Blockade against Venezuela extends to the sports field

Caracas, August 27 (Prensa Latina) The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US government currently affects the most sensitive spheres of life in Venezuela and extends its reach to the sporting arena.

In a decision that fully adhered to Washington’s hostile policy against Caracas, US Major League Baseball (MLB) banned its affiliated players from participating in the Venezuelan baseball league, one of the Caribbean’s most important winter classics.

Since August 5, Donald Trump’s administration has escalated its onslaught against the South American nation by activating a total blockade of all assets and interests of the Venezuelan government under US jurisdiction.

The punitive action also authorized the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on any persons who continue to provide support to President Nicolas Maduro, and restricts the entry into the United States of sanctioned persons.

In the opinion of analyst Franco Vielma, the MLB’s stance – linked to Washington’s aggressive policy – demolishes the narrative that the measures are directed solely against the Bolivarian Executive, and do not affect the people or other sectors of society.

The intensification of the blockade against Venezuela has now impacted one of the most well-known private relationships in Venezuela, that between the MLB and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, the Misión Verdad expert stressed.

Although the MLB asked the US government for an express exception to continue its activity in Venezuela, in this case the scope of the coercive and unilateral measures is evident, Vielma said.

Evaluating the possible repercussions of the decision announced by the MLB, the Commissioner of the Caribbean Confederation of Professional Baseball, Juan Francisco Puello, considered it a ‘real shame that politics and sport are confused in this way.’ 

Venezuela denounced in January 2019 another case of the politicization of sport, when the city of Barquisimeto was stripped of the right to host the Caribbean Series, which finally took place in Panama, due to pressure from the MLB.

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