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US G'vt vetoes Cuban team from playing in WBC


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By Kevin Baxter and Frances Robles (Miami Herald)

 

Cuba's hopes of playing in the World Baseball Classic next spring have been dashed ?? the U.S. Department of Treasury denied Major League Baseball the license required for the island's team to participate, the Herald has learned.

 

The move came after Cuban-American members of congress urged Treasury to veto the license application and asked Major League Baseball to drop the Cuban team from the tournament.

 

"There's always the option of an appeal. Major League Baseball's official position is: we want Cuba to play,'' said Ronaldo Peralta, who runs Major League Baseball's office in the Dominican Republic.

 

The first-ever World Baseball Classic is an 18-day, four-round international tournament established by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. To be held in March, it will feature 16 teams of professional players from North America, Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa and Latin America.

 

Games will be played in Tokyo, Puerto Rico, Florida, Arizona and California.

 

But since the participating teams will reap financial benefit from the tournament, the Cuban team needs a special license from Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which enforces the U.S. embargo against Cuba.

 

Congress members on all sides of the political spectrum have waded into the issue.

 

New York's Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano, had urged the Cubans be allowed to play. "Let's keep politics out of this,'' he said in a statement.

 

Miami Republican Rep. Lincoln D?az-Balart wrote letters urging Major League Baseball to allow Cuban defectors already playing in professional teams to form a Cuban team and play in the tournament.

 

"I sincerely hope that Major League Baseball now authorizes free Cuban players, who are currently in the major and minor leagues, to represent Cuba in the tournament,'' he said in an email Wednesday.

 

In a letter last week to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, D?az Balart wrote: "It is difficult to believe that major league baseball would have invited a team from apartheid-era South Africa to participate in a tournament.''

 

And in a letter to Treasury Secretary John Snow, D?az-Balart said letting Cuba play in the tournament would "allow a state sponsor of terrorism to use U.S. currency to finance its machinery of oppression.''

 

MLB representatives earlier this week told the Herald they could not confirm that their bid on Cuba's behalf for the OFAC permit had been denied. Peralta said the news came late Tuesday.

 

Baseball officials in New York could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning. The Department of Treasury also refused to comment.

 

Paul Archey, vice president of MLB International and the point man for the World Classic, has said that the next option is replacing Cuba with either Nicaragua or Colombia, with Nicaragua the most likely choice.

 

But there are some two dozen Cuban defectors who have played in the majors who are ready to take Cuba's place, an idea the league has shunned because the players would need a national baseball federation representing them.

 

"We're probably the only players in the world who can't play ball for their own nation,'' said Chicago Cubs pitcher Eddy Oropesa. "We had to desert our countries and leave our families just to play baseball, and now we're in limbo.''

 

The league, several Cuban players and agents said, has ignored the Cuban defectors' plea to join the classic.

 

Cuban leader Fidel Castro "uses entertainment, athletics, academia, all facets of Cuban life as part of his propaganda. That is why so many athletes have defected to the U.S. whenever possible,'' congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said in an email to the Herald Wednesday. "Everything under Castro is political, even baseball.''

 

 

 

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It sucks they can't play, it would be better to get to laugh at Castro when his team failed. I do think they should allow the Cuban defectors to play as a team, something tells me they would put up significantly better results than a team from Nicaragua or Colombia. Needing sponsorship from a National Federation obviously hinders this, but it isn't exactly like this is just an everyday case here.

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Guest Moneyball

this is fking gay screw the U.S govement damn corrupt bastards they just know the U.S was gonna their asses kicked by us.

 

 

:lol :lol :lol

 

The ironies are hilarious.

 

:lol :lol :lol

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for gods sake the U.S youth team got their asses handed to them after getting killed by the Cuba.

 

for gods sake the U.S youth team got their asses handed to them after getting killed by the Cuba.

 

Our professionals > their professionals

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This is simply disgusting.

 

There's nothing "world" about this baseball tournament. It's just the US inviting teams to play in their territory.

 

A true fan of the game would enjoy watching the Cubans play, the kings of baseball.

