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Virgin Group billionaire Richard Branson announced on Friday the launch of an effort to raise $100 million in 60 days for the people of Venezuela centered around “Venezuela Aid Live,” a concert featuring some of the biggest names in the Latin American music industry.
Multiple reports have listed top acts like J Balvin, Maluma, Ricardo Montaner, and Juan Luis Guerra on the short list of artists performing. At press time, British rock legend Peter Gabriel is the only English-language artist listed to perform.
Concert - Place - February - Cúcuta - Colombia
The concert is scheduled to take place on February 22 in Cúcuta, Colombia, the border town where dictator Nicolás Maduro has blocked $20 million in American food and medical aid from entering Venezuela. Cúcuta is a common transit point for Venezuelans seeking to flee the country. As Branson notes in his launch video, at least 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country in the past five years, triggering the worst migrant crisis in modern Latin American history and rivaling the Syrian migrant crisis.
Unlike the English-language entertainment industry in America, where some of the nation’s most prominent celebrities supported socialist dictator Hugo Chávez and others continue to support Maduro, America’s mainstream entertainment industry is largely united in supporting the Venezuelan people in their struggle to end two decades of socialist rule.
Video - Media - Concert - Venezuela - Aid
In a video posted to social media announcing the concert, currently titled Venezuela Aid Live, Branson says that interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó and political prisoner Leopoldo López, the leader of Guaidó’s socialist Popular Will party, “asked us to organize a beautiful concert” to bring humanitarian aid into the country. Guaidó, upon being sworn into office on January 23, vowed to make bringing food and medical aid into the country his top priority.
“Venezuela is suffering. Not that long ago, it was the wealthiest country in South America. Now it is...
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