Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera: ‘If I go to Venezuela they’ll break me, they’ll kill me’

By Vincent Frank
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We have read the stories of defectors from Cuba and just how harrowing their stories were on the way to becoming Major League Baseball players. All throughout Latin America, there are issues baseball players deal with. A lack of pay for their services. Corrupt and oppressive governments. The inability to come to the United States to make a career out of playing baseball.

But the story surrounding Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera brings this to a whole new level.

Cabrera just recently took to his Instagram account to talk about his home country of Venezuela and how it’s impacting him, even as he earns millions here in the states. It’s a story that most of us in the United States and the developed world won’t fully grasp.

Evan Woodbery of MLive recently broke down Cabrera’s comments, and they are about as serious as it gets.

“If I go to Venezuela ‘they’ll break me, they’ll kill me,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera went on to note that he’s paying “protection money” as a way to help his family survive in the downtrodden country. That includes making sure his mother is not kidnapped.

“I’m tired of paying protection money so they don’t kidnap my mother.”

He also took time to speak out against the corruption in his home nation. These were posted in the “stories section” of Cabrera’s Instagram account. It remains to be seen if he meant for them to be distributed in a widespread manner, especially considering said Instagram posts remain live for just 24 hours.

The current problems in Venezuela are well documented. The nation is in the midst of a crisis we’ve rarely seen in recent world history. This includes food rationing, a 700 percent inflation rate, high crime and political corruption.

It appears that even Cabrera and his vast fortunes and otherwise posh life in the United States can’t escape what’s happening in his native land. Let’s just hope his family remains safe.