US Lawmakers Hail Baseball Agreement with Cuba

Washington, Dec 20 (Prensa Latina) United States Senator Patrick Leahy today celebrated the agreement reached between the U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB, in Spanish), calling the sport a bridge between the two nations.

The MLB and the FCB announced on Wednesday that they reached a historic agreement to normalize the contracting of Cuban players, which the 30 teams from the Major Leagues can start doing from 2019.

‘Baseball has always been a bridge, facilitating person-to-person connections and leading to larger agreements that can bring our countries closer,’ the Democratic legislator wrote in a statement.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake described the announcement as a ‘home run,’ and stressed that through this mechanism the island’s baseball players will not have to take risks to play in his country.

Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor said that from this agreement, Cubans ‘will be treated in the same way as other international players, and have the ability to pursue their dreams of playing baseball in the Majors without having to put their lives in danger.

The agreement allows any of the 30 Major League teams to sign Cuban players who are over 25 years of age and have at least six campaigns in the Cuban tournament, a condition similar to those established by federations of other nations, especially from Asia.

In addition, they will be able to collect their salaries and transfer them to the island.

The most important thing, however, is that they will be able to play on U.S. soil, without being discriminated against and without their professional ties being politicized, as has been the case for many years, according to the agreement.

In turn, it avoids human trafficking activities, which for a long time endangered the lives of more than one player, although there was no need to regret the loss of any of them.

U.S. media highlights MLB and FCB agreement. Newspapers such as The Washington Post, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, the websites of NBC News and CNN, and ESPN, among other organizations, echoed the news broadcast on Wednesday.

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