Pink Floyd ex-frontman Roger Waters is slamming Virgin tycoon Richard Branson’s aid concert for Venezuela as a sham, warning fans and performers not to be “led down a garden path that ends in regime change.”
Branson’s “Venezuela Aid Live” concert “has nothing to do with the needs of the Venezuelan people, it has nothing to do with democracy, it has nothing to do with freedom, and it has nothing to do with aid,” Waters declared in a video released on Tuesday.
The musician and political activist tore into the western media narrative depicting Venezuela as the victim of a humanitarian crisis created by socialism. “There is no civil war, no mayhem, no murder, no apparent dictatorship, no mass imprisonment of opposition, no suppression of the press” under President Nicolas Maduro, he said, citing friends “on the ground” in Caracas who could confirm this.
Venezuela Aid Live will take place on Friday in the Colombian border city of Cucuta. Branson has announced a fundraising target of $100 million to purchase food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering the privations of socialism – or US sanctions, depending on which version of the narrative one prefers.
Waters reserved special scorn for Branson himself, “with his bleeding heart worn openly upon his Virgin Airways t-shirt,” claiming the magnate has bought into US propaganda. A spokesperson for Branson told the National Post that the US was “not involved in any aspect of this” and that the concert was “not a political statement.”
The US-backed would-be regime change in Venezuela has not gone as smoothly as planned, with the country’s military still loyal to Maduro despite National Assembly leader Juan Guaido having declared himself an ‘interim president’ over a month ago. On Monday, US President Donald Trump gave a speech warning the Venezuelan military to follow Guaido or “lose everything.”
Waters finished his speech with a warning to friend and fellow musician Peter Gabriel not to fall for the US line, reminding him how US-backed regime changes have turned out in the past.
Do we really want Venezuela to turn into another Iraq or Syria or Libya? I don’t, and neither do the Venezuelan people.