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Cuba tight-lipped on baseball plans.

Cuba has received an invitation to play in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, but wouldn't say whether it plans to participate.

Jose Ramon Fernandez, a Cuban vice-president and head of the island's Olympic Committee, told AP that officials received an invitation from Major League Baseball to compete in the second installment of the international tournament.

MLB and its players' association jointly ran the first edition of the WBC last year, when Japan beat Cuba 10-6 in the final at San Diego. While a formal decision hasn't been made, it appears the second WBC will be played in March 2009.

Details are likely to be announced at the winter meetings Dec. 3-6 in Nashville. The tournament field is expected to remain at 16 teams.

The issue is a sore spot with political undertones for Cuba. In late 2005, the Treasury Department denied Cuba a permit to participate after Fidel Castro had personally confirmed his country's team would accept American invitations to play.
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Publication:CubaNews
Date:Dec 1, 2007
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