Is Gustavo Dudamel political? This artist says yes.

October 4, 2015 by norman lebrecht


The LA Phil music director published a strongly reasoned piece last week declaring his love from Venezuela and a zone of disengagement between him and its ruling regime.

His longterm antagonist, the pianist Gabriela Montero, has read the piece and thinks otherwise. Slipped Disc does not endorse either side in the personal aspect of this dispute. Here’s Gabi’s take, published on her social media:

abreu dudamel

Gabriela Montero: I have been asked repeatedly since Dudamel’s op-ed my thoughts on his statement that he is “not political”.

In my opinion, if you are not political you do not:

– Perform repeatedly over the years for a dictator in numerous public events.
– Have numerous photos taken in public (or private) events with the dictators and his accomplices.
– Accept to be flown in on a government private jet to perform at the closing of one of the last independent TV channels left in your country to lead your orchestra in the opening of the NEW state/socialist channel.
– Perform at and pay your respects, visibly shaken, at the funeral of the dictator.
– Perform for regime officials and the general public on the day peaceful protesting students are murdered by that same regime which funds your orchestra.
– Party with regime officials who are publicly known to be your personal friends.
– Watch a movie you are involved with at the Presidential Palace with the dictator. (This was commented on proudly by Maduro on TV)
– State that you “Have respect for Venezuela’s leaders and the offices they hold” when many of the said officials are known to be involved in corruption and allegedly also facilitate and lead the drug trafficking cartels in South America.

So on, and so on….


gabriela montero colours

If Gustavo is “apolitical”, then:

– Where are the performances for the other half (or more!) of Venezuela? The opposition?
– Where are the numerous photos with the opposition leaders and victims of the regime?
– Where is the denouncement of the blatant violations of human rights of Venezuelans by the regime?
– Where are his statements concerning the arbitrary imprisonment of Leopoldo Lopez and the other 75 opposition leaders and students? Many of them tortured and held in inhumane conditions?
– Where is his outrage at the absolute collapse of his country at the hands of the authoritarian regime? His outrage at the lack of security, food, medicines, justice, etc…

It seems to me that if you promote and lend your image, your time and your music to one faction, it is that group that you belong to and stand by.

That is not someone being apolitical. It is someone being VERY political but not wanting to openly disclose it.


Comments (39)

  1. Holger H. says:

    Chavez was elected, repeatedly, by the people of Venezuela. And these elections were certified by an external and independent organization, the OAS.

    It is only reasonable to state, that he was a legitimate head of state of a sovereign country, acting on behalf of the majority of his people.
    It is also reasonable to speculate, that all the violence and unrest, individual from the bottom, and from the top of the government, has its roots in the long history of that country, not only a singular cause in a few drastic changes since Chavez rose to power. It is how history works.

    I would like to sympathize with your cause, and it is no secret that the former upper middle class and upper class of Venezuela have suffered and are the big losers of the changes in that country. I’m sorry for your loss.
    But we also know that Chavez is a prime enemy of the US and corporate interests, because he nationalized the oil industry and enacted socialist reforms, so extra caution in separating the propaganda from the truth is indicated.

    I believe there are no good or bad sides in this conflict. Only antagonistic interests and their struggle.

    Tricky to form an informed opinion.

    1. Carmen-Helena Tellez says:

      Democracy is not only elections. Democracy is the exercise of plurality through and through. If the government were legitimate in all its stages and layers, we would not have the current disaster that is Venezuela right now. The breakdown on their society is sufficient proof of illegitimacy. Dudamel’s letter is beautifully written, but Gabriela’s response articulates facts that are also unbeatable. This is not an easy problem. Arguments by Maduro propagandists do not contribute to a solution.

    2. V.Lind says:

      The likes of Ms. Montero and her class were indeed probably the losers when Chavez came to power. Shades of Cuba in 1959.

      I do not entirely dispute her viewpoints. But for Dudamel, who came out of Venezuela having been supported and encouraged by El Sistema and those who funded it, it is not abnormal that he would have some associations there.

      He is, like it or not, an “establishment figure” in Venezuela, and a natural invité for official functions there. Perhaps he did have a good personal relationship with Chavez. Not unusual for leaders to want association with artists who have “made it,” and not unusual for said artists to accept the association too. That really does not, in and of itself, make him “political.” Seeking out and associating with opposition, on the other hand, would of necessity be a political act.

