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Cuba's participation in '15 series uncertain

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ISLA DE MARGARITA, Venezuela -- Cuba has been asked to participate the 2015 Caribbean Series in Puerto Rico as a special guest, but it's uncertain if the country will be allowed to attend because of its relationship with the United States.

"Puerto Rico is in agreement with the invitation to Cuba, but we'll have to wait on final permission," Caribbean Confederation commissioner Juan Puello Herrera said. "The important thing is that Cuba wants to participate. I believe Cuba wants to be there."

An original member of the Caribbean Confederation along with Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, Cuba won seven titles starting in 1949. Fidel Castro took power in 1959 and ended the country's participation in the event after 1960. Because the United States, which includes the U.S Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, has an economic embargo against Cuba, Cuban teams that participate in the Caribbean Series are not paid and cannot receive awards.

"Cuba's level of play is very good, but what is happening is the competition," Herrera said. "When the embargo is lifted, Cuba will be in the plans. They are in a position to host the event. Also, their stadium Estadio Latinoamerica is under reconstruction and it looks like we will be able to celebrate a series there."

Cuba's Villa Clara team is 0-3 after its first three games of the Caribbean Series.

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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