In a move that can only be described as Trump on his Trump-shit again, President Trump, or “Great Leader” as he’s called in his white nationalist meetings at Mar-a-Lago, has overturned an Obama administration decision to allow Cuban players to join Major League Baseball teams without defecting.
Mostly because the president of the United States hates former President Obama and brown people, Donald Trump has decided that the “Cuban Baseball Federation is too closely aligned with that country’s sports ministry,” NBC News reports.
The Trump administration has worked overtime in undoing all of Obama’s legacy while in office and this latest move is based on some bullshit ruse about danger and Cuba, which still doesn’t have decent Wi-Fi.
“Major League Baseball has been informed of the dangers of dealing with Cuba,” a senior administration official told NBC News.
From NBC News:
The move comes just months after MLB and the Cuban Baseball Federation reached a deal at the end of 2018 to facilitate Cuban baseball players joining U.S. teams without having to defect, as had been the case in years past.
The U.S. economic embargo on Cuba prohibits Americans from doing business with the Cuban government, so the MLB deal relied on a ruling issued during the Obama administration that held that the Cuban Baseball Federation is not run by the government on the communist-run island.
Now the Trump administration is undoing that ruling, meaning that any agreements for Cubans to play on U.S. teams will require specific licenses from the Treasury Department exempting them from the prohibition. It’s unlikely the Trump administration would move quickly to grant those licenses.
Hard-line critics of the Cuban government, such as Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, have been ramping up pressure over the issue since Cuba earlier this month released the list of the first group of Cuban players who are eligible to sign direct contracts with MLB teams. There were 34 players on that list.
The MLB, the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to NBC News’ requests for comment on Monday.
The Obama-era policy was enacted to prevent Cuban players from having to defect and declare U.S. residency in order to join an MLB team. NBC News noted that, in many circumstances, defecting. came with organized crime groups and risk of violence.
“The MLB deal with Cuba solved a horrible human trafficking problem,” said James Williams, who runs the group Engage Cuba, which promotes closer ties between the U.S. and the island, according to NBC News. “By breaking that deal, the White House now owns this and exposes Cuban players to human rights abuses.”
And the White House doesn’t care because those affected by this are Cuban.