      Venezuela clearly has a lot of problems to solve, and, like Cuba until very recently, would have a better shot at it if there were not this antagonism between its near neighbour America and anything that even hints at “socialism.” America, despite its new favourite fear-mongering paranoia, terrorism, has never really let go of its long love affair with hating anything to do with communism, socialism or anything other than unbridled American capitalistic exploitation opportunities. If that country would bloody grow up and learn a little about co-existence, there might be a lot less reason for its created enemies to be tyrannical.

      As Cuba has shown, in the end, they set their own course, and if it leaves plutocrats out, tough. And tough on Ms. Montero and her sympathisers. She has built herself an excellent life outside the Venezuela; it is to her credit that she is still an advocate for a better country there. But her better and that of the classes she probably never knew might be quite different.

      1. Daniel F. says:

        After everything that we now know about the depredations of communism and socialism and the completely brutal repression in these kinds of regimes, it’s really hard to accept that “true believers” like you are still out there. What did Orwell say? Something like “some ideas are so absurd that only an intellectual could hold them.”

        1. V.Lind says:

          I am no true believer in communism, and have travelled exhaustively enough in communist countries to realise that the first and foremost problem of them is that they do not have an economics. Everything else they do wrong is an outcome of trying to make a non-existent thing work.

          But my sympathy for the upper classes, the ones who got away from Communist regimes, are under firm control. I am not much acquainted with ex-pat Venezuelans, but I am with Cubans. That disaffected group is bitter and resentful of what THEY lost, which seems basically to be the ability to tramp down the paisanos without repercussion, exploiting them for their own gain, the opportunity to plunder everything they could out of their society — often with the help of a particularly nasty type of American ally — and a blithe oblivion to the repressive conditions under which most of their country lived. Communism might never have happened in Cuba — MIGHT — if the US had welcomed the overthrow of the corrupt and evil Batista regime. Absent economic relations with near neighbours, the new regime looked elsewhere. And while the nation suffered in many respects, it did develop health care, education and the arts and sciences in a vigorous way — and they were open to all, not just to the elites. Yes, opposition is not brooked, though it has all opened up a good bit in recent years. Not like Nixon didn’t have an enemies list, and act on it. It’s a tendency of all insecure regimes, whatever their political stripe. (Pinochet, Franco, Malaysia, Burma, etc. Not a comm in the bunch).

          Venezuela’s case is not identical but it is similar. And it tends to be the same type who object to what Chavez was trying to do, and his seemingly less able successor to continue. Dudamel was not the only person to attend Chavez’ funeral — there was a fair bit of grieving throughout the country when he died. A lot of people continually elected him and seem to love him.

          In any case, I will take any comment on socialism from an American with a huge grain of salt. A lot of Americans — Republicans and the morons “informed” by the Fox Network — think Canada is “socialist,” which only shows their ignorance of both Canada and socialism.

          1. Daniel F. says:

            Your protesting so much gives you away. An honest person (like Orwell, like Koestler) attacks tyranny where he finds it, on both right and left sides. Tell the jailed political opposition in Venezuela that things are “loosening up in recent years.” Yes, lots of sad people at Chavez’s funeral, just as there will be at Mugabe’s, just as there were at Mao’s. While Nixon, who was something of an anomaly among US Presidents, did have his “enemies list,” he neither jailed nor killed anyone on it. Nixon might actually have been a good Cuban dictator but, unfortunately for him and lucky for the rest of us, the US has a Constitution that, though hardly flawless, does offer a great deal of protection against tyranny. Nixon was notably unsuccessful in confronting it.

          2. V.Lind says:

            I think a few people might question your assertion that Nixon never killed nor imprisoned his enemies. He certainly created a political climate in which protest was very aggressively fought by the administration, leading to many imprisonments that might not have occurred otherwise, and leading inexorably to Kent State.

            And I have declining confidence in the US Constitution given Patriot Acts, Guantanamo, and other paranoiac acts since 9/11. Freedom of the press virtually ground to a standstill in the immediate aftermath of that dreadful day — anyone who challenged anything done by the government for the next couple of years was practically accused of treason. It took a long time to see vigorous analysis of the completely spurious invasion of Iraq, and it still requires a lot more attention than it has got, but it is an unfolding story. Of incredible unleashed evil that is directly at the hands of Bush and his thugs.

