Back in December, I wrote how the U.S. denied the Cuban baseball team into the U.S., Denied Entrance to the US for Possible Enjoyment of Financial Gain.

The week before Christmas, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, denied the Cuban Baseball Team a license to enter in the U.S. because the Bush administration had “concerns that Castro’s government could enjoy financial gain by participating.”

Looks like the Bush administration changed it’s mind and is now letting Cuba “play ball.”
However, it looks like there was more to than Castro enjoying some financial gain, according to Scott McClellan’s e-mail to The Associated Press:

“Our concerns were centered on making sure that no money was going to the Castro regime and that the World Baseball Classic would not be misused by the regime for spying.

Which was also repeated by the State Department. Sean McCormack, State Department spokesman, also echoing Bush’s reasons, said that the “initial rejection was based on concerns Cuban spies might accompany the team.”

SPYING???? This is coming from the President, who just happens to be spying on us? The same administration who had the Justice Department write a 42-page “rationale” for spying on us. Come on!! It looks like the country that the U.S. enjoys to bully around, has found some allies to defend it, and this time it was not Venezuela. It came from one of the United States’ territories, Puerto Rico.

The Bush administration had to cave in because this small U.S. territory, stood up to the Bush administration and caused a chain reaction that could have resulted denial of any future U.S. bids to host the Olympics. The Puerto Rican Baseball Federation told the International Baseball Federation it will back out of serving as a host city if Cuba was not allowed to participate.

“It’s my duty to inform you that Puerto Rico withdraws its availability to serve as host and headquarters of the World Baseball Classic in the year 2006. The reason for this decision is that the Treasury Department of the United States government has announced that it will deny the corresponding permission in violation of the Olympic regulations guaranteeing Cuba’s participation in the aforementioned event.”

This stand set off a chain reaction. The International Baseball Federation (IBAF), baseball’s world governing body, then informed the officials at the Major League Baseball they would not sanction the World Baseball Classic or the championships game which is planned in San Diego, unless the Bush administration allows Cuba to compete. Their withdrawal would have dealt a crippling blow to the tournament, and in the end affected every team involved in the tournament. And because the U.S. was dragging it’s feet, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had to step in and placed conditions on the U.S. for any future bids to host the Olympics. Jacques Rogge, IOC president, said “that any future U.S. bids to host the Olympics would have to ensure there would be no restrictions on participating nations.”

It also has to be noted, Cuba’s earnings will go to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and this was a decision from Cuba and not the United States.

Although Puerto Rico is not an independent country and is a territory of the United States, this is still very significant, because the territory stood up to the U.S. and defended Cuba. It is obvious that President Hugo Chavez continues to have an impact; not only in South America, but through out all of Latin American and the Caribbean, which includes Puerto Rico.

In Dec 2005, William Miranda Marin, mayor of Caguas, has urged Puerto Rican governor Anibal Acevedo Vila to sue the United States for “$100,000 million” for “damages suffered by the country.” He also stated that he thinks Puerto Rico should become a sovereign state.

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