 

I'm definitely not watching this half-assed excuse of a tournament.

 

I'll come back when I'm done puking...

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The Cubans (from Cuba) should play. They're one of the baseball powers. I would bet MLB will appeal the decision. There's still some hope they'll get to play.

 

Cuba has produced some great talents, but I think DR is the new king of baseball in Latin America.

 

DR is probably king of baseball in the entire world

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You guys actually think you'll be seeing a Cuban team with Major Leaguers? You won't be seeing Mike Lowell at third base, Rafael Palmeiro at first, Danys Baez in the pen with a rotation of Livan, El Duque, and Jose Contreras No sir. Kendry Morales won't be playing RF for this team. There won't be any Major Leaguers. This team is just a team that the pseudo-communist regime is tossing out on the field. Players that are lucky enough to have had the government choose they could play baseball.

 

While you might have had differing views on whether or not this team should have played, if you are a Cuban exile you should be ashamed of yourself if you find you're angry at this decision because you were going to root for the team. That is not your team taking the field wearing Cuba across their chests; it's Castros. Your team will be taking the field wearing "US" on their heads and "United States" on their chest. As much as you feel just as attached to your culture as you do to your location (I sympathize, I'm the same way) rooting for that team would be an absolute betrayal of your culture. You won't find a single 1st or 2nd Generation Exile rooting for them, why should you?

 

I still think they should have played so they could have lost (well, I wouldn't have minded that much if they had beaten Puerto Rico :shifty ) because that's what would have hurt Castro the most. But either way he was going to spin the inevitable defeat as much as he's going to spin this as the US being scared. Whatever, it's not a big deal as far as this Cuban-American is concerned.

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The Cubans (from Cuba) should play. They're one of the baseball powers. I would bet MLB will appeal the decision. There's still some hope they'll get to play.

 

Cuba has produced some great talents, but I think DR is the new king of baseball in Latin America.

 

DR is probably king of baseball in the entire world

 

I agree. I think they are.

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Guest Moneyball

Baseball is a sport. Why can't they keep politics out of it?

 

 

It's ALL about politics. Whatever country wins this is going to milk this up the arse. ALL international sporting events are about politics.

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This Cuban American agrees with you 100%

 

It's amazing how blind some people are.

 

I would like to see the cubans that are playing pro ball (Livan, Baez, alex sanchez :lol , etc) field a team. that would be pretty cool and would be another f*** you to castro.

 

anyway, nice post Juanky

 

You guys actually think you'll be seeing a Cuban team with Major Leaguers? You won't be seeing Mike Lowell at third base, Rafael Palmeiro at first, Danys Baez in the pen with a rotation of Livan, El Duque, and Jose Contreras No sir. Kendry Morales won't be playing RF for this team. There won't be any Major Leaguers. This team is just a team that the pseudo-communist regime is tossing out on the field. Players that are lucky enough to have had the government choose they could play baseball.

 

While you might have had differing views on whether or not this team should have played, if you are a Cuban exile you should be ashamed of yourself if you find you're angry at this decision because you were going to root for the team. That is not your team taking the field wearing Cuba across their chests; it's Castros. Your team will be taking the field wearing "US" on their heads and "United States" on their chest. As much as you feel just as attached to your culture as you do to your location (I sympathize, I'm the same way) rooting for that team would be an absolute betrayal of your culture. You won't find a single 1st or 2nd Generation Exile rooting for them, why should you?

 

I still think they should have played so they could have lost (well, I wouldn't have minded that much if they had beaten Puerto Rico :shifty ) because that's what would have hurt Castro the most. But either way he was going to spin the inevitable defeat as much as he's going to spin this as the US being scared. Whatever, it's not a big deal as far as this Cuban-American is concerned.

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You guys actually think you'll be seeing a Cuban team with Major Leaguers? You won't be seeing Mike Lowell at third base, Rafael Palmeiro at first, Danys Baez in the pen with a rotation of Livan, El Duque, and Jose Contreras No sir. Kendry Morales won't be playing RF for this team. There won't be any Major Leaguers. This team is just a team that the pseudo-communist regime is tossing out on the field. Players that are lucky enough to have had the government choose they could play baseball.

