MLB goes to bat for Cuba on classic
Friday, December 16, 2005
NEW YORK -- The U.S. government is keeping Cuba out of the inaugural World Baseball Classic, citing the standing embargo against the communist island nation.
The Treasury Department told Major League Baseball of its decision Wednesday, according to Pat Courtney, a spokesman for the commissioner's office.
The sport's first World Cup-style tournament was jointly organized by the commissioner's office and the players' union. It includes 16 teams and is scheduled for March 3 to 20 in the United States, Puerto Rico and Japan.
Organizers will work to have the decision reversed, said Paul Archey, the senior vice president of Major League Baseball International, and Gene Orza, the chief operating officer of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
A permit from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control is necessary because of U.S. laws governing certain commercial transactions with the Fidel Castro-controlled nation.
Archey and Orza said they "will continue to work within appropriate channels in an attempt to address the government's concerns."
-- The Associated Press