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Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
While playing for Venezuela in baseball's Little League World Series in the United States last month, 12-year-old Adrian Salcedo ate tacos and Chick-fil-A, donned a virtual reality headset to envision himself hitting home runs in big league ballparks and marvelled at the lush grass of the fields.

Now back at his four-room house in the western city of Maracaibo, hard-hit by Venezuela's protracted political and economic crisis, the boy's hopes centre on his own version of the American Dream.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league players Adrian Salcedo, 13 (L), Ibrahim Ruiz, 13 (2nd L) and Eduar Pinto, 12 (C),...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league players Adrian Salcedo, 13 (L), Ibrahim Ruiz, 13 (2nd L) and Eduar Pinto, 12 (C), talk with teammates prior to training at Cacique Mara stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.
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September 18, 2019
Diana Nunez, 44, mother of baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, poses for a photograph with...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Diana Nunez, 44, mother of baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, poses for a photograph with her son at their house in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Teenagers run in front of an old baseball scoreboard in Los Ninos Cantores stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela,...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Teenagers run in front of an old baseball scoreboard in Los Ninos Cantores stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, walks through his sister's yard in Maracaibo, Venezuela,...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, walks through his sister's yard in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Lightning is seen in the sky during a storm in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Lightning is seen in the sky during a storm in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, trains with homemade weights at his home in Maracaibo,...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, trains with homemade weights at his home in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Players from Cacique Mara little league baseball team practice during training at Cacique Mara stadium...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Players from Cacique Mara little league baseball team practice during training at Cacique Mara stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, sits in his father's car as they drive to fill fuel in...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, sits in his father's car as they drive to fill fuel in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 15, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Eduar Pinto, 12, poses for a photograph with a baseball bat, in his bedroom...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Eduar Pinto, 12, poses for a photograph with a baseball bat, in his bedroom at his home in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, sits with his mother and sister at his sister's house...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, sits with his mother and sister at his sister's house during an electricity cut in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
A card showing a major league player is seen on the ground of little league baseball player Adrian Salcedos...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
A card showing a major league player is seen on the ground of little league baseball player Adrian Salcedos sister's yard in Maracaibo, Venezuela September 14, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Santiago Lopez, 10, drinks water after training at his house during an...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Santiago Lopez, 10, drinks water after training at his house during an electricity cut in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedos, 13, swims with friends during a pool party in Maracaibo,...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedos, 13, swims with friends during a pool party in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 14, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, talks with his teammate Ibrahim Ruiz's father, Jorge...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, talks with his teammate Ibrahim Ruiz's father, Jorge Ruiz, after being accepted in Diamonds Prospect baseball academy in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 14, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, stretches before training at Diamonds Prospect baseball...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, stretches before training at Diamonds Prospect baseball academy in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 14, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league players Ibrahim Ruiz, 13 (bottom right), and Adrian Salcedo, 13 (top right), take...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league players Ibrahim Ruiz, 13 (bottom right), and Adrian Salcedo, 13 (top right), take part in a psychological therapy session at Diamonds Prospect baseball academy in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 14, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, eats an arepa for breakfast at his home in Maracaibo,...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, eats an arepa for breakfast at his home in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Daniel Boscan, coach of Cacique Mara little league baseball team, speaks with players prior to training...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Daniel Boscan, coach of Cacique Mara little league baseball team, speaks with players prior to training at Cacique Mara stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Players from Cacique Mara little league baseball team, practice during training at Cacique Mara stadium...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Players from Cacique Mara little league baseball team, practice during training at Cacique Mara stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, talks with a neighbour at 19 de Abril slum, where he...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, talks with a neighbour at 19 de Abril slum, where he lives, in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, and his mother Diana Nunez, 44, take an informal taxi...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, and his mother Diana Nunez, 44, take an informal taxi in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, helps a driver to push his car while queueing for fuel...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, helps a driver to push his car while queueing for fuel in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 15, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Looted cars are seen abandoned near Ramon Laguna thermoelectric station in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Looted cars are seen abandoned near Ramon Laguna thermoelectric station in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Santiago Lopez, 10, practices baseball during an electricity cut at his...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Santiago Lopez, 10, practices baseball during an electricity cut at his house in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, holds chicks at his sister's house in Maracaibo, Venezuela,...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, holds chicks at his sister's house in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
A baseball glove belonging to baseball little league player Eduar Pinto, 12, is seen at his house in...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
A baseball glove belonging to baseball little league player Eduar Pinto, 12, is seen at his house in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Windows of a building are seen during an electricity cut in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Windows of a building are seen during an electricity cut in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, takes a bath at his home in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, takes a bath at his home in Maracaibo, Venezuela, August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Jorge Ruiz, father of baseball Little League player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, shows a picture taken for him of...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Jorge Ruiz, father of baseball Little League player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, shows a picture taken for him of the players during the Latin American tournament in Panama, at their house in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 15, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, shows the world tournament yearbook of 2019 where his...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, shows the world tournament yearbook of 2019 where his team appears, in his house in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 15, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, holds a piece of paper that reads 'discipline' after...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, holds a piece of paper that reads 'discipline' after a psychological therapy session in Maracaibo, Venezuela, September 14, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero SEARCH "QUINTERO BASEBALL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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