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CARACAS (Reuters) - The 2018 Caribbean Series baseball tournament, originally slated to be held in Venezuela, has been relocated to Mexico, the Caribbean Professional Baseball Confederation said, amid a wave of violent protests in the South American country.
The confederation did not specify why the tournament, which brings together the champions of professional winter leagues from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico, will not be held in Venezuela.
"The Venezuelan Professional Baseball League voted against the decision at the assembly held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on June 14, 2017," the group said in a statement late on Wednesday.
The confederation said the 2019 Caribbean Series will take place in the city of Barquisimeto, located about 350 kilometres (217 miles) from the capital of Caracas.
Next February, the Mexican team of Venados de Mazatlan will defend its title in a city in Mexico that has not yet been determined.
Venezuelans struggling under a deep economic crisis have for over two months been staging often violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro, with about 70 dead. Maduro says the protests are an attempt to overthrow him with the backing of ideological adversaries in Washington.
Reporting by Diego Ore; writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Dan Grebler