United States Permits Cuban Representation At WBC

Yoan Moncada with White Sox in 2019
Yoan Moncada with White Sox in 2019. Photo by Kyle Rivas/CSM/Shutterstock (10181072y)

Major League Baseball announced on Monday that the United States will permit Cuban MLB players to represent their nation at the World Baseball Classic next year. This comes after the U.S. granted a license to the Baseball Federation of Cuba (FCB).

In a statement on Saturday, the FCB stated that steps were being taken to enable Cuban players in the United States to represent their nation on the international stage. FCB President Juan Reinaldo Perez Pardo called the decision to grant a permit a “positive step”, adding that the FCB would have more information regarding Cuba’s WBC roster in the coming days.

The selection of each team’s roster will ultimately be left to each country’s national governing body. The list for each final 30-man roster is to be submitted by February 7, with the World Baseball Classic to begin on March 8.

Cuba has been home to an array of MLB stars, however, many have defected to the United States and become United States residents because Cuba’s communist government does not permit athletes to earn a paycheck. The defections have taken a toll on the Cuban national team’s recent performances, with the multiple medal-winning team missing out on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.