HAVANA TIMES — Amid the growing crisis in Venezuela, the well-known orchestra director Gustavo Dudamel asked the president of his country, Nicolas Maduro, to listen to the cries of his people and to stop acts of repression. His comments came after an 18-year-old musician died during a protest on Wednesday.
In a public statement he published on his Facebook page, Dudamel claimed that “nothing justifies the bloodshed” of a people “suffocated by an intolerable crisis.”
“I urgently call on the president and the national government to rectify and listen to the voice of the Venezuelan people. Times cannot be defined by the blood of our people,” he stressed.
“We owe our youth a hopeful world, a country where we can walk freely in dissent, in respect, in tolerance, in dialogue and in which dreams have room to build the Venezuela we all yearn for,” Dudamel pointed out.
Dudamel’s statement was published after the young musician, Armando Canizales 18, was killed on Wednesday. He was a member of the National System of Simon Bolivar Child and Youth Orchestras, where he played the viola.
According to the opposition to the Maduro government, Canizales died from the impact of a weapon belonging to the National Guard’s (military police) in their repressive tactics, even though the Government doubts this hypothesis.
The death of this young musician seems to have had a deep impact on Dudamel, who decided to abandon his neutral position on the Venezuelan conflict and criticize the government for the first time.
Dudamel, 36, who is the director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, asked the government to listen “to the voice of the masses” in order to overcome this crisis and give the Venezuelan people their fundamental rights back.
Prior to this, Dudamel had published a video on his Instagram account (@gustavodudamel) where he asked Venezuela’s political leaders in the government and opposition groups “to put aside their egos and ideologies” in order to find “the necessary way out of this crisis.”