Now that the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has relented and issued a special license, Cuba will be allowed to play in the 16-team World Baseball Classic. For its part, Cuba said it will donate any profits to Hurricane Katrina victims. End of issue.
Not, however, if you’re Cuban-American Florida Sen. Mel Martinez. He now has taken up the cause of Cuba’s team not being “wholly representative of Cuba” because none of that country’s defectors will be permitted to play.
“If this is about baseball and not politics as Major League Baseball has suggested, then take the politics out of it and let Cuban-born players compete for Cuba,” said Martinez.
Presumably with a straight face.