The Central American and Caribbean Triathlon meet will kick off at Santa Maria beach on Friday with the participation of eleven nations except Puerto Rico, as the US anti-Cuban laws precluded its athletes from travelling to Havana.
The absence of Puerto Rican athletes overshadows to a certain extent the quality of the competition in which nearly 120 runners will try to get points to qualify for Beijing 2008 Olympics.
This is not the first time the US prevents Puerto Ricans from travelling to Cuba, clearly violating the Olympic Charter.
Delegations from Aruba, Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and host Cuba will compete in four groups divided into ages.
Central American and Caribbean Triathlon Union President Mario Rodriguez, also member of the International Triathlon Union, will be present in the competition.