MLB Prohibiting Players from Playing in Venezuelan League After Embargo

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 22, 2019

The Major League Baseball logo serves as the visitor's on deck circle before a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Indians Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

President Donald Trump's economic embargo on Venezuela will have an impact on Major League Baseball teams.  

MLB said in a statement that its players will not participate in the Venezuelan Winter League, per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal:

"MLB has been in contact with the relevant government authorities 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 Venezuelan 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."

Diamond and Kejal Vyas of the Wall Street Journal first reported that MLB has suspended player participation in Venezuela's winter league while seeking clarification on how to comply with the United States' embargo. 

Trump announced an executive order on Aug. 5 banning Americans from doing business with President Nicolas Maduro's Venezuelan government as a result of the ongoing political and economic climate in the country. 

Anti-government protests have been happening in Venezuela for months in the wake of Maduro claiming victory in the May 2018 election that was "widely seen as sham," per CNN's Ray Sanchez.

In the wake of the protests, Venezuela National Assembly leader Juan Guaido declared himself the country's acting president after deeming Maduro's administration illegitimate because of alleged irregularities in last year's election. 

Sanchez added the country has also experienced significant hardship that includes a lack of food and medicine due to an economy "in tatters" after long-term mismanagement throughout Maduro's presidency starting in 2013. 

Diamond and Vyas did note Venezuelan-born players are allowed to return to the country during the offseason. 

Players in MLB and the minor leagues often take part in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League over the winter. 

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