Cuba to Play in World Baseball Classic
By ANNE-MARIE GARCIA
HAVANA (AP) - Cuba will participate in the upcoming World Baseball Classic in the U.S., a top sports official said Friday, confirming earlier remarks by President Fidel Castro.
Cuban Vice President Jose Ramon Fernandez, president of the island's Olympic Committee, dispelled confusion surrounding whether Cuba would attend the inaugural, 16-nation tournament in March.
"With respect to the World Classic, I adhere to the words of Fidel on the two occasions he spoke about (the event)," Fernandez told journalists, declining further comment.
A Panamian newspaper reported earlier this month that Castro said Cuba would play in the inaugural, 16-nation tournament in March. Before that, during a televised speech in Havana, the Cuban leader gave some the impression he was confirming Cuba's participation but he never referred to the World Baseball Classic by name.
Cuba is slated to be in Group C with Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico, with games to be played at San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium. It was not clear which Cuban players would comprise the island's team.