            The hypocrisy of American attitudes to communist regimes has always been laughable. While trying to starve out the Cubans, they had no problem cosying up to the Chinese, whose record on human rights and brooking opposition was incrementally much greater than anything the Cubans (or the Venezuelans) could get up to. As I said before, American political philosophy, instinctively right-wing whoever is in power, is absolutely dictated by its own ECONOMIC self-interest. The Chinese market is far too important to care about the THOUSANDS who were executed year in, year out, and still are, or to take a strong and principled stand over things like, you know, Tiananmen Square. Look at the alliances the US maintains in places like the mid-East. Political philosophy has nothing to do with it. They don’t like Venezuela because their financial stake has been reduced by the last two governments. The opposition has nothing to do with it.

            Ad the Ms.Monteros of this world may be purer of principle, though there is a certain amount of “what I have lost” in some of their public utterances. Ms. Montero may be sincere in her feelings for the opposition members and those in Venezuela who are suffering. I wonder how much she did for them when she was there. She is entitled to her views — as is Dudamel. But it is getting a little tiresome to see her using him as her permanent whipping boy just because he gets on with people she doesn’t.

        2. Eddie Mars says:

          You’d have more credibility if you addressed the topic under discussion. Your post is just an off-topic ad hominem screed directed against someone with whom you disagree, based on your empty presumptions of their views.

          Value = 0.

          1. Daniel F. says:

            You have a very literal-minded idea of what the topic is, Eddie. An interesting pen-name you have. You do realize that Eddie was rather easily outsmarted by Philip Marlow and paid a stiff price for his deficits. But damn! There I go: off the “topic” again.

  2. Tim Walton says:

    Good on you Gabriela

    Dudomel has obviously had some lessons in ‘arse licking’ from Gergiev.

    1. Eddie Mars says:

      Godwin’s Law, you lose.

  3. Daniel F. says:

    The huge difference between GD and other conductors who performed for and/or endorsed awful regimes—Furtwangler, Rozhdestvensky, Mawrinsky, Mengelberg—can be boiled down to a single word: MUSICIANSHIP. That’s what should inform opinions about him. The personal/political predilections of great artists are very dicey and to take these folks seriously beyond their art is fruitless. Dudamel does have a great management team that has been able consistently to keep his third-rate brand in the public eye. He is probably the best-marketed conductor in the history of western music.

    1. Robert says:

      If Dudamel lost all his hair, his charisma would be diminished a thousandfold.

      1. John Borstlap says:

        The best conductors are tha bald ones.

  4. AnnaT says:

    Norman, once again the thumbnail that shows in this story, which is centered on a woman, is an image of just her chest. Not the first time I’ve pointed this out.

    1. Anon says:

      Annat – this is simply software, I suspect, not deliberate.
      Any image illustrating a tory which is not in standard dimensions, landscape orientation is automatically cropped to form the picture on the homepage(s).
      See this story:
      plus the flautist story which follows it, and plenty of others – all these cropped becasue the oriuginal image is portrait and wrong dimensions for the homepage layout style. I don’t think there is anything averse going on here!

      1. Petros LInardos says:

        On the other hand, the choice of photographs is not coincidental. In this blog, Gabriella Montero is among those always shown in flattering photographs. Christoph Eschenbach, to name just one artist, does not enjoy the same treatment here.

  5. milka says:

    Wonder why Slipped Disc does not take a stand on this ?

  6. I am not a robot says:

    Pablo Casals he ain’t…

  7. Robert says:

    Does anyone seriously think that if Dudamel were to publicly criticize the government, that it would shut down El Sistema? I think not. El Sistema is too great a resource for the country. Even the oppressors recognize that. Both Dudamel (and Gergiev for that matter) have the power (because of their immense international profiles) to effect change in their respective countries. Neither will because they are either a coward (in Dudamel’s case) or a true believer (in Gergiev’s case).

  8. Grace-notes says:

    It would be interesting to know if Ms. Montero began attacking Dudamel’s politics before or after he had ceased engaging her as a soloist. One assumes his reason for engaging her had been primarily because she was his fellow Venezuelan, but otherwise she has proven herself to be a bland, mediocre pianist & musician (although certainly very attractive on stage) – and she achieved a certain level of popularity due to her improvising skills. Gabriela Montero is simply NOT an artist of Dudamel’s caliber, so it was her honor to play with him. Whether she is committed to social justice (and has a clean record to justify it), or whether she is simply taking shots at a big target to gain notoriety – remains to be seen.

