Pink Floyd’s Waters Slams Venezuela Border Aid Concert

LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN, 25 Feb 2019

Brian Ellsworth and Sarah Marsh | Reuters – TRANSCEND Media Service

19 Feb 2019 – Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters slammed an upcoming “Live Aid”-style concert to raise funds for humanitarian aid for Venezuela, calling the event a U.S.-backed effort to tarnish the socialist government in a video circulating today.

FILE PHOTO: Musician Roger Waters performs at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Billionaire Richard Branson is backing the Friday show in the Colombian border city of Cucuta with a fundraising target of $100 million to provide food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering widespread shortages.

Latin singers Alejandro Sanz, Nacho, Luis Fonsi and Maluma have so far confirmed they will perform in the concert, which has evoked comparisons to Irish rock star Bob Geldof’s 1985 global “Live Aid” concert to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

“It has nothing to do with humanitarian aid at all,” the 75-year old Waters said. “It has to do with Richard Branson … having bought the US saying, ‘We have decided to take over Venezuela, for whatever our reasons may be.’”

“Venezuela Aid Live” is part of a broader western relief effort organized by Venezuela’s opposition, that blames the ruling Socialists for the economy’s hyperinflationary downwards spiral that has sparked the exodus of millions.

President Nicolas Maduro, who is facing growing international pressure to step down after his disputed re-election last year, denies there is a humanitarian crisis.

“Richard is helping them to raise awareness of the crisis in Venezuela and raise much needed funds through this event,” a spokesperson for Virgin, which handles media inquiries for Branson, said in a statement. “This is not a political statement and the U.S. is not involved in any aspect of this.”

The United States is openly backing Maduro’s rival and congress chief Juan Guaido, who last month invoked constitutional provisions to declare himself interim president.

The opposition plans to bring aid into Venezuela on Saturday from collection points in neighboring countries including Cucuta via sea and land, despite Maduro’s refusal to let it in, setting up a possible clash with authorities.

Waters, the British rock group’s principal songwriter who penned many of the hit songs on the hugely popular albums “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall,” said the relief effort was part of the United States’ attempts to paint a false picture of Venezuela to justify regime change.

Trump ramps up pressure on Venezuela’s military

To date there was “no mayhem, no murder, no apparent dictatorship” in Venezuela, he said, despite even government data putting the homicide rate among the world’s highest.

“Do we really want Venezuela to turn in to another Iraq or Syria or Libya? I don’t and neither do the Venezuelan people,” Waters wrote.

This is not the first time the bass player has weighed into South American politics. During a concert in Brazil ahead of presidential elections there last year, Waters spoke out against then right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who is now president.

Maduro’s government this week announced two concerts on Friday and Saturday just across the border from Cucuta to rival Branson’s “Aid Live” show.

______________________________________________

Reporting by Brian Ellsworth and Sarah Marsh; editing by Bill Berkrot

Go to Original – reuters.com

 

Share this article:


DISCLAIMER: In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


There are no comments so far.

Join the discussion!

We welcome debate and dissent, but personal — ad hominem — attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), abuse and defamatory language will not be tolerated. Nor will we tolerate attempts to deliberately disrupt discussions. We aim to maintain an inviting space to focus on intelligent interactions and debates.

*

code

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.