|Antonio Castro, Cuban dictatorship's point man for baseball business|
"MLB's proposal includes the creation of a license that allows players from Cuba to enter the United States on a visa. Additionally, the plan includes the creation of a new non-governmental body made up of Cuban entrepreneurs, MLB officials and the MLB Players Association. According to the proposal, a percentage of salaries paid to Cuban players would go to the non-governmental body."Cuba in 2016 remains structurally a totalitarian state in practice. Independent non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are illegal but the regime there for years now has set up what human rights organizations call GONGOs (governmental non-governmental organizations). These GONGOs are controlled by the dictatorship. What Major League Baseball is proposing to the Treasury Department is a path for it to go into business with the Castro dictatorship which continues to control the entire economy.
However, in extreme cases this arrangement can descend into de facto slavery as was revealed in the 2006 Curaçao Drydock Company lawsuit which the Business and Human Rights Resource Center described as follows:
In August 2006 three Cuban nationals accused Curaçao Drydock Company of subjecting them to forced labour in a lawsuit in US federal court under the Alien Tort Claims Act and other laws. They alleged that the company conspired with the Cuban Government to traffic them and other workers to Curaçao to work for Curaçao Drydock Company as part of a forced labour programme. The workers allegedly worked 16-hour days in dangerous conditions. The workers were unpaid; instead their compensation was deducted from Cuba’s debt to the company.The treatment of baseball players in Cuba, as Cubans in general, is as a resource to be exploited by the Castro regime. In the past when baseball players escaped from the dictatorship, friends and family members would be punished by the dictatorship. A high profile example occurred when Liván Hernández fled Cuba in 1995 to play in the Major Leagues. His brother, Orlando Hernández was banned from baseball and living in a shack behind the house of his best friend. Punishment for his brother leaving. Orlando would flee Cuba on December 25, 1997 and go on to a great career in the Major Leagues after having been forbidden to play baseball for two years in Cuba.
|Brothers Liván and Orlando Hernández|