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Cuba: Baseball diplomacy re-emerges in tense U.S.-Cuban relations

Members of Cuba’s baseball team told Reuters on Wednesday the U.S. embassy in Havana had started processing their applications for visas to attend the Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in Florida despite its restrictions on consular services, in a triumph of baseball diplomacy.

The U.S. embassy in Havana suspended consular services three years ago when the Trump administration reduced it to skeletal staffing, sending applicants to embassies abroad instead.

That has proven a major obstacle to Cubans applying for visas to see family or visit the United States, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuban baseball fans have been worried their team might not receive the visas they need to compete in the qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics. The tournament takes place in Florida’s West Palm Beach and Port St Lucie from May 31 to June 5.

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