The government of Panama denied visas to young Venezuelan baseball players from the Sierra Maestra Little League of Zulia state who would participate in the Senior Latin American Championship, played between 15 and 16-year-olds.
It spread in the media and social media that the director of the Zulian group also managed an immigration permit for the days in which the tournament was being played, which was also denied by the Panamanian embassy in Venezuela.
The Sierra Maestra Little League won the national championship in March with the hope of participating in the Latin American tournament in Panama and then qualifying for the senior world championship that will be played in the United States in August of this year.
The denial affects 16 young baseball players between the ages of 15 and 16, a referee, three technicians and two delegates from the Sierra Maestra Little League, who were hoping to travel to the sporting event in Panama.
They issue a statement
The National Directory of Little League Baseball of Venezuela issued a statement on its Twitter account @pequenasligasve in which it deplored the lack of collaboration of the Panamanian authorities in Venezuela with the Zulian delegation that could not participate in the competition in which they envisioned big hits.
“The National Directorate of Little League Baseball in Venezuela is aware that the granting of an entry visa to the territories of other countries is a discretionary and sovereign act of their federal governments, but what happened this year with the denial of the visa of entering the Republic of Panama, a country with which for many years we have been reciprocally linked by great friendship ties between its Little Leagues and from which we had always received the greatest collaboration, constitutes an unprecedented and unparalleled fact of the lack of collaboration of their authorities with our sports delegations, especially in the face of the snub of having summoned them to go from Maracaibo to their embassy in Caracas and then not paying them due attention, ”says the statement.
It also states: "The National Directorate of Little League Baseball of Venezuela and its affiliated leagues deeply deplores that the Senior team of the Sierra Maestra Little League for this reason has not been able to participate in the competition in Panama and we sympathize with the feeling of impotence and discontent that seizes its players, coaches and delegates, as well as their parents and representatives, all of whom made a great economic and human effort to try to crystallize the aspirations of participating in that Latin American Championship”.
In the statement they also summon "the sports authorities, the respective Federations and the different sports organizations to an internal review, to solve this problem that overwhelms our athletes and sports delegations."