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Vizquel on Venezuela

By - May 11, 2017

One of our top contributors, Candace Oehler, sat down with Detroit Tigers first base coach Omar Vizquel on Wednesday at Chase Field in Phoenix, where the Tigers concluded a two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Vizquel, 50, played 23 seasons in the major leagues and was known for being one of the best fielding shortstops the game has ever seen. He's also a native of Caracas, Venezuela, and had some thoughts on the situation in his home country, where daily protests and civil unrest are taking place against the government and president Nicolas Maduro in the wake of the nation's economic crisis. 

Venezuelans are a major part of U.S. baseball, and it's safe to say they are concerned about friends and loved ones in the country, maybe now even more so. It can't be easy to hear family members talk of long lines for basic goods, skyrocketing prices on the black market and a lack of infrastructure and supplies for decent medical care. And now with the potential of bodily harm and property destruction from the protesters and military sent in to crack down, Venezuela is on their minds. 

That goes for Vizquel, who in Spanish calls for peace and resolution to the problems. 

Vizquel just hopes Americans are aware of the plight of his people -- that they see and understand what Venezuelan major leaguers are posting on social media -- and that the people in his country find another way to resolve the issues. 

"We don't want the people to suffer in Venezuela. We don't want to see bloodshed or death. We want peace and tranquility and we want to live well," he says. 

Here is the full interview with Vizquel and Candace. 

Editor's note: Candace and Omar go back many years, to Vizquel's days as the Seattle Mariners' shortstop in the early 90s. (Photo courtesy of the Associated Press).

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