 

While you might have had differing views on whether or not this team should have played, if you are a Cuban exile you should be ashamed of yourself if you find you're angry at this decision because you were going to root for the team. That is not your team taking the field wearing Cuba across their chests; it's Castros. Your team will be taking the field wearing "US" on their heads and "United States" on their chest. As much as you feel just as attached to your culture as you do to your location (I sympathize, I'm the same way) rooting for that team would be an absolute betrayal of your culture. You won't find a single 1st or 2nd Generation Exile rooting for them, why should you?

 

I still think they should have played so they could have lost (well, I wouldn't have minded that much if they had beaten Puerto Rico :shifty ) because that's what would have hurt Castro the most. But either way he was going to spin the inevitable defeat as much as he's going to spin this as the US being scared. Whatever, it's not a big deal as far as this Cuban-American is concerned.

 

 

Perfect. This is why you're the best poster on MB.com, Juanky.

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While you might have had differing views on whether or not this team should have played, if you are a Cuban exile you should be ashamed of yourself if you find you're angry at this decision because you were going to root for the team. That is not your team taking the field wearing Cuba across their chests; it's Castro's. Your team will be taking the field wearing "US" on their heads and "United States" on their chest. As much as you feel just as attached to your culture as you do to your location (I sympathize, I'm the same way) rooting for that team would be an absolute betrayal of your culture. You won't find a single 1st or 2nd Generation Exile rooting for them, why should you?

 

 

Who made you the definitive authority on what constitutes staying loyal to your culture? People should free to make up their minds about this without being accused of "betraying their culture" or "being ashamed of themselves." This is what happens among black Americans like that douche bag in Philadelphia who had the nerve to question Donovan McNabb's "blackness" in the Philadelphia Sun. It's not cool when they do it and it's not cool when others do it either.

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It sounds like the biggest objection revolves around the financial gain that Cuba could potentially reap.

 

Fine.

 

Give Cuba the option to play for free. Let MLB pick up the tab for transportation, room and board. Do not give a Cuban representative a single penny. They can have all of their travel arrangements done by the Florida Marlins staff, for example, and be given a meal ticket that can be used for nothing but food in the hotels of wherever they are staying.

 

THEN - put them up in the nicest freaking rooms in the United States. Lavish these people with our generosity and good will. Feed them fillet mignon and lobster tails. Show them that there is a world outside of oppression and that they have friends here.

 

THAT would be the ultimate bitch-slap to Castro. I wouldn't even care if the Cuban team beat the US team 43-0.

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While you might have had differing views on whether or not this team should have played, if you are a Cuban exile you should be ashamed of yourself if you find you're angry at this decision because you were going to root for the team. That is not your team taking the field wearing Cuba across their chests; it's Castro's. Your team will be taking the field wearing "US" on their heads and "United States" on their chest. As much as you feel just as attached to your culture as you do to your location (I sympathize, I'm the same way) rooting for that team would be an absolute betrayal of your culture. You won't find a single 1st or 2nd Generation Exile rooting for them, why should you?

Who made you the definitive authority on what constitutes staying loyal to your culture? People should free to make up their minds about this without being accused of "betraying their culture" or "being ashamed of themselves." This is what happens among black Americans like that douche bag in Philadelphia who had the nerve to question Donovan McNabb's "blackness" in the Philadelphia Sun. It's not cool when they do it and it's not cool when others do it either.No one did. But, seeing as Cubans who are in the United States are here because they are opposed to the government in Cuba for various reasons, it'd be a little hypocritical to turn around and root for the government's team now wouldn't it?

 

Big difference between that and throwing around stereotypes like is the McNabb-NAACP case. I'd say anyone of Cuban descent is a lot more qualified to speak on this matter than an NAACP area leader on football.

 

And Yankeefan, that's something that I wouldn't mind. Playing games in the US and abroad is how Cuban players have encountered other cultures and then defected because of it. Right now even there's five players missing from the national team, I forgot where they defected but it was very recent.

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