When the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico meet in any sports encounter it’s always a major duel. Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic are two sister island nations who share centuries of cultural political and business interest. Very few know that in the late 1800’s Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba were organizing to defeat the Spanish colonial power and form a new country, named the Confederación Antillana.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Monroe Doctrine came into effect where the power of U.S. expansion led to the Spanish American war and to the transferring of Spain’s territories to the U.S. (that’s for another history lesson). All this to say that though the Confederación Antillana was never achieved, these three island nations still have a strong bond that though many try to divide pitting one against the other (the old divide and conquer tactic) there are many sectors that unite in many loving ways and sports is one of them. So much so that a Puerto Rican, Lino Rivera, manages the Dominican team.
Each island has a strong loud and loyal following based on their nationalistic love for their island, thus when they compete with each other there is a heighten fervor and energy that is felt by everyone present. When they are not competing with each other and playing against another country the majority of the other two other island fans are almost always rooting for their brother/sister island. However, when they compete against each other though it’s in that spirit of respect first and competition second, but with a zeal like two brothers in a sibling rivalry to prove in a competition, who is best?
Tonight’s game will be a duel that the majority of the inhabitants of both islands and many in Cuba (who is not participating) will be watching. The Hiram Bithorn stadium will be packed with one side of the stadium rooting for the home team, Puerto Rico, while the other half will be packed with the large number of Puerto Rican/Dominicans who live on the island and those who easily came over in a ferry, or short flight. Tonight’s game will be L O U D as the winner will represent the Confederación Antillana in the final championship game of this years Caribbean Series.
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