Panama was selected to host the Caribbean Baseball Series, after the Confederation of Professional Baseball of the Caribbean withdrew it to the Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto.
The president of the Confederation, Juan Francisco Puello Herrera, was in charge of making the announcement, after hours of uncertainty in which the options of Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Colombia were considered as other possible options to set up the event.
Puello Herrera added that Panama will not be participating only as an organizer, but it is within the schedule that has been planned as one of the teams that will see action.
"The participating teams will be the traditional teams, leagues members of the Confederation of the Caribbean; in this case, Mexico, Puerto Rico (Cangrejeros de Santurce), Dominican Republic (Estrellas Orientales) and Venezuela (Cardenales de Lara). We will have as a guest to Cuba (Leñadores de Las Tunas), the same, and we will have Panama participating in this 61st edition of the Caribbean Series", he said.
On the selection of the country to host the Caribbean Series, the leader indicated that Panama showed that it is in a position to receive the delegations and offer a good show to the public that comes. "We have chosen Panama because we understand that it offers the best guarantees for this celebration", he said.
The organization chose not to keep Barquisimeto as its headquarters for three fundamental reasons: the tense political situation in the country, the breakdown of relations with the United States and the exhortation that Major League Baseball urged its affiliated players not to travel to Venezuela.
The tournament was scheduled to begin on Saturday, February 2, but will now start on Monday 4 and end on Sunday 10 at Rod Carew Stadium.
Puello Herrera indicated that they communicated with the personnel that the Confederation has in Panama to advance everything related to the organization of the tournament. "I understand that there has been a rush, but this will not lower the quality of the Caribbean Series", he added.
The selection of Panama gives a boost to the aspirations of the country to become a permanent member of the Caribbean Series, as it was in its first stage, disputed between 1949 and 1960, and in which the country won a crown.