14ymedio, Madrid, January 10, 2024 — The Cuban Government has embarked on a diplomatic struggle against a private competition and has enrolled in the task its ally, the Colombian Government, whose Ministry of Sport issued a statement on Tuesday in which it detaches itself from the Intercontinental Professional Baseball Series, which begins in Barranquilla on January 26 with the participation of FepCube, the Cuban-American team founded in Miami last year.
The Ministry reported yesterday in a joint statement with the Colombian Olympic Committee that the organizer of the event “of a private and invitational nature” is Team Rentería USA, so the tournament “is not organized by the Colombian Baseball Federation, nor is it part of the events of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation, the only organization endorsed by the International Olympic Committee.”
The statement indicates that Team Rentería USA sent a proposal to the Ministry to contribute to its financing, but the project was rejected for not having complied with the formal requirements
The statement indicates that Team Rentería USA sent a proposal to the Ministry to contribute to its financing, but the project was rejected for not having complied with the formal requirements. According to the Colombian rule, for this type of public-private collaboration to exist, plans must be submitted to the national sports federations, something that was not done in this case.
So far, the arguments of the Colombian Government are limited to the facts, but they end up taking a step to the political by ruling on the possibility that FepCube can compete using “the name, representation and national symbols of the Republic of Cuba, without the respective authorization of the competent body of the country.”
The response specifies that “they reject the actions and demonstrations of the Cuban Professional Baseball Federation” in its claim to make use of those elements “without having the recognition of the Colombian Government” or its sports authorities.
“The use of these symbols would be interpreted as a clear violation of the constitutional and sports rights of the Republic of Cuba,” says the statement, which concludes by making an exclusive and legitimate recognition of the Cuban Baseball and Softball Federation.”
The document has been disseminated by the official Cuban press, both sports and national, “because of its importance,” the media point out. The ruling party itself is confirmed as well as the main promoter of an event to which it is giving prominence precisely when it tries to detract from it.
The tournament will be the presentation of the FepCube team – if nothing prevents it – made up of exiled Cuban baseball players and competing with the nickname Patria y Vida
Team Rentería is a private company, founded in Colombia in 1989, in order to organize, market and develop professional baseball in the country. In its 35 years of life it has promoted different tournaments and events at the national level or with teams and private sports entities from Latin American countries and other parts of the world.
In the case of the Intercontinental Professional Baseball Series, heir to the Latin American Series that was played between 2013 and 2020, players from countries such as Japan and South Korea are now incorporated and will compete with Colombians, Americans, Curaçaoans and Cuban Americans until the first of February.
The tournament will introduce the FepCube team – if nothing prevents it – made up of exiled Cuban players and competing with the nickname Patria y Vida. The Cuban Government, visibly upset, has decided to deploy a campaign against the private group whom it has called “a monstrosity” and has not hesitated to carry out a diplomatic offensive, leading Colombia to pronounce on what should be a brief league between voluntarily associated entities.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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