Havana, 25 December. Cuba has received a permit from the United States that will allow it to include baseball players who play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the national team participating in the V World Classic.
“We have received a communication from the organizers of the Clásico announcing that the license requested by them was granted so that the Cuban team could register Cuban athletes, whether from MLB or not, who have access to the United States resides in.”, reported the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) this Sunday in a note repeated by the Caribbean country’s state media.
The V World Baseball Classic will be held from March 8 to 21, 2023 in Taichung (Taiwan), Tokyo and the cities of Phoenix and Miami (United States).
Andy Ibanez (Detroit Tigers) and Yoan López (New York Mets) were the only Cubans to confirm their presence on Cuban rosters for the tournament.
The note, signed by FCB president Juan Reinaldo Pérez Pardo, “recognizes these gestures as positive steps” and states that “this was the only proper solution to this issue.”
The federation affirmed, “It is arbitrary and discriminatory to require the organizers of a sporting event to have a permit from the United States government to guarantee the participation of a country like Cuba.”
Remember that Cuba “is not only the founder of these competitions, but also earned its inclusion by qualifying like the other 19 teams participating in the V Clásico.”
“It is equally unfair that the Cuban athletes, because the ones we are going to call are Cubans, trained in our country and who want to represent their people despite all the pressure, are also unable to comply with their Rely on an authorization from the US government for his dream of playing with the country that saw him born”, Pérez Pardo confirmed.
He also commends the work of MLB and the World Baseball and Softball Confederations in their roles as organizers of the Classic.
Regarding the communication received from the organizers of the competition, he said that he would soon inform the details of the license granted to Cuba and in this regard, the FCB said that after that it will announce the pre-selection of the Cuban team.
In 2018, Cuban officials signed a historic agreement with MLB that allowed players from the island to sign professional contracts to play in the American Major Leagues without losing their residency on the island or their links with the federation. Gave permission.
That agreement was revoked in April 2019 by the administration of then-US President Donald Trump, alleging that the baseball federation was affiliated with the Cuban government and violated US trade law.
As early as last November, Pérez Pardo warned that “pressure and harassment” was being carried out against players in foreign leagues so that they could not play in the V Clasico with Cuba.
Baseball, declared a cultural heritage of Cuba, is not going through its best moment on the island and is experiencing an unprecedented exodus of players.