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Venezuela on the minds of Cubs coaches, players


MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs coach Franklin Font calls his family in Venezuela twice a day and sometimes more to make sure they're safe. There have been violent clashes as Venezuela citizens are protesting against the government, citing a shortage of goods, lack of freedom of speech and poor security. Font's parents live in Caracas, and the reports from there are not good.

"[Monday] was real bad," Font said. "People started going into the supermarkets to steal food and tried to get in some houses."

Font has a friend who is panicked because her husband has a good job, and she's afraid people will break into their home to steal things.

On Monday, Font, Venezuelan Luis Valbuena, and some of the Cubs' other Latin players, including Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and Alberto Cabrera, posed with a Venezuelan flag to show support for the country.

Font's wife and children are in the U.S. with him.

"It's scary," he said of the uprising. "I call twice a day every day. They say everything's fine, but they are panicking. They're waiting for something to happen. The whole situation makes everybody scared."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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