LATINO VOICES
05/10/2017 05:49 pm ET

13 MLB Players Denounce Repression And Deaths In Their Native Venezuela

“We’re speaking not as players but as citizens, as people who love their country.”

Thirteen Major League Baseball players added their voices to the chorus of Venezuelans abroad denouncing repression in their country. 

The group is featured in a video posted Monday by Miami-based Venezuelan journalist Alberto Rodríguez on Twitter. The video, which identifies the athletes by name and team, currently has over 11,500 retweets.

“My name is Francisco Cervelli, we’re a group of Venezuelan players in Major League Baseball,” the catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates says at the beginning of the video in Spanish. “We’re speaking not as players but as citizens, as people who love their country.”

Thousands of protesters in Venezuela have taken to the streets for more than a month in opposition of Nicolás Maduro’s government, asking the president to step down and holding signs that say “No more dictatorship.” The political unrest in the South American country has resulted in at least 37 people being killed since early April, according to Reuters. Hundreds have been injured and arrested as well. 

For years, citizens in Venezuela have suffered from a shortage of basic food items and medicine under Maduro. In addition, the country’s economy has severely deteriorated. 

Opposition activists shout slogans in the capital of Caracas on May 7.
JUAN BARRETO via Getty Images
Opposition activists shout slogans in the capital of Caracas on May 7.

Cervelli was joined in the minute-long video by other MLB players, including Jose Osuna, Elías Díaz and Felipe Rivero from the Pittsburgh Pirates; Orlando Arcia, Jesús Aguilar and Hernán Pérez from the Milwaukee Brewers; Ender Inciarte from the Atlanta Braves; Eugenio Suárez and José Peraza from the Cincinnati Reds; Alcides Escobar and Salvador Pérez from the Kansas City Royals; and Gorkys Hernández from the San Francisco Giants. 

Each of the athletes takes turns sending a message in opposition of Maduro and his government. 

“Stop the repression; they’re killing us, they’re taking away our future,” Inciarte says in the video in Spanish. 

Watch the full video above.

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