Trump Administration Rejects MLB/Cuba Posting Agreement

Posted April 11, 2019

Major League Baseball defended the plan.

"President Donald Trump is a golf guy, not a baseball guy".

The Trump administration blocked an agreement that would have let Cuban baseball players come to the US without having to defect, saying the deal would ultimately benefit the Cuban government. "We believe that this agreement accomplishes that objective and will allow the next generation of Cuban players to pursue their dream without enduring numerous hardships experienced by current and former Cuban players who have played Major League Baseball".

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US law prohibits virtually all payments to the Cuban government under the 60-year embargo on the island but MLB argued the Cuban Baseball Federation, which oversees all aspects of the sport on the island, was not formally a part of the Cuban state.

The inspiration for the move likely came from Sen. He called on the State Department to review the 2016 ruling and asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo personally to rule that the Cuban government controls the island baseball league and therefore nullify the deal. This is not just factually incorrect it is a farce & I am working to get it overruled as soon as possible. The player would also have to pay Cuban income taxes on foreign earnings. This is an excellent piece that describes why the deal between regime in #Cuba & MLB is both illegal & immoral.

"The MLB deal with Cuba solved a frightful human trafficking problem", Williams said as quoted by NBC News. The present administration determined that "a payment to the Cuban Baseball Federation is a payment to the Cuban government", effectively shutting the avenue for making a deal within the existing legislative and regulatory systems.

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"The deal with Major League Baseball is an attempt to stop human trafficking, encourage cooperation and elevate the level of baseball", the Cuban Baseball Federation said on Twitter. Last week, the Cuban federation announced the first list of players who would be authorized to play under that agreement.

Had this agreement been in place previous year, it would have meant about US$2.5 million paid to Cuban baseball in release fees. "Any contrary idea is false news". Major League Baseball teams would have been able to sign Cuban players who are 25 or older and who have at least six years of experience in FCB without the consent of the FCB. Marco Rubio, who vowed to fight the deal between MLB and the Cuban Baseball Federation. "The politically motivated attacks on the deal hurt players, their families, and fans".

The administration pushed back, accusing the Major League Baseball of entering into an agreement that would essentially "institutionalize human trafficking" with the Cuban government since the government would receive a portion of future contracts. Cuban MLB players who had defected include Yasiel Puig of the Cincinnati Reds, Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets and Jose Dariel Abreu of the Chicago White Sox - all of whom have signed multi-year, multimillion-dollar contracts.

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