Cuba 1, U.S. imperialism 0
- From: periodistalibre@xxxxxxx
- Date: 27 Jan 2006 08:35:02 -0800
By Mike Gimbel
Published Jan 26, 2006 9:14 PM
In a stinging defeat for George W. Bush, the U.S. Treasury Department
on Jan. 20 granted a license for Cuba to participate in this March's
"World Baseball Classic." The Bush administration was thus forced
to back down on its threat to bar Cuba's participation when it became
clear that the event would collapse if the White House followed through
on its threat.
"The International Baseball Federation had said it would have pulled
its official sanction of the event had Cuba been excluded, a move that
likely would have caused other nations to pull out and likely would
have forced tournament officials to cancel the event."
(Washingtonpost.com, Jan. 20)
There are 112 nations with teams in the International Baseball
Federation (IBF). The Cuban national team had won the last 9 IBF
"Baseball World Cups," most recent ly held this past September in
the Netherlands. Cuban President Fidel Castro recently suggested that
the U.S. was afraid to face the Cuban team.
The "World Baseball Classic" is intended to substitute for the
Olympics, which decided to remove baseball from the 2012 Olympic games
because of a conflict with the U.S. Major League Baseball's spring
training. The 16-team tournament starts March 3 in Tokyo and March 7 in
San Juan, Phoenix and Orlando.
Cuba will play its first game March 8 in San Juan. The Puerto Rican
host federation had threatened to withdraw as host for the games if the
Bush administration denied Cuban participation.
WBC officials had even considered moving the games outside of the U.S.
(L.A. Times, Jan. 20), which would have been a huge embarrassment for
the Bush administration, especially since the original call for moving
the games outside the U.S. was made by Venezuelan President Hugo
Chávez, no favorite in the White House.
In addition, San Diego had invested a lot of money in order to host the
final games and stood to lose bags of cash if the tournament was
In a classic statement of "doublespeak" White House spokesperson
Scott McClel lan said "The president wanted to see it resolved in a
positive way." (AP, Jan. 20) Yeah, sure and we have a bridge to sell
The Bush regime, which represents a virulent anti-Cuba section of the
ruling class, makes it sound like it really wanted Cuba's
participation all the time rather than being determined to punish it
through continuing and hardening four decades of a U.S. blockade
This retreat by the Bush administration, just one month after
proclaiming that Cuba would not be allowed to participate in the games,
is a blow against U.S. imperialism in its attempt to bully Cuba and is
an example of the continuing weakening of U.S. imperialism's
worldwide geopolitical position.
Even before the WBC has started, the U.S. is the big loser and Cuba the
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