Baseball in Cuba has a long history, as organized league-play dates to 1878 (roughly the same time as U.S. baseball). ... Before Cuba’s revolution in 1959, professional baseball in Cuba baseball was closely associated with professional baseball in the U.S.. For example, many MLB teams played exhibition games or their entire spring training schedule in Cuba. The best (white) Cuban players played in the major leagues, Americans often played for Cuban teams, and major league players would often play in Cuba’s winter league.
Since the [triumph of the]revolution, Cuban officials have characterized professional sports in the U.S. as a "capitalist perversion of athletics" [and have] sought to remake Cuban baseball reflecting the values of the revolution.
The national team engages in international tournaments, such as the Pan Am Games, the IBA World Championships, the Intercontinental Cup, and the Olympic Games, [and] has won the vast majority of international baseball tournaments it has entered since the revolution.
-- Dr. Katherine E. Baird