  9. Ross says:

    Gabbi, pretend you’re a Russian emigre ca. 1950 and write a similar piece criticizing David Oistrakh’s loyalty to Joseph Stalin.

    1. John Borstlap says:

      Famous artists in Stalin’s time were kept under control by potential threats to their families.

      1. Holger H. says:

        And what makes you believe Dudamel has no family and and mentors in Venezuela. And on top an “El Sistema” program that benefits so many yet depends on the good will of the government de jour?

        1. John Borstlap says:

          Would Chavez have threatened D’s family with execution if he stepped out of line?

  10. Novagerio says:

    Either way, both are doing politics…

  11. Alexander says:

    It would be nice if the thumbnail image could be cropped to show her face, by which most people would recognise her, rather than her neck and chest. For a pianist a close-up of the hands would also be acceptable. As pointed out above, this is not the first time this has happened. There is an article on here in which a photo of a 14-year-old girl is cut off just above her nose (and just below her bust):

  12. Holger H. says:

    By the way.
    “His longterm antagonist, the pianist Gabriela Montero…”
    is wishful thinking. GM tries. But in reality she is just one voice of many.

  13. John Borstlap says:

    It seems that GM nailed GD in an irrefutable way. If you want to be ‘apolitical’, you either stay out of politically-charged situations or try to be objective.

    1. Holger H. says:

      Define objective here.

      1. John Borstlap says:

        As GM already poined-out: giving attention to both establishment and opposition, to avoid the impression of taking stands.


    I agree completely with Gabriela Montero. I live in Venezuela and I am suffering, as everybody else, the insecurity, the shortage and the repression of the actual regime. Dudamel, as an influential personality, could have done something to protest the abuse and cruelty towards the students and the population opposing the dictatorship. But he, for sure, would lose their endorsement. This only evidences the essence of a military government.

    1. Mark Henriksen says:

      He is living in LA bringing down a good salary and can conduct anywhere in the world. He hardly needs a letter of recommendation from anyone in Caracas.

      1. Holger H. says:

        Correct, he doesn’t. But thousands of poor kids in Venezuela need ‘El Sistema’ to give hope, joy and meaning to their lives. Financed by (whatever) government of Venezuela.
        Imagine you were Dudamel and had either the choice to do what it takes to support this awsome social education program, or be the opportunist who tries to keep his commercial PR image spotless and give in to the hollow self-righteous and uninformed bigoted outrage of a few ignorant yet opinionated people. Which side would you choose?

        1. Petros LInardos says:

          Question: is it possible to support El Systema while maintaining a distance from Venezuela’s United Socialist Party?

          1. Holger H. says:

            I guess if Venezuela’s most famous ‘El Sistema’ alumni would take a public stance against the ruling party, it would mean damage to the initiative, how big I have no idea. It’s not about the party itself, it is about whoever forms the government and most essential for the survival of ‘El Sistema’.

            But isn’t the actual question: Even *if* Dudamel were supportive of the USP itself, it’s political agenda, why for US constitutions sake should he not be free to do so, under the constitutionally guaranteed ‘freedom of association’, and be free to do so without a witch hunt that reminds of the darker times of the US, McCarthyism?

            Sure, sponsors of the L.A. Phil would be free as well to not donate money, such is the plutocratic nature of a exclusively private sponsorship system for culture. Which brings us closer to the truth of the matter: he must pretend to be a boss boy of the plutocracy, submit to the the interests of capital and corporations and forswear any socialist associations, or face consequences.

  15. Alvaro says:

    Opinions abound about whether Dudamel is political or not. One thing is 10000000% CERTAIN though. GABRIELA MONTERO IS POLITICAL!!

    The question is why? Many will say its because of love of country, others….well….that’s another topic.

    Would love to see those two in rehearsal though 😉 She’d speak more about GDP, BOP and the such and less about the actual music I ponder (Unless its her concerto)

    All clear then…

  16. El Grillo says:

    I wonder if it’s completely and totally superflous and off-topic to point out, after all the heated arguing on this blog, and the one before where Dudamel was quoted as saying :” I will not publicly take a political position or align myself with one point of view or one party in Venezuela or in the United States,” even when he’s seen vigorously conducting with picture of political figure in the background that does belong or did belong to one certain party, his statement points out he isn’t endorsing said figure. Even when to maintain financial support for El Sistema, he’s not endorsing said party. That’s, it seems, way too simple.

