This is a story with lots of moving parts so let us try and make some sense of it for you.
Richard Branson, the British billionaire, and Virgin Group CEO, went to the press and announced the launch of a Live Aid-style benefit show aimed at raising money for food and medicine for the citizens of Venezuela.
The gig takes place this Friday in the Colombian border town of Cúcuta, which sits on the Venezuelan border.
Roger Waters sees the benefit concert in a totally different light, and has come out criticizing the concert and has cited concerns over the potential ramifications of foreign intervention. Waters wrote via Twitter: “The Red Cross and the U.N., unequivocally agree, don’t politicize aid,” adding:
“Leave the Venezuelan people alone to exercise their legal right to self determination.”
Waters also said: “It has nothing to do with humanitarian aid at all,” adding: “It has to do with Richard Branson … having bought the U.S. saying, ‘We have decided to take over Venezuela, for whatever our reasons may be.’ Do we really want Venezuela to turn in to another Iraq or Syria or Libya? I don’t and neither do the Venezuelan people.”
Branson’s representatives say that the U.S. government played no role in the organization of the show, and came out with the following statement: “Richard is helping them to raise awareness of the crisis in Venezuela and raise much needed funds through this event,” a spokesperson for Virgin said in a press statement. “This is not a political statement and the U.S. is not involved in any aspect of this.”
The troubles in Venezuela are far-reaching and the contested president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, has stated that denied there is a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and has shut down the borders in fear that foreign aid efforts are part of a U.S.-orchestrated coup.
You can see Roger Waters’ Tweet and video below:
The Red Cross and the UN, unequivocally agree, don’t politicize aid. Leave the Venezuelan people alone to exercise their legal right to self determination. pic.twitter.com/I0yS3u75b6
— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) February 18, 2019