Saturday, January 21, 2006

Baseball, Cuba, and the War on Communism

Are we still fighting a "War on Communism"? Obviously, U.S. foreign policy is a bit convoluted on this subject. Ties with China grow ever closer and the "War on Terror" has clearly superseded concerns over communism. All that doesn't mean, however, that the U.S. doesn't have substantial economic sanctions aimed at our communist neighbor to the south.

U.S. sanctions against Cuba prohibit any U.S. person, wherever located, to engage in a transaction with a Cuban national or deal in goods in which a Cuban national has an interest. In theory these sanctions are so strict that a McDonald's in Paris would be prohibited from selling a hamburger to a Cuban national in Paris on vacation.

In reality, however...things often work much differently.

The U.S. Treasury Department recently gave approval for a "specific license" enabling Cuba to play in the World Baseball Classic to be played in March of this year!

Obviously, this is exciting for baseball fans because a "World Cup" of baseball actually requires ALL major players in the sport to be able to participate. Somehow, a WBC with Chinese Tapei and lacking Cuba would seem a bit empty.

I should note that even with the U.S. possessing an amazing roster of talent. It seems likely that the Dominican Republic will walk away as the winners (Manny, Ortiz, Pedro, Pujols, Tejada, Colon!) but every baseball fan has a lot to look forward to this March no matter who their team is!

1 comment:

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

The United States is currently Cuba's largest food supplier even though that trade is done through a provision that requires Cuba to pay up front in cash for their purchases.