Venezuelan Crisis Hits Everyone, Soccer Stars Included

By: Max Radwin - Apr 1, 2016, 12:20 pm
Venezuelan crisis hits soccer stars alike
When visiting Venezuela, Rondón has to take extra precautions to avoid being kidnapped or extorted for money. (Wikimedia)

Despite Salomón Rondón’s success as a forward in the Premier League for West Bromwich Albion, new struggles arise for him and his family in Venezuela, he told The Guardian on March 31.

Arguably the country’s most famous footballer, Rondón described his worries about protecting his family in the crime-ridden city of Caracas, which has one of the highest murder-rates in the world.

“Life in Caracas is not life,” he told The Guardian. “It is an uncertainty that follows you, that one day will kill you, that you will leave for work and not be able to come back.”

Rondón also said he was lucky to have a middle-class upbringing in Catia, a town outside of Caracas, thanks in part to his father, who worked as a chemistry teacher at a military school. At the same time, he said he remembers the “poor people, humble people, people who were struggling,” just as so many are today.

Rondón said he lived in Caracas at one point in his life, but never played in the city, which meant football gave him a much-needed opportunity to get away from “the chaos.”

And while playing for West Bromwich Albion allows Rondón time away from the struggling country as well, his family continues to live there.

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“I speak to them everyday to make sure they are OK,” Rondón said. “I am always watching the news on Twitter, waiting to see what has happened.”

When Rondón is at home, he said he has to sneak in and out as a precaution to protect his family. A player making £12 million a year is at risk of kidnapping and extortion, and would make his family an easy target. He said he does his best to not be seen with her in public.

“I don’t want anyone to know who my wife is,” he said. “There’s a risk of danger, of kidnappers. I don’t want to run that risk.”

Max Radwin Max Radwin

Max is an editor with PanAm Post. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 with a Major in English Literature and a minor in Spanish Language. He has written for Newsday, Al Jazeera and The Miami Herald, among others.