FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Is Cuban Baseball a Threat to Our National Security?

by MANUEL R. GÓMEZ

Well, the title is a bit of hyperbole, but what is true is that, according to reliable reports in the Dominican press (Nathanael Pérez Neró, Diario Libre, Santo Domingo), the vice-president of operations of Major League Baseball (MLB) , Kim Ng, wrote in early August to the Caribbean Confederation with the arrogant ultimatum that the MLB “gave it one day to rescind the agreement with the Cubans,” or no players with MLB contracts would play in the Confederation-sponsored yearly Caribbean Series, a “world series” of Caribbean teams of great interest to Latin American baseball fans.  The Confederation had recently reached an agreement for Cuba to participate in this event for the first time in more than five decades. 

The Caribbean Series is a yearly tournament that brings together the powerhouse national baseball selections in the region—Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic—for a “world series” of the winter leagues from the Caribbean.  The Series can boast some of the best baseball in the world. Because a very high proportion of the players in it have US major league contracts (for example, more than 80% of the Dominicans), however, the threat effectively told the organizers that they had to throw Cuba out of the event, or those players would not be allowed to play.  And what reason did the MLB give? That the US embargo forbid the Cuban participation, and there allegedly wasn’t “enough time” to obtain the appropriate permits.   Astonishingly, the MLB letter also claimed that they did not not know about the accord until the last minute, despite multiple articles on the MLB’s own website reporting on the negotiations with Cuba as far back as February of 2012, and even an MLB.com article in early June that reported Cuba’s agreement to participate in 2013.  The truth is that no baseball fan on the planet was unaware that Cuba would be coming back to this professional series for the first time in five decades, and neither was the MLB.  It is a far safer bet to conclude that the MLB was told by US authorities to nix the Cuban participation, not that they “didn’t know about it in time.”

One doesn’t have to be a baseball fan to know that Cuban baseball talent would have added greatly to the quality, emotion and excitement of the series, yet it looks like the Cold War dinosaur embargo will keep the Cuban stars from playing, at least this year. Their participation would have been a dream come true for those who follow the sport, as I do.

I suppose I have to assume that the return of a Cuban baseball team to a professional tournament with MLB players must be considered by our authorities to constitute a threat to our national security, since not long ago the State Department persisted in the madness of classifying Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Perhaps those dangerous Cuban sluggers have been trained to direct their foul balls to hurt unsuspecting fans, or to use their bats for who knows what subversive terrorist purposes, and our taxes will go to pay our anti-terrorist experts to tail them carefully.  You go figure.

Manuel R. Gómez, a Cuban-American public health professional in Washington, DC, member of the Board of the Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA), and a member of Cuban-Americans for Engagement (CAFE).

More articles by:
November 22, 2017
Jonathan Cook
Syria, ‘Experts’ and George Monbiot
William Kaufman
The Great American Sex Panic of 2017
Richard Moser
Young Patriots, Black Panthers and the Rainbow Coalition
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Darkness
Lee Artz
Cuba Libre, 2017
Mark Weisbrot
Mass Starvation and an Unconstitutional War: US / Saudi Crimes in Yemen
Frank Stricker
Republican Tax Cuts: You’re Right, They’re Not About Economic Growth or Lifting Working-Class Incomes
Edward Hunt
Reconciling With Extremists in Afghanistan
Dave Lindorff
Remembering Media Critic Ed Herman
Nick Pemberton
What to do About Al Franken?
November 21, 2017
Gregory Elich
What is Behind the Military Coup in Zimbabwe?
Louisa Willcox
Rising Grizzly Bear Deaths Raise Red Flag About Delisting
David Macaray
My Encounter With Charles Manson
Patrick Cockburn
The Greatest Threats to the Middle East are Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman
Stephen Corry
OECD Fails to Recognize WWF Conservation Abuses
James Rothenberg
We All Know the Rich Don’t Need Tax Cuts
Elizabeth Keyes
Let There be a Benign Reason For Someone to be Crawling Through My Window at 3AM!
L. Ali Khan
The Merchant of Weapons
Thomas Knapp
How to Stop a Rogue President From Ordering a Nuclear First Strike
Lee Ballinger
Trump v. Marshawn Lynch
Michael Eisenscher
Donald Trump, Congress, and War with North Korea
Tom H. Hastings
Reckless
Franklin Lamb
Will Lebanon’s Economy Be Crippled?
Linn Washington Jr.
Forced Anthem Adherence Antithetical to Justice
Nicolas J S Davies
Why Do Civilians Become Combatants In Wars Against America?
November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Patrick Bond
Zimbabwe Witnessing an Elite Transition as Economic Meltdown Looms
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
Thomas Knapp
Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition
Binoy Kampmark
Trump in Asia
Curtis FJ Doebbler
COP23: Truth Without Consequences?
Louisa Willcox
Obesity in Bears: Vital and Beautiful
Deborah James
E-Commerce and the WTO
Ann Garrison
Burundi Defies the Imperial Criminal Court: an Interview with John Philpot
Robert Koehler
Trapped in ‘a Man’s World’
Stephen Cooper
Wiping the Stain of Capital Punishment Clean
Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail