Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Despite Success, Venezuelan Heat On Ordonez

Magglio Ordonez never did anything to Venezuela to upset the general populace. Or at least he never meant to. Instead, because of a commercial he appeared in that is running in Venezuela right now, he's getting booed incessantly whenever he comes to the plate.

Ordonez, who has long held a friendship with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, is serving as a celebrity spokesman for a campaign that calls for an end to term limits for Venezuelan politicians. That endorsement isn't sitting well with more liberal Venezuelans, like ex-pats living in the U.S., who are exactly the Venezuelans sitting in the stands at the World Baseball Classic.

Naturally, those fans aren't too thrilled with Ordonez's help to Chavez, and they're letting him hear it every single time he comes up at the plate. How bad are they upset with Ordonez? Just listen to some of the quotes from the AP:

"He should be expelled!" shouted Simon Azlak, a Venezuelan national and resident of Miami who attended the game with several friends.

"We don't want to see him ever again," his friend Juan Rangel added.

Now, Chavez is trying to help Ordonez by sticking up for him in yet another address. Naturally, that probably won't help quell agitation from fans who, well, never liked to listen to Chavez in the first place. You wonder whether anyone pointed that out to Chavez in the first place, don't you?

And hey, whether you like Chavez or hate him, you have to appreciate the fiery one-liners. Check out this one from the end of his pro-Ordonez announcement:

"Viva Magglio, and all our patriots!" Chavez said.

Sure, Magglio probably doesn't deserve to be booed, regardless of what you think about his politics. His hair, on the other hand, is fair game.

By Cameron Smith  |  March 16, 2009; 11:52 AM ET
Categories:  Tigers  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Padres, Not Nats, Sign Sanchez
Next: Moment of Levity: The Big Picture


He certainly needs to be booed. He should be booed by American fans as well as he obviously has anti-American leanings.

Posted by: mjwies11 | March 16, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

These Venezuelans in Miami really ought to be ashamed. They claim to be all about "freedom" but then jump all over Magglio Ordonez when he dared to express an unpopular political opinion. Nevermind that the political position is in line with his country's majority - as the recent term limit election showed. I give massive credit to Magglio for being brave enough to withstand this craziness, in order to stick up for his beliefs and make up his own mind.

You don't have to agree with everything Chavez says or does, but you can not deny that the poor finally have a voice and that poverty rates have been cut in half. You also can not deny that Venezuela grew at record rates over the last 6 years, nearly doubling their GDP. How dare Magglio support this process.

Posted by: mglesne | March 16, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

What happened was indeed sad. However, it is the result of the hate that Chavez has sown in the soul of all Venezuelans. Venezuela has become a country deeply divided. I have seen friendships and even families torn apart as a result of the polarization that this man has incited and which he promotes to further his agenda. Shame on him!

Posted by: Mambru | March 16, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Mambru, I think you have to acknowledge that Venezuela has always been divided. The difference now is only that the rich are upset. And the rich Venezuelans are well represented in Miami. Taking decisive action to help the poor will always be controversial and resisted by the rich. But the elites have not helped keep things on an even keel either. They have engaged in all kinds of shenanigans (coups, illegal strikes) that have resulted in real harm for the country. You don't have to like Chavez's policies, but it is clear the poor and middle class majorities do.

Posted by: mglesne | March 16, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

No Mglesne, the difference now is that Venezuela has a populist demagogue for president. Hugo Chavez has never once accepted he is president of all Venezuelans, and instead, uses spiteful and offensive language against all opponents with the express purpose of *dividing*.

I regret what is happening to Magglio. Only that the person responsible for it has reaped the hatred he has sown: Hugo Chavez.

Posted by: -hjl | March 16, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

@mglesne: I bet that you are not Venezuelan and that probably you have never been there... or, if you have, it has probably been for a two week "socialist" tour in which government guides have taken you to a carefully choreographed schedule.

The dumbest argument that I have heard from you people is that we oppose Chavez because we are rich and we hate the poor. It does not occur to you that 45-50%(*) of a country cannot be "rich and elite".

Those of us who despise Chavez do so because we see how the thug is dismantling the country piece by piece. Has he done anything good for the poor? Certainly. However, whatever little advances we have made have been obtained at the expense of losing so many other things.

And just as a reminder, the only coupster is Chavez. He indeed tried to overthrow a democratic elected government in 1992 and tried to murder the then elected president.

Posted by: Mambru | March 16, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

@mglesne: By the way, I am basing the 45-50% figure on the results of the previous referendum. We don't, however, know if this figure is correct as currently Venezuela lacks any checks and balances that guarantee that electoral results can fully be trusted. At present, Mr. Chavez OWNS the national electoral council, the congress, the supreme court, that attorney general office, most of the judges and, in general, every branch of government.

Posted by: Mambru | March 16, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I partially agree with Mambru on the causes of this weird behaviour by some "Venezuelan" people. The country is divided because of political reasons, but we have to admit that both Chavez and the oposition leaders and specially the media are responsibles for this. However, that is not the point being disscussed.
Any real "Venezuelan" who loves this country must be ashamed of this type of behaviour. There have being famous Americans that have shown their support to Chavez (i.e. Sean Pennand) and they have never been attacked by crazy crowds. You can hate Chavez, but you should love your country.

Posted by: jc1808 | March 17, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Magglio Ordonez has the right to choose,right or wrong it is his right period, We need to let individuals be!! For now let's justhope Venezuela wins the WBC..

Posted by: losavila | March 17, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

for thoses who doesnt know anything i have picture that not many of you have seen before, proof that hugo chavez is burning votes by using the venezuelan army.

Posted by: tiger16 | March 17, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company