Washington authorizes Cuban players residing in the US to participate in the world baseball classic

HAVANA, Dec 24 (Reuters) – The United States granted a license for Cuban players residing in its territory to participate with the Cuban team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, the president of the Cuban Sports Federation, Juan Reinaldo Perez.

Cuba’s team will be the first since Fidel Castro’s Revolution in 1959 to include Cuban players residing in the United States.

Havana had said earlier this month that Washington was preventing some of its best players from joining its squad for the V World Classic, which will take place from March 8 to 21, because they needed a permit under the sanctions it applies. United States to the island decades ago.

“We have received a communication from the organizers of the Clásico announcing that the license requested by them was granted so that the Cuba team can register Cuban athletes on its roster, whether they are MLB (Major League Baseball) or not, who have residency in the United States,” said the Cuban federation.

And he specified that it was a “positive step, (but) it is necessary to point out that it was the only fair solution to the issue.”

Pérez added that now the details can be announced to finally integrate the Cuban team for the Classic, which will bring together the best 20 teams in the world.

Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío told Reuters earlier this month that the United States was blocking some of Cuba’s best players from the upcoming World Classic.

More than 650 Cuban baseball players have left for the United States and other countries in the last six years, according to the island’s media.

A Cold War-era embargo and sanctions on financial transactions prevent a Cuban player living on the island from signing with a US franchise without leaving his home country.

Cuba has scheduled its first game of the V World Classic in Taiwan, on March 8. The Cuban team won the silver medal at the 2006 World Cup in San Diego, United States.

(Reporting by Nelson Acosta; Editing by Ricardo Figueroa)


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Washington authorizes Cuban players residing in the US to participate in the world baseball classic