By Jerry Diaz
Cuba returned to the Caribbean Series after decades of absence in 2014. The wait lasted 53 long years in which no team from the Biggest Island of the Greater Antilles attended the great regional baseball event.
From that date it participated in six straight editions (2014-2019), and only as an invitee, even lifting the trophy with the Vegueros de Pinar del Río in San Juan 2015. Precisely, for the tournament in the Puerto Rican capital in 2020, Cuba stopped attending due to “negligence of an official of the Cuban Federation”, as explained at the time by Juan Francisco Puello, President of the Caribbean Professional Baseball Confederation.
In 2014, the return was marked, among other factors, because the venue would be Venezuela, in Margarita Island. After nine years, it is expected that the Caribbean classic will return to that country with what has been presented as “Gran Caracas 2023”. It will be played at the Estadio Universitario in the capital and the Forum La Guaira.
Once again, with the venue in Venezuela, it is presumed that Cuba may return as a guest. According to sources reported to the website El Extrabase, the upcoming tournament will be held with eight teams. The four full members (Mexico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico) and four invitees. Colombia and Panama would repeat, Curacao would debut and Cuba would return.
Última hora: La Serie del Caribe en Venezuela de 2023 contará con la participación de dos representaciones más: Cuba 🇨🇺 y Curazao 🇨🇼.— El Extrabase ⚾️ (@ElExtrabase) May 10, 2022
Serán un total de ocho equipos en el torneo.
Fuente le ha informado a #ElExtrabase. pic.twitter.com/tSTQwXBf3b
So far, the Cuban Baseball Federation has not commented on the issue and the official press said through JIT: “The new board of the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) has expressed its intention to return to the tournament, after its departure in 2020 due to strong tensions with the CBPC”.
Nothing is ever certain with Cuba, even if it is officially announced. There we have the experience of 2020 when it seemed that they would participate and at the last minute they used visa issues as an excuse. For the time being, the possibility of a Cuban team in Caracas 2023 seems closer.