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Preventing U.S.-based Cuban baseball players from training for the 2023 World Baseball Classic in their home country may affect the performance of the Island's national team.
On Monday, Cuban authorities lamented that U.S.-resident national baseball players, who will participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, were prohibited from traveling to the Island, even if they win the tournament.
"It is discriminatory that the Cuban players, just because they have a residence in the U.S., cannot come to Cuba to train or celebrate, not even if we win the Classic," Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Ministry official Miguel Fraga said.
On Monday, organizers of the 5th World Baseball Classic edition, to be held from March 8 to March 21 in Asia and North America, informed that the license granted by the U.S. government for Cuban players resident in that country to join Cuba’s baseball team prohibits these athletes from traveling to the Island to participate in any action related to the contest.
In addition, the license establishes that none of the athletes will be able to participate in the Cuban team’s training and pre-preparation games and competitions as they will only be able to join their home country’s team by March 3.
#Cuba recognizes the accomplishments of Argentina as president of #CELAC in 2022, and their commitment to strengthen the organization. Under this mechanism of political concertation and integration, the 33 States of Latin America & the Caribbean can work toward common goals. pic.twitter.com/X8SKR6Iqut
Fraga stressed that these limitations affect the performance of the Cuban national team. "Any baseball fan knows that having a team working together from months before a competition is not the same as training together for the first time five days before it. Previous preparation allows coaches to identify and work on the weaknesses of their athletes," he said.
What the U.S.-based Cuban players will decide based on these limitations is still unknown. Cuba's Baseball Federation (FCB) promised that it will continue preparing its athelets for the Classic.
"These Cuban players, and thus the whole national team, are victims of irrational and politically motivated prohibitions. We reiterate our commitment to work to represent Cuba with dignity in the 2023 World Baseball Classic," the FCB stated.
During a meeting in Bogota, Colombian President Gustavo Petro asked U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken that Cuba be removed from the list of "States Sponsors of Terrorism." pic.twitter.com/GeWVSaTA8o