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Venezuelan players impacted by political unrest


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While Spring Training is generally a time when players are at their most relaxed, things are a little different right now for those who hail from Venezuela, a country going through political unrest.

Felix Doubront, Edward Mujica and Jonathan Herrera are among the Venezuelans who inhabit the Red Sox's clubhouse.

Doubront tweeted a picture with his Venezuelan teammates on Monday, showing support of their country.

For the past several weeks, citizens across Venezuela have been protesting against the government, citing a shortage of goods, poor security and lack of freedom of speech for the media. The movement gained the world's attention when three student demonstrators were killed in Caracas on Feb. 12, and it has impacted players in clubhouses in the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues.

"There's nothing I can do, because I'm here," said Doubront. "I'm helping my family with money or whatever. That's my responsibility right now. Just call them and hear they're fine, that they went through their day with no problem. That made me be more here mentally."

Doubront and his Venezuelan teammates spend most of their time away from the ballpark these days worrying about their loved ones.

"Every day," Doubront said of his correspondence back home. "They're going to let me know if something happens. They text me and call me with what happened today, because every day is something different. In the afternoon, they text me -- my mom, my niece -- and told me what happened today."

Manager John Farrell informed the players who are affected that he is aware of their plight.

"We do have a good number of players that come from Venezuela," said Farrell. "And the pitchers we've already met with one on one, we're trying to get a feel if their families have been affected by it. It's unfortunate with what they're having to deal with there. But we're very sympathetic. And if there are ever any needs that we can help with there, we'll certainly take a look at those. It's unfortunate that their families have to contend with something that's out of their control."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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