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Ben Rhodes Hits Trump Admin for Ending Relations Between MLB and Cuba: Who Is Against More Cubans In the Major Leagues?

Ben Rhodes, a former Deputy National Security Advisor under President Barack Obama, criticized President Donald Trump’s administration’s approach to Cuba on Wednesday.

“Another recent change was them invalidating the Major League Baseball contract involving players and their ability to earn money and play here without defecting. [Secretary of State] Pompeo said today that your administration was playing footsie with the Castro regime which, of course, has now been succeeded,” MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell said.

“Well, we were ending an approach that had failed for 60 years, Andrea. This is the definition of insanity. You followed Cuba for a long time. Was the embargo working in promoting any kind of change in Cuba? No,” Rhodes replied.

“The American people and the Cuban people overwhelmingly supported what we were trying to do: To open up more travel, to open up more space for business. Who is against more Cubans playing in the Major Leagues? How punitive is this administration of the United States thinking that we’re going to take an action to prevent 34 Cubans from playing in Major League Baseball,” he asked.

“What does that do to promote human rights in Cuba? All that does is promote human trafficking of Cuban players to be able to get into the Major Leagues and hurts American and Cuban baseball fans who want to see their players play on the biggest stage,” he added. “So once again, I think you have policies that are built on a legacy of failures, 60 years of failure with this embargo, that only served to hurt the Cuban people and frankly cut against Americans who want to travel to Cuba and want to see Cubans play. I think it’s a losing strategy, both policy-wise and politically.”

ESPN reported the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sent a letter to the MLB telling them their new contract with the Cuban Baseball Federation was over because “a payment to the Cuban Baseball Federation is a payment to the Cuban government.”

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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Julio has previously written for Independent Journal Review. He is currently a Military/Veterans Contributor for Townhall.com and serving in the Marine Corps Reserves.