Major League Baseball Bans Players From Playing in Venezuela During Offseason

Nick Kangadis | August 23, 2019
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Major League Baseball (MLB) will be adhering to President Donald Trump’s embargo against dictator Nicolas Maduro’s government in Venezuela, at least during the winter.

In a move announced in a statement on Thursday, MLB has officially banned “all affiliated players” from playing in the Venezuela winter league during the offseason this year.

The MLB statement said the following, according to ESPN:

MLB has been in contact with the relevant government agencies regarding the Executive Order issued by President Trump on Venezuela. MLB will fully adhere to the policies implemented by our government. With respect to the Venezuela Winter League, MLB will suspend its involvement in that league until it receives direction from the relevant agencies that participation by affiliated players is consistent with the Executive Order.

Like many other countries, the United States has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela. The Maduro-led government in Venezuela has reportedly killed thousands of its own people within the last six months to a year because of, as the United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet reported in July, a “resistance to authority.”

The Executive Order that MLB references in its statement refers to the Trump declaration that was released on August 5th titled,” “Executive Order on Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela.”

ESPN also reported that an unintended consequence of the ban could be retaliation by Maduro in the form of banning amateur players from Venezuela signing with MLB teams. There are currently 95 players who were born in Venezuela that have “logged major league time this season.”

The authoritarian Maduro regime has no one to blame for the situation they’re currently in but themselves.