The Cuban Baseball Federation issued a statement announcing that Cuba was excluded from attending the competition in Puerto Rico.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel denounced Sunday that United States pressure towards the Caribbean Confederation of Professional Baseball (CBPC) has prevented the participation of the winning team of the Cuban National Series in the next edition of the Caribbean Series.
"Cuban sport is also attacked by the empire," wrote Diaz-Canel on Twitter after the released statement from the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) denouncing the obstacles to attend the Caribbean Series due to concessions from the CBPC to the U.S.
The FCB issued a statement on Jan. 4 announcing that Cuba was excluded from attending the event to be held from Feb. 1 to 7 in Puerto Rico, due to pressure from the United States. According to the governing body of baseball in Cuba, the CBPC's justifications were "alleged difficulties with the time available to process U.S. visas," which are necessary to travel to Puerto Rico.
Although the Cuban National Series concludes at the end of January like in other national leagues, this does not constitute an impediment for other baseball delegations.
In this way, the CBPC Commissioner invited another delegation that will have its attendance guaranteed since it cannot "ensure the conditions" nor the presence of Cuba, although he urged the FCB to participate in the next edition of the Caribbean Series in 2021.
Commissioner Juan Francisco Puello Herrera said that "he understood that in no way are the Cuban people, its authorities, or its athletes the reason for this decision since the context is duly verified and beyond his control."
However, this decision is added to other actions by the CBPC Commissioner, who have hindered Cuba's full membership in that genuinely Caribbean organization, due to arbitrary pressure from the U.S. government.
Likewise, the statement from the Cuban Baseball Federation recalled that after the unjustified suspension of consular services at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, all the sports delegations from the island have had to go through the costly process of obtaining a U.S. visa through the consular services on a third country.
Back in April 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department scrapped a historic agreement between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Cuban Baseball Federation that would have allowed Cuban players to sign with U.S. teams without needing to defect.