Cuba willing to resume dialogue with Major League Baseball

Havana - The first vice-president of the Cuban Sports Institute (INDER), Raúl Fornés, affirmed this Thursday that Cuba is open to resume safe and legal dialogues on the signing of its players with franchises of U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB).

Fornés said that there is the possibility of including national baseball players in the negotiations, and that they could represent the island in international events.

"Sports in the Caribbean country is prepared to (re)negotiate a truncated pact and thus close a long cycle of desertions, risks and talent drain.  We have the willingness to reestablish an agreement that was signed, but never put into practice," Fornés said at a press conference held in Havana.

The Cuban Baseball Federation and the MLB commissioner's office signed an agreement in December 2018 that would have allow the island's players to play in the Major Leagues without renouncing their citizenship and through clauses similar to those established in the main professional sports leagues.

Among other objectives, the pact sought to help curb illicit activities such as human trafficking, which still puts the lives and physical integrity of many prospective Cuban baseball players at risk.

However, the agreement was cancelled in April 2019 by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, claiming that the Cuban government would obtain economic benefits from the clubs that hired the players.
 

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