Marlins choose not to recognize Hugo Chavez before Venezuela game

The Marlins-Venezuela game on Tuesday was free of political controversy. (AP)

Hours after the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, the Marlins chose not to honor the controversial leader before their Tuesday exhibition contest against Venezuela's World Baseball Classic team. Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes:

A Marlins spokesman said all parties involved in the exhibition, including Major League Baseball, agreed to not have the moment of silence for Chavez.

The Venezuelan flag in the stadium was lowered to half staff for a few minutes, then raised again.

Hector Rodriguez, Venezuela's minister of sports, called the team and told them to "concentrate on sports and leave political stuff out."

Chavez, who died from cancer at the age of 58, had served as president of Venezuela since 1999. The Human Rights Watch writes that Chavez's reign was notable for its "dramatic concentration of power and open disregard for basic human rights guarantees."

It seems unlikely that any major-league team would've honored Chavez, but it's worth remembering that the Marlins in particular are acutely aware of the dangers of angering a community of ex-pats.

(Wink of CBS eye: Drew Silva)

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