The position of the recently born Association of Cuban Professional Baseball Players, along with the intention of creating an Independent Team Cuba for the 2023 World Baseball Classic, has been rejected on several platforms from within the Island.
The organization, based in the city of Miami, has taken steps to unify the Cuban players who live and play outside the control of INDER and the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB), and have expressed their interest in taking a legal path to fulfill one of their main dreams.
It wasn’t until last Tuesday, after the approval of a new President for the FCB, who happens to be Juan Reinaldo Pérez Pardo, the same person who was running the Baseball National Commission (CNB) and will now have dual responsibility, something that hadn’t happened for almost ten years, when the late Higinio Vélez was released from his Commissioner job and left solely as the FCB President, that they released an official stand on the topic. The sports diary JIT published a note that we reproduce below:
Havana–Today, the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) has rejected the purposes by the Association of Cuban Professional Baseball Players, recently formed in Miami, Florida.
Due to the importance of the document released to the press, JIT reproduces it fully:
PRESS RELEASE OF THE CUBAN BASEBALL FEDERATION
The Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) has learned through several media outlets about the creation of a self-proclaimed Association of Cuban Professional Baseball Players (CPBP).
This organization, recently announced in the city of Miami, has admitted that its main goals are political and not sports-related, and one of its first actions consists of putting pressure on Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to usurp the right that legitimately belongs to the Cuban Baseball National Team for the upcoming 2023 World Baseball Classic.
This purpose is an attack on the rules to participate in international sports events, and the with the unfortunate attempt to present arguments, they deliberately ignore certain truths, which are very well-known by the rulers of such operation, with very open political and economic interests.
We only need to go to Article 19.2 (Chapter 5) of the STATUTES of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) to prove how illegitimate such an attempt is:
“WBSC Full Members are the only authorities in each country to select their National Team and have the exclusive right to represent the country or territory name, flag and colours.”
With such manoeuver, the ACPBP is focused in ignoring that the World Baseball Classic is not separated from the WBSC and that Cuba, with support from the FCB, attends since its official version, played in 2006, and has a presence secured under such rules for the 2023 installment, due to its own results.
Responding to anti-Cuban sectors whose job is to manipulate and divide, the main spokespersons of the ACBP intend to avoid referring to the main reasons why there hasn’t been a mutually beneficial relationship between the FCB and MLB.
In that aspect, it is necessary to remember that many of the spokespersons of the ACPBP are the same people who attacked the Agreement signed by the FCB and MLB, which was intended to guarantee a regular flow of Cuban players to that circuit and start other actions of mutual interest.
It is fair to remember that while there was a massive support for the possibility of having our athletes receive the main treatment allotted to the other foreign nationals to get to MLB, most of those who now support the intentions of the ACPBP spoke against the agreement, without taking into account who the beneficiaries would be.
Luego, aplaudieron públicamente la irracional decisión del gobierno de Trump de inhabilitar el Acuerdo, desentendiéndose de lo que significaría, más allá de lo deportivo como contrapartida a la emigración ilegal, el tráfico de personas y otros riesgos contra la vida de sus compatriotas.
No fue la FCB la responsable de ese paso atrás, provocador de lógicas frustraciones cuando ya estaban diseñados otros y muchos de nuestros principales talentos identificaban una vía segura para poner a prueba sus aspiraciones.
Pero la ACPBP omite esos y otros hechos cuando nos acusa de trato discriminatorio hacia quienes juegan en la MLB y falta a la ética más elemental cuando anuncia al mundo su propósito ilegal de usurpar el rol asignado a nuestra federación.
We ratify the decision of maintaining a constructive and respectful dialogue with players from our country who currently are in other circuits, including the MLB itself.
We will continue to work to facilitate the return of athletes to our National Series and the presence of some of them in the national team, like the one that participated in the Americas Olympic Qualifier. These and other players can be taken into account for the team we will form for the WBC.
In a country where baseball is part of national identity, the Cuban Baseball Federation will continue to be committed to the history of our sport and to its athletes in the defense of their rights.
Havana, April 12, 2022