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MLB concedes Cuban participation in Caribbean Series.

The Baseball Confederation of the Caribbean confirmed the participation of a Cuban club team in the 2014 Caribbean Series, official daily Granma reported.

The tournament, scheduled for Feb. 1-7 on Margarita Island in Venezuela, will include the Cuban team from Villa Clara province--the national champions of the 2012-13 season, known as Azucareros--as a "guest."

The announcement comes after Major League Baseball told the Latin American organizers of the Caribbean Series in August that it would not cooperate with the 2014 tournament if a Cuban club team was included. MLB's consent is crucial since most of the Mexican, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican and Dominican club team players participating in the winter tournament play with MLB teams during regular season.

"With pleasure we are announcing that, once we get official documentation from the Baseball Confederation of the Caribbean, the Cuban Baseball Federation accepts to participate as guests in the 2014 edition," said national team Manager Higinio Velez in a press conference.

On Dec. 5, Joel Araujo, MLB's Latin America and international development manager, told ESPN that Cuba's participation in the tournament had a "special character," and that the Caribbean Baseball Confederation will have to apply with the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regarding Cuban participation on a year-to-year base.

Confederation officials previously insisted Cuba's participation would have to be permanent.

The 2015 Caribbean Series will be held in Puerto Rico, which may make Cuban participation more complicated, Araujo added.

Araujo said in October that his office filed an application with the U.S. government to verify that MLB is not in violation of U.S. sanctions against Cuba, and that a license was pending.

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Title Annotation:Major League Baseball
Author:Werner, Johannes
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:5CUBA
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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