Trump Administration Reverses Major League Baseball’s Deal With Cuba

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Baseball player Brayan Pena (C) salutes children at the Latinoamericano stadium in Havana, December 16, 2015 (REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini).

The Trump administration has blocked a partnership between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Cuban Baseball Federation, which would have recruited 34 players from the island nation to join US and Canadian teams.

The four-month-old agreement, which was negotiated under the Obama administration, was intended to help major league clubs sign Cuban players at a release fee — or 25 percent of the player’s signing bonus — for the Federation. The player would have to pay Cuban income taxes on earnings overseas, NPR reported.

The deal was created to stem Cuban players from defecting and leaving the country with the help of human traffickers, and instead, help students return to Cuba during the major league’s offseason. An anonymous senior administration official told reporters, however, that the arrangement was “a form…

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