WBC: Cuba accuses the US of “obstructing” presence

HAVANA — The Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) accused this Wednesday the United States of “obstructing” its presence in the V World Classic of that sport, scheduled for March 2023.

The president of the FCB, Juan Reinaldo, stated in a statement that he has not yet obtained the individual permits for the Cuban Major League Baseball (MLB) players who confirmed their interest to be able to join the Cuba team.

“Our Federation has even disclosed to the fans and public opinion the names of the athletes who have confirmed their willingness to join the team, as have all the other teams,” he added, quoted in the specialized digital media Jit.

Andy Ibáñez (Detroit Tigers) and Yoan López (New York Mets) are some of the Cubans who confirmed their presence in the Cuban team for the Classic.

The FCB added that they do have the general team authorization to participate in the tournament, scheduled from March 8 to 21 in the cities of Taichung (Taiwan), Tokyo (Japan), Phoenix and Miami (United States).

However, he criticized the fact that the Caribbean country is the only one that needs such permission, something that he considers to be a response to “the hostile policy of that country against Cuba.”

“Nor had we been asked to deliver the list of the 50 athletes eligible to make up the team that will represent us in this important tournament, as was already done with the rest of the countries that qualified for the V Clásico,” said the president of the FCB.

“The discriminatory treatment against Cuba caused by the United States Government is unfortunate and the Cuban Baseball Federation firmly rejects it,” he stressed.

In 2018, the Cuban authorities reached an agreement with the MLB that allowed island players in the US league not to lose their residence on the island or their ties to the federation.

That signature was deactivated shortly after by then US President Donald Trump.

At the beginning of November, Pérez warned that “pressure and harassment” was being exerted against players in foreign leagues so that they would not play with Cuba in the V World Baseball Classic.

Baseball, declared Cultural Heritage of Cuba, is not going through its best moment on the island and is suffering an unprecedented exodus of players.

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WBC: Cuba accuses the US of “obstructing” presence