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Pirates' Felipe Rivero collecting supplies to sneak into Venezuela

| Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, 6:55 p.m.
Pirates closer Felipe Rivero pumps his fist after sweeping the Brewers Thursday, July 20, 2017, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates closer Felipe Rivero pumps his fist after sweeping the Brewers Thursday, July 20, 2017, at PNC Park.

As civil unrest continues in Venezuela, Pirates closer Felipe Rivero has a plan to sneak supplies to needy children in his native country.

Rivero is collecting donations of baby formula, diapers and baby wipes, which he will ship from Florida to Venezuela.

Donations should be shipped to 3168 Bill Beck Blvd., Kissimmee, FL 34744.

Rivero and catcher Francisco Cervelli have been openly critical of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. Last summer, as violent protests rocked their homeland, Rivero and Cervelli joined other MLB players in pleas for peace.

“There are a lot of kids dying,” Rivero said during PiratesFest in December. “I want to start doing something to collect money so I can send food down there. We need to do something. It's my country. The government keeps saying, ‘People are not dying,' but then you see what is happening. People are dying.”

The Venezuelan government routinely prevents humanitarian aid from reaching its destination, Rivero said, adding he would try to find back channels to ship supplies.

Rivero has not been back to Venezuela since 2014.

“I don't feel safe going down there,” he said.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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