saving our nation from the Great Recession; serving two completely scandal-free terms in office; and taking out Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind September 11th, which killed over 3,000 New Yorkers.”

While the petition is being taken seriously by some people, others are just here for the show.

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We all love to see some next level pettiness and the people who created this petition, and support it, are giving people all kinds of life.

“I saw a comedian joke about how it would make Trump so mad if it was named after former President Obama and thought why not,” Elizabeth Rowin, the author of the petition, told Newsweek.

Some see this as a justifiable bout of karma.

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Yet, the request is already failing one key factor for a street renaming in NYC. According to ABC7NY, individuals honorees have to be deceased for two years prior to consideration for such a dedication. There is also a moratorium on street renamings in that part of New York City further complicated the issue.

Regardless of the viability of the street renaming, people are completely invested in this happening.

Credit: @EarlOfEnough / Twitter

It isn’t clear if the letter and petition will or will not be sent to Mayor Bill DeBlasio. He is running for the presidency right now and it might serve as a good way to grab some headlines if he pushes it through. Just imagine Donald Trump having to put “President Barack H. Obama” on his business cards, letterhead, and outgoing mail.

READ: Trump’s Building In Uruguay Is A Bust And It’s Not Even Completed Yet But American Taxpayers Did Pay A Price

Trump Has Made It More Difficult For Cubans To Seek Asylum So Many Are Being Forced To Settle In Mexico

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Trump Has Made It More Difficult For Cubans To Seek Asylum So Many Are Being Forced To Settle In Mexico

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Among the dilapidated buildings in Downtown Juárez lies Little Habana, a new restaurant emblazoned with Cuban flags, classic car art, and blasting reggaeton music providing the local growing community of Cuban asylum seekers a reminder of home. 

NPR recently reported about the new eatery that owner Cristina Ibarra opened four months ago once she noticed the burgeoning Cuban community that’s developing in the area.

She ran a taco business for 20 years before opening up a place that’s meant to evoke home for the refugees. 

“The Cubans leave their hotels and come to eat at the restaurant as if it were their own home,” Ibarra told NPR. “They stretch out, relax and talk. They share their experiences, their fears, their accomplishments … and that gives me tremendous satisfaction right now.”

The dishes are not interpretations but authentic recipes since all of her 14 employees are from the Caribbean island and advise her on menu items.

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Vamos a probar #ComidaCubana

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The menu includes traditional fare like ropa vieja, pork chunks in a tomato stew, and three different types of rice. Her efforts extend to the decor and interior as well with bright orange and yellow walls, art depicting a street scene in Cuba, and, naturally, the lone star amid the red, white, and blue of the Cuban flag hanging on the wall. 

The restaurant opening occurred around the time of a new policy introduced by the Trump administration nicknamed  “remain in Mexico” since it requires those seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed. Before the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy, those seeking asylum could reside in the U.S. while they waited. 

The number of Cubans at U.S. entry ports and categorized as “inadmissibles” by Customs and Border Protection continues to increase with more than 20,000 expected to seek entry this year.

In 2016 during the Obama administration,  the U.S. deported 64 Cubans but in 2018, the Trump administration deported 463 and this year that number will increase to 560, the LA Times added. 

So far this fiscal year, 6,312 Cubans have arrived in El Paso seeking asylum, whereas the previous fiscal year had 394, according to Custom and Border Protection figures 

“This is a terrible moment for Cuban migrants. There’s desperation and alarm because of the latest measures,” Yaimí González, a 41-year-old who fled Cuba three months ago, said to The Wall Street Journal.

“I just don’t see a solution to our situation,” González added. She now sells french fries at a stand in Ciudad Juárez making $10 a day, which barely pays for the guesthouse room that she shares with four Cuban male migrants, WSJ reports. 

Though MPP affects all asylum seekers, Cubans have historically received better treatment as they were viewed as political refugees.

For decades, Cubans caught at sea would be forced to return but if they stepped foot on U.S. soil they could stay and seek permanent residence after a year and a day. Obama ended the policy, known as “wet foot, dry foot” – in January 2017 and Trump has not reinstated it. 

Now the Trump administrations has banned U.S.-based cruise ships from traveling to Cuba, economically affected groups catering to tourists on the island, and he also imposed restrictions on sending money to the island. 

While they wait for a decision on their case, economics continue to plague Cuban migrants who find work where they can in order to pay for whatever housing they can find in what’s considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world. 

NPR spoke with Melba, 32, a waitress at Little Habana who arrived in April and told them that she’s found meaning in her work as she tends to fellow Cubans who, like her, eagerly await to find out if they’ll ever make it to the U.S. 

She and her husband rent a hotel room for about $12 a day and she earns about $20 per day plus tips at the restaurant, NPR reports. This is in stark contrast to her life in Brazil, where she worked as a doctor for nearly a decade as part of a Cuban government exchange program, the LA Times reports. When she was asked what she’d say to Trump if she could, she told the publication, “In Cuba, there is no freedom like you live.”

As the Trump administration continues to make it harder for Cubans and fellow asylum seekers to gain admission to the U.S. and the economy on their island deteriorates, places like Little Habana provide not only a taste of home but a respite from the inhospitable treatment they otherwise receive outside the restaurant walls. 

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