Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Venezuelan Winter League Cancelled

It was bound to happen.

The Venezuelan Professional Baseball

League has decided to cancel the

remainder of the 2002-2003 season

after more than a month of suspended

games due to the national strike

aimed at forcing the resignation

of President Hugo Chávez.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezThis is the second part of my report

on the current situation in Venezuela,

were the people of that country

are revolting against Hugo Chávez

their President asking for his resignation

and/or a call for elections.

It was back on December 2, when the

strike paralized very important sectors

of Venezuela. Now, the league in a

Press Release the Venezuelan

Professional Winter League informed

that the decision of cancelling the

remainder of the season was taken

because of the security to fans

as well as players.

“Team and League officials have

made a considerable effort to

make the season possible, in

extremely adverse circunstances.

That is why we have tried to save it.

But respect to Venezuelan fans,

our players and our commercial

sponsors and friends forces us

to act responsiblu(of reassuming

play)until the end. And with that

same responsability we announce

today that is not possible to go

back to the field, as it has been

our intention”.

The League also informed they

are considering the possibility

of sending a team made up

of invited players to the Caribbean

World Series in Puerto Rico this

February 2. However, rules

state that it is a tournament

for champion or runner-up teams

participating countries leagues.

Most Venezuelan players have

returned to the United State as

they will soon report to their

clubs in Spring Training.

The United States of America

embassy will stop providing

Visas to Venezuelan citizens

on January 20th.

The situation in Venezuela is

not getting better and Mr Chávez

doesn’t seem to understand that

the people do not want him.

Recently banks accross the

country also went on strike just

about paralizing that nation.

A General Strike was also

called in Venezuela. Their #1

industry Oil has been paralized

and most of the Venezuelan

super-tankers sit on Maracaibo

and other ports not going anywhere,

that more than anything else is

making this economy a complete


Cuba is the only country that

has officially offered help to

Hugo Chávez and his unpopular

regime of government. That

was to be expected (see my

previous column on Venezuelan

Baseball)since Fidel Castro,

dictator of Cuba is Hugo Chávez

best friend in all of Latinamerica.

A sad sad situation in the land

of Luis Aparicio,Tony Armas,

Chico Carrasquel,Dave Concepción,

Ozzie Guillen,Omar Vizquel,Magglio

Ordoñez,Ramón Hernández,

Yorbit Torrealba, Andrés

Galarraga and World

Series rookie phemon Francisco

Rodríguez, among many others.

In Puerto Rico the Caribbean World

Series is scheduled to begin on February

2nd and conclude on Feb 8.

It will remain to be seen if

it will be played among only

three teams: Puerto Rico, México

and Dominican Republic or

the “regular four”with the

participation of a selection of

players from the now cancelled

Venezuelan League.

For the record, last year’s

Caribbean World Series

champion was México in

a Series that took place

in an already turbulent

country of Venezuela.

Hasta la vista muchachos !



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