Sport: Venezuela Baseball League Seeks Way Around U.S. Sanctions - - PressFrom - US
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Sport Venezuela Baseball League Seeks Way Around U.S. Sanctions

04:55  19 october  2019
04:55  19 october  2019 Source:   online.wsj.com

Adobe is cutting off users in Venezuela due to US sanctions

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Venezuela ’ s baseball league is looking for a way around sanctions that prompted Major League Baseball to ban its players from winter ball in the The eight teams that make up the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League , or LVBP, agreed in a private meeting on Sept. 17 to sever all financial

Venezuela ’ s oil company has found ways to weather sanctions aimed at ousting President Nicolás Maduro. Many in Venezuela fear that the sanctions imposed last week will push the already suffering nation of about 30 million people into an even greater humanitarian catastrophe.

Venezuela’s baseball league says it has cut all sponsorship ties to its country’s government institutions blacklisted by the U.S. in an attempt to find a way around sanctions that prompted Major League Baseball to ban its players from winter ball in the South American country.

a baseball player holding a bat on a field© Luis Acosta/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/Getty Images

The eight teams that make up the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, or LVBP, agreed in a private meeting on Sept. 17 to sever all financial relations with Venezuela’s central government, according to a league resolution that hasn’t been made public and was seen by The Wall Street Journal.

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MARACAIBO, Venezuela (Reuters) - While playing for Venezuela in baseball ’ s Little League World But Salcedo said his trip to the United States — whose government is seeking to oust socialist Venezuela ’ s Youth and Sports Ministry and the government’ s Information Ministry did not respond to

Major League Baseball is banning players from participating in the Venezuelan Winter League in one of the first public repercussions of new U . S . economic sanctions Venezuela ’ s state-owned oil company, known as PDVSA, has been a major sponsor of the nation’ s professional baseball league .

The accord calls on teams to remove, from jerseys and stadium billboards, the logos of what had been among LVBP’s biggest sponsors: state energy monopoly Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. and the Venezuelan Economic and Social Development Bank.

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Both institutions have been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department as part of the U.S.’s ongoing effort to oust authoritarian leader Nicolás Maduro from office. By cutting relations, Venezuelan league officials hope to quell MLB’s concerns of running afoul of U.S. government policy. In August American teams prohibited players from participating in Venezuela’s Winter League, a popular training ground and income source for major- and minor-league players during the U.S. off-season since the early 1950s.

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Baseball in Venezuela originates with the early twentieth century cultural influence of United States oil companies, and is the country' s leading sport. The Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (VPBL) is a winter league that was established in 1945, with Leones del Caracas the leading team

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“Venezuela has produced some of the best players in the world, and we will do all we can to keep our 73-year history alive,” a Venezuelan league spokesperson said in a statement Friday. Venezuela’s league was supposed to kick off Oct. 17 but has been delayed until Nov. 5. Its leaders were in Washington for meetings this week to seek clarity from the U.S. government and the MLB over how to restore the link between both nations’ ball leagues.

Under the league agreement, the LVBP said it found a way to cut 50% of its budget from the previous year. The addition of small private sponsors for teams will try to fill the hole left by the state companies that had made up about 30% of financing for the LVBP last year.

The new measures mean the Venezuelan season starts next month with the number of games each team will play slashed to 42 from 63. The quota of foreign players required by each team was lowered to six from eight. MLB players who drew big crowds in Venezuela will be replaced by pros from independent Venezuelan leagues.

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The Venezuelan Professional Baseball League or Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional in Spanish (LVBP) is the highest level baseball league in Venezuela .

Venezuela -related Sanctions . Page Content. OFAC issues interpretive guidance on specific issues related to the sanctions programs it administers. These interpretations of OFAC policy are sometimes published in response to a public request for guidance or may be released proactively by OFAC in

MLB’s ban was a devastating blow for baseball-crazed Venezuela. It was the latest hit for a country reeling from economic depression and spreading hunger that has pushed four million refugees to neighboring nations. The LVBP says that nearly 80% of its players also play in the U.S., which has more than 1,000 Venezuelan nationals at all levels of play, second only to the Dominican Republic.

The U.S. major leagues had 68 Venezuelans on 28 teams across the league at the start of the current season.

Both MLB and the Venezuelan league have sought clarification from the U.S. Treasury whether reestablishing ties would be a sanctions violation but haven't gotten a response, according to people familiar with the matter.

“We received the resolution yesterday and are evaluating it with our counsel to determine next steps including seeking further advice from OFAC,” a MLB spokesman said, referring to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The U.S. Treasury didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Venezuelan baseball league’s predicament reflects the challenges for companies and average Venezuelans alike in the wake of the U.S.’s heavy pressure campaign against the Maduro regime. Frequently modified punitive measures have forced many entities to take drastic actions to cut ties with Venezuela and minimize risks.

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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration placed new sanctions on Venezuela on Monday, seeking to block President Nicolás Maduro from selling off government debt to enrich himself the day after he claimed victory in what the United States government called a “sham” election in his

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Earlier this month, Venezuelans were enraged as Adobe and Oracle cut off customers of their software products in the country.

Julio Márquez, a political activist and baseball fanatic, said he has watched with a heavy heart as the quality of the game at the Nueva Esparta Stadium on his home island of Margarita—once a thriving tourist attraction—has plummeted in recent years due to the disaster he blames on two decades of government corruption and mismanagement.

He said he understood the U.S. league’s concern over doing business with their Venezuelan counterparts and had little hope that conditions would improve even if the leagues and the U.S. government were to reach an agreement.

“You can’t have night games because there are no lights. There’s no running water, nor security and the cost of entry is just too high,” Mr. Márquez said. “Who’s going to assume all of these costs? The quality of the baseball is still going to be bad.”

Nevertheless, the resolution drafted by Venezuela’s league represents a rare move to separate themselves from an authoritarian government that has exerted control over everything from media to sports organizations. Calls to  Venezuela’s Ministry of Youth and Sports went unanswered.

For Venezuelan regime officials, the continuation of the nation’s top sport has been key in their efforts to display a sense of normalcy in a fast-deteriorating country. Between street demonstrations and a couple of coup attempts in recent years, Mr. Maduro at times appears on state television playing ball with his aides to show they remain comfortably in control.

“We’re going to have baseball here, even if we have to play ourselves,” Diosdado Cabello, the ruling socialist party’s second-most powerful figure, said in late August in response to the MLB ban.

With Venezuela’s economic calamity weighing, league officials say they had no choice but to take sponsorship from government institutions two years ago. Now they say they are willing to do everything it takes to keep the game alive.

“The Venezuelan Professional Baseball League is committed to playing baseball this season,” the league statement said.

Write to Kejal Vyas at [email protected]

Adobe won't ban Venezuelans from using its products after all .
Earlier this month, Adobe announced it would ban Venezuelan users from its products due to U.S. Executive Order 13884. Now, the company says it has received a license which allows it to keep providing its services in the country. "After discussions with the US government, we've been granted a license to provide all of our Digital Media products and services in Venezuela," Adobe's Chris Hall said in a blog post. "With this update, we're sharing"After discussions with the US government, we've been granted a license to provide all of our Digital Media products and services in Venezuela," Adobe's Chris Hall said in a blog post.

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