TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Following a loss to Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in Miami, one player from the Cuban team did not board his plane back to Havana. Instead, reports say catcher Iván Prieto González defected from his home country.

According to reports by NBC Miami, Prieto chose to stay in the United States, rather than return to Cuba on Monday.

During the baseball events in Miami, a variety of Cuban exiles and other Cuban-Americans held public demonstrations against the Cuban government, protesting its policies, which they call oppressive.

“The repressors and these people that are coming to play baseball, disguised as repressors, disguised as baseball players, representing the worst dictatorship in this hemisphere for 64 years, are coming here to play baseball,” one protestor told NBC Miami. “That’s a big insult to Cubans.”

Prieto’s defection came following Cuba’s 14-2 loss to Team USA. According to Spanish daily news company MARCA, Prieto reportedly took his luggage and left his hotel with relatives after the loss.

Another report via tweet, from MLB reporter Francys Romero, said Prieto’s exit made him “the first player to leave the Cuban national team in a World Baseball Classic.” Romero said Prieto was picked up from the hotel by his brother.

No official statements from the Cuban government have been issued regarding the reported defection. As of this writing, it is unknown whether Prieto will apply, or be granted, political asylum in the U.S.