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    Cuban players will soon be able to play in international Little League tournaments

    Mar 7, 2019
    A photo of Cuba's late leader Fidel Castro with the late Camilo Cienfuegos hangs at the site of a press conference announcing a new relationship between Cuban baseball and Little League International that will allow young Cuban players to participate in i
    PHOTO: AP

    ANDREA RODRIGUEZ


    HAVANA — Cuban baseball and Little League International said on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) that young Cuban players will soon be able to participate in international Little League tournaments.

    The agreement follows a deal between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation that will allow Cuban players to legally play professionally in the United States for the first time.

    The two organizations said that Cuba's programs for children between 4 and 12 will now be included in Little League's international programs, including the Little League International Tournament. The Cubans will have a chance to qualify at the Caribbean Region Tournament in Curacao in July.

    "It's encouraging for the family, for the children, for the coaches ... who with their work and effort will have a chance to represent Cuba in an event of this magnitude," said Higinio Velez, president of the Cuban Baseball Federation.

    Little League International said it would work with Cuba's baseball federation to provide support for things including tournament travel, field renovation and equipment such as shoes and uniforms.

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    "One of the most important things we've thought about ... is the value of developing friendly relationships through children who play baseball," said Little League President Stephen Keener, who traveled to Cuba to sign the agreement.

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    A photo of Cuba's late leader Fidel Castro with the late Camilo Cienfuegos hangs at the site of a press conference announcing a new relationship between Cuban baseball and Little League International that will allow young Cuban players to participate in i
    PHOTO: AP
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