Battle of concerts: Venezuela Aid Live Vs Hands Off Venezuela

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The owner of the Virgin group, Richard Branson, decided to do a charity concert for Venezuela, while the Maduro government also organizes its own event

Battle of concerts: Venezuela Aid Live Vs Hands Off Venezuela

Following a long tradition of charity concerts, Venzuela Aid Live is proposed as a way to raise funds for the Venezuelan people and allow humanitarian aid to enter the country. The strange thing is that, unlike other great charity concerts such as Bob Geldof's Live Aid or George Harrison's Bangladesh Concerto, the initiative of this concert was not driven by a musician, but by the multimillionaire and philanthropist Richard Branson.

Leer en español: Batalla de conciertos: el Venezuela Aid Live Vs el Hands Off Venezuela

Richard Branson is an English tycoon, owner of the Virgin group, a company that started with a vinyl shop in London and ended up adding services to airlines, hotels, and the development of space travel.

Why organizing the Venezuela Aid Live?

Branson said in his Twitter account that "Venezuela is suffering and, not long ago, it was the richest country in South America. Now it is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere. More than three million Venezuelans have been displaced in the region and the number is literally growing by thousands every day. "

In the post of Twitter, Branson makes clear the political intentions of the concert, because "there is no food, the health system is collapsing (...) The regime of Nicolás Maduro, who is responsible for this crisis, is currently refusing the entry of any aid humanitarian to the country. We must break this impasse or if not many Venezuelans will soon be at the limit of famine or death."

So, in addition to humanitarian aid, the concert is also a criticism and a way to increase international pressure on the Maduro government. This is even clearer with what he says later: "Juan Guaidó, who has been recognized as the legitimate president of Venezuela by more than 40 countries and the European Union, and Leopoldo Lopez, an opposition leader who is currently under house arrest, in Caracas, they have asked us to help organize a beautiful concert to bring global attention to this unacceptable and preventable crisis."

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Everything about Venezuela Aid Live

According to the official website of Venezuela Aid Live , the event will take place on Friday, February 22, at the Tienditas bridge in the city of Cúcuta, located near the Venezuelan border. It will be a free event in which "we will meet with a group of internationally recognized artists to create a global awareness of the humanitarian crisis that Venezuela is suffering, and to raise funds for our brothers in need." Branson hopes that the concert will be attended by more than 300,000 people and that $ 100 million will be raised for the cause.

Fundación Solidaridad por Colombia (Solidarity for Colombia foundation) will be the NGO that will be responsible for the collection of donations, while PwC will be the auditor responsible for ensuring transparency in the management of resources. "Solidaridad por Colombia is an NGO that has 44 years of experience in managing resources for vulnerable populations," according to the official website.

Finally, among the artists that will participate in the event are:

  • Alesso
  • Alejandro Sanz
  • Carlos Vives
  • Diego Torres
  • Manna
  • Miguel Bosé, among others.

The same Alejandro Sanz said on Twitter: "We are on the side of the Venezuelan people, beyond the political issue, we are asking that this humanitarian aid can enter." For his part, Carlos Vives confirmed his attendance, he recalled how years ago he also sang on the border in the Peace Without Borders concert organized by Juanes and said "it will be the opportunity we will have again like some years ago to show we are brothers and that we are here to help each other".



Battle of concerts

In defense of his government, Nicolás Maduro decided to organize another concert, on the Venezuelan side of course, to counteract the Venezuela Aid Live. The sectoral Vice President of communication, culture and tourism, Jorge Rodriguez, said Monday in an official statement from the Miraflores Palace in Caracas that "we have hosted a proposal by a large number of Venezuelan artists requested to make a cultural meeting, a great concert for peace, for life ".

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The concert will have two main slogans: "One, the title of a beautiful song by the Colombian singer Marta Gomez that is called 'for war, nothing', and the other motto of that great concert for peace, for life, for Solidarity, for the embrace between brothers and sisters, is Hands Off Venezuela, Manos fuera de Venezuela", said Rodríguez.

Also, during this official announcement the dates, the place, and the message were confirmed: "There are so many Venenzuelan artists and brothers from all over the world who want to participate in this message of love, in this message of solidarity, in this message of denunciation against the brutal aggression to which the Venezuelan people, that we have had to dedicate two days for the organization of this concert with the organizers, so that on Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23, the immense concert will be held at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge."

However, according to clarifications from Dario Vivas, a Chavista leader, collected by El Tiempo, the concert will not be held on the Simón Bolivar bridge but in the Tienditas, the same one where Venezuela Aid Live will be, and it will not be two days but three: Friday , Saturday and Sunday.

Finally, it is worth noting the opposition that has arisen to the Richard Branson concert by the musicians, especially represented by Roger Waters, former member of the band Pink Floyd. In his Twitter account, the artist posted a video stating that "the important thing about this is that, even if you listen to them, it has nothing to do with humanitarian aid. It has to do with Richard Branson buying the USA saying 'We have decided to take Venezuela' for whatever reasons, but it has nothing to do with the needs of the Venezuelan people, it has nothing to do with democracy, it has nothing to do with it with freedom and it has nothing to do with help."



LatinAmerican Post | Juan Gabriel Bocanegra

Translated from "Batalla de conciertos: Venezuela Live Aid Vs Venezuela hands off"