The Role of Baseball in the Normalization of Cuba-US Relations

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  • Title: The Role of Baseball in the Normalization of Cuba-US Relations
  • Author(s): Daniel Añorve
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Sport & Society
  • Journal Title: Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization
  • Keywords: U.S.-Cuba Diplomatic Relations, Baseball Diplomacy, Constructivism
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 2381-6937 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2381-6961 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2381-6937/CGP/v07i02/1-17
  • Citation: Añorve, Daniel. 2016. "The Role of Baseball in the Normalization of Cuba-US Relations." Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization 7 (2): 1-17. doi:10.18848/2381-6937/CGP/v07i02/1-17.
  • Extent: 17 pages

Abstract

The December, 2014 announcement by Raúl Castro and Barack Obama regarding the "thaw" of the US-Cuba diplomatic relations opens up new possibilities. Sport, specifically baseball, represents an area of opportunity for the approachment of both countries. MLB baseball is increasingly dependent on the inflow of foreign talent, especially on Latin American players. The status of the Cuban player is peculiar and it could normalize as a result of the full normalization of the diplomatic relations. This paper analyzes the economic incentives as well as the existing legal challenges in the US-Cuba interdependent relationship. Finally, the argument suggests that baseball could pave the way for a constructivist approach of other specific US-Cuba relationships, partially replacing the high politics that has dominated the bilateral relationship for more than five decades.