Venezuela is that rare South American country where baseball has taken root; indeed, it has become the national pass time. It is, without doubt, more popular that soccer in the troubled nation. In fact, apart from the Colombian cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla, it is the only place in South America where baseball is played.
Venezuela’s love of baseball is reflected in its status as a major supplier of talent to the United States’ Major League Baseball (MLB). An astounding 74 of MLB’s current roster of 877 players are from Venezuela. That is second only to the Dominican Republic, which boasts 84 professional American ballplayers.
8.4% of MLB baseball players are Venezuelans. These individuals are heroes to their families, their communities, and their country.
As Venezuelan descends into a socialist nightmare, however, life has become increasingly difficult for these players, and their families that remain behind in South America.
Kidnapping has emerged as a serious problem in Venezuela, and MLB players and their families are perceived as lucrative targets. In 2011, Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in central Carabobo state, and rescued in an air operation, two days later.
The moment left a bad taste in the mouths of Venezuela’s MLB players. Hiring private security details for their families back home began to follow.
But as Venezuela has steadily descended into its own version of hell, Venezuelan baseball players have been surprisingly silent on the crisis affecting their homelands.
Jose Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman, is a perfect example of this kind of indifference to the fate of 30,000,000 Venezuelans:
“I’m a baseball player, so I cannot be political…If I’m political, I’m going to be on one side and what if that side doesn’t get the work done? What am I going to do? I’m still going to provide, I still want to do good for the people. That’s all I want.”
Martinez sounds like perhaps the least astute political observer of Venezuelan current events in history. He is worried about one side of the political divide in Venezuela “getting the work done?” What?
What exactly would be the “job” that the Chavistas have “gotten done” over the course of the past twenty years? Plunge the vast majority of the Venezuelan people into poverty? Destroy the educational and healthcare systems? Take away electricity and running water? Reintroduce diseases such as malaria that had been eradicated generations ago?
Martinez is a perfect example of how this spirit of indifference has ruined the country.
It is high time for these players to step up to the plate and denounce Maduro. We’ve seen what 20 years of socialism has done in Venezuela, and unless the Venezuelan people rise up, they can expect 20 more years of Chavismo. These MLB players are no heroes: they are cowards. They should be using every opportunity at their disposal to denounce the narco-dictatorship headed by Maduro, Diosdado Cabello, and friends.
These players are not “heroes”…they are “zeroes”. They can afford to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for private security details to guard their own families. Great! What about the other 26,000,000 odd Venezuelans that don’t have family members playing professional baseball?
What these Venezuelan baseball players are doing is taking the easy way out.
And the mainstream media is completely missing the point, evidenced by an article in Bleacher Report titled: “Fear, Texts, and Bodyguards.”
You can think whatever you want about these players…but I happen to know a thing or two about Venezuela…and I say that if they are staying on the sidelines…they are cowards.
The criminal Chavistas are 100% for the fate which the Venezuelan people are currently enduring.