Venezuela’s Baseball-v-Football Divide

Part of CONMEBOL’s reasoning for awarding this year’s Copa to Venezuela was to speed the advance of football in a baseball-mad country. But what’s the reason behind baseball’s supremacy over football in this corner of a football-obsessed continent? Find out here.



Filed under Venezuela

7 responses to “Venezuela’s Baseball-v-Football Divide

  1. Alex K

    that’s a very simple, and probably not complete, answer.

    my dad says venezuela (and cuba, and the DR) are into baseball because “they look up to the north” instead of down to the rest of the continent.

    that ‘geographic proximity to the american cultural monster’ answer makes more sense to me.

  2. Cuba and the DR were both under US administration in the early part of the 20th century which is the best explanation of their baseball obsession.

    Venezuela was not so it is a more interesting case. And if it was a question of geographic proximity to the American cultural monster you would expect baseball to be popular as well in places like Colombia and – far more obviously – Mexico!

  3. Alex K

    You make some great points.

    This whole topic is very interesting, in fact, the historical causes of sports culture in different countries.

    Why, for example, is Japan so into baseball (also US involvement?)? Isn’t most of Central America (except Mexico) into baseball over soccer.

    Actually, my dad (again) said soccer is just recently becoming popular in Mexico – is this true?

    What is up with rugby and Australia??


  4. Anonymous

    Well Australia have Ozzie Rules which is the predominant sport, while cricket and rugby I’m pretty certain come from British influence. Japan, despite Hiroshima and all have been sucking up to America for decades, hence their infrastructure and economy resembling the one in the US so much, but a lot more successful. And baseball is just something that got carried through…Mind you American Football didn’t, so that’s another dilemma…

  5. Alex, your dad is right, (as usual). Baseball used to be more or as popular as football in Mexico but has lost a lot of ground in recent years. Now football is by far the most popular sport…

  6. Joe

    Baseball is more popular in places where the U.S.A. has had a political influence in the past. Cubans, specifically, brought it to the DR, Puerto Rico, and Panama after the Spanish-American War (IIRC), Venezuela developed it due to its proximity to the islands… It really is more of a Spanish Caribbean thing. (Japan and Korea got it more from the influence of post WWII situation, I believe…).

    But it isn’t viewed as something done to emulate the U.S. by ANY means.. Baseball became our national passion and we hold it in the same pedestal as other Latin Americans hold football.

    Which is why I’d say football is not the “Latin sport” but rather both football AND baseball.

    PS. Not to mention we are as distinguished in baseball as the South Americans are in football 😉

  7. Alex K

    yeah venezuelans are awesome at baseball, they say. congrats. although i would say if venezuela has a national pastime, it is beauty pageants. god i wish i was venezuelan.


    (i grew up in miami and the most beautiful girls were always venezuelan and colombian, classy and sexy. but now we are getting off topic!)

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