Cuba will make its debut against Curaçao in the Caribbean Series 2023

The Cuban team will make its debut against Curacao in the first game of the Gran Caracas 2023 Caribbean Baseball Series, in Venezuela, according to the island’s official media.

The calendar published this Thursday by the Professional Baseball Confederation of the Caribbean (CBPC) indicates that the said match will take place on February 2 at the new La Rinconada stadium, according to a note published on the sports portal Hit.

Now, until February 8, the Cuban representative will face the champions of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Panama on successive days.

The event, for the first time with eight castings, will have 32 matches in its program distributed between the aforementioned stadium and La Guaira, the text adds.

The first four places in the qualifying round (all against all) will advance to the cross semi-finals (1 against 4 and 2 against 3); the winners will go for the gold trophy and the losers for third place. This schedule, proposed by the organizing committee of the traditional event, was approved by the CBPC Assembly and the Confederation of Professional Players of the Caribbean (Conpeproca).

“We would like to congratulate the members of the organizing committee and the Venezuelan Baseball League for the enormous work they have done to organize a great Caribbean series,” said Juan Francisco Puello Herrera, commissioner of the CBPC, quoted by Hit.

With its foray into the Venezuelan capital, Cuba will return to these events after two years of absence and will do so with the champion of the I Cuban Baseball Elite League, a tournament that is currently taking place after a long start and after intense controversy between specialists and amateurs, even before the first pitch is thrown.

The news of this return was announced last May, and was announced during a press conference held online from Santo Domingo by the Dominican Juan Francisco Puello, president of the CBPC.

Baseball: Cuba will return to the Caribbean Series in 2023

In addition to being a founding member of the Caribbean event in 1949, Cuba exercised a clear dominance in its first editions, until its last participation in 1960 following the cancellation of professional sports -including baseball- in the country. In this stage, the representatives of the island won seven crowns, five of them consecutively.

In the edition held on the island of Margarita, in 2014, the CBPC sent an invitation to the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB), which was then represented by the team Azucareros de Villa Clara, champions from the previous national series.

The Vegueros team from Pinar del Río won the 2015 edition held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and from there the tournament had the presence of Cuban teams as guests until the 2019 version, held in Panama, where the loggers of Las Tunas finished in second place.

At the 2020 Caribbean Series, held again in Puerto Rico’s capital, Cuba was substituted due to “alleged difficulties with the time available to process U.S. visas needed to travel to Puerto Rico.” FCB said at the time.

This decision generated a strong climate of tension between the highest management of baseball in Cuba, then led by the late Higinio Vélez, and the entity led by the Dominican Puello, nuanced by strong questioning on both sides. .

The situation seems overcome and the return of Cuba would show that the two parties have decided to turn the page and work for the island to once again become a full member of the Caribbean organization, an aspiration reiterated in recent years.

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