US cancels Cuba Major League Baseball deal on sanctions grounds

The US government has rejected a deal negotiated by the Obama administration between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Cuban Baseball Federation (CBF) which allowed players to compete in the United States without having to defect from Cuba.

In 2016, OFAC indicated that payments from MLB to the CBF were authorised by a general licence under the Cuban Assets Control Regulations 31 C.F.R. Part 515. Now, OFAC has determined that this deal should be reversed, after consultation with the State Department, on the basis that a payment to CBF is a prohibited payment to the Cuban government, 15 to 25 % of the signing bonus offered to baseball players would revert to the CBF, and no OFAC licence has been requested.  

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About Michael O'Kane

Michael O'Kane

Michael was called to the Bar in 1992 and prior to joining Peters & Peters was a senior specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters (CPS). He was a key member of a small specialist unit responsible for the prosecution of serious and high-profile fraud, terrorist,...

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