    For the quite amazing depth of interpreting what exactly he meant, it’s of vital importance to be turning such a simple statement around several turns and examine when and how the light of it will fall on the desired cadence, and that any straightforward analyses of it (when he says he’s not endorsing a party, this means he is; even when he’s pretty much forced to and saying he’s not endorsing any party, while being forced to, this means exactly the opposite and that he IS endorsing it). HAHA! With such amazing depth of understanding, one can only wonder what the consensus of such analysistism would add up to had he actually clearly endorsed Chavez and Maduro’s party!?

    If this would happen (he admits what certain factions are sure he IS doing), Is he then animating some secret pathological desire to get whoever-this-might-be-referring-to-who-has-moved-away-from-him back into his circle, and because said person is in the habit of performing in many places that might have the name of corporate industrialists (such as a certain hall or a certain center bearing certain names or certain places largely funded by certain people, all who might be seen to have economic empires that aren’t all that nice); that in saying he’s endorsing who he’s said to be endorsing (although certain people think he’s lying) by admitting this (Yes I DO endorse Chavex and Maduro, he would say) he’s not only catering to their desire to prove they know what he’s up to, but also showing he’s also going along with the habit of overlooking and forgiving given incentive? But one has to be even more wary because it’s just a ploy to get whoever-this-might-be-referring-to-who-has-moved-away-from-him-and-is-now-in-more-danger under his wing.

    Or since wings have been mentioned, does this mean that he actually knows that Chavez in the afterlife isn’t with his old party, and saying that he (Dudamel) doesn’t endorse “any” party, this refers to a new party that can never be acknowledged (and when someone endorses no party this means it’s that party), is extremely dangerous (being invisible) and that he speaks of it means he’s more dangerous and corrupt politically than was even suspected?

  17. El Grillo says:

    “In my opinion, if you are not political you do not:
    – Perform repeatedly over the years for a dictator in numerous public events.”

    In calling Chavez a dictator where is the criticism of others when seems G M doesn’t include them for “political” reasons. I’m not promoting at all Chavez or Maduro, who both are advertised as having been elected democratically (or were they: I haven’t studied this), when this is questionable even with George Bush from US: the great policing agent of democracy. The first time, when actually counted, he didn’t win, the second time the exit polls were so discrepant that if this had happened in any other country the US would have started ranting about it being non democratic and probably would lead to excuses to destabilize that country with economic or other means. You can read more about this here And Gabriel has played at the inauguration of Obama, who also has perpetuated wars, actual wars. Although she compares Venezuela to a war zone, there are other countries where there actually are wars perpetuated by the man whose inauguration she played at. If she’s going to criticize Dudamel, I think that she needs to look at her own stance in other areas. Or she could just acknowledge that simply being a musician shows there’s another way. And that in itself makes a statement.

    “– Have numerous photos taken in public (or private) events with the dictators and his accomplices.”
    Taken that someone is sociopath as a dictator (which Gabriela puts forth), to deny that music might give them the space to look at things differently further “politicizes” and is demonizing a situation that might otherwise be helped, thanks to something as simple as music. Something that nurtures thought because it’s thought rather than it has to adhere to political ideals or other dogma. Also Dudamel is a representative of music, and supports El Sistema, this is why he has pictures taken, he has stated that he DOES NOT support ANY political party (neither in Venzuela the US); and so this actually stresses he is NOT supporting whatever party the government Du Jour in Venezuela tries to make it look like he is, and that’s quite a strong statement against how they might try to politicize El Sistema.

    “– Accept to be flown in on a government private jet to perform at the closing of one of the last independent TV channels left in your country to lead your orchestra in the opening of the NEW state/socialist channel.”
    Oh, you mean like working for IMG artists that helps various celebrity figures widen the difference between orchestral pay and soloist pay even further, and bend the money flow towards celebrity, towards exploitation of dead composers rather than nurturing live ones (something which when modulated to the time when all the music came to being that’s being exploited would take care that the music exploited WASN’T there, for love of it), along with orchestras and opera houses closing by the droves (rather than TV channels); and then using this for political means, while Dudamel actually is being criticized (is accused of covert political behavior) for doing things that help maintain funding for the orchestras he’s involved with.
    GM would say she does this for other reasons, she’s funded her own rebellion piece, etc. But I’m just making counterpoint as biased as her criticism of Dudamel. Dudamel is leading a whole orchestra. Who knows what they have to do to survive in these times (a whole community not just one celebrity)!? Of course this is terrible when independent channels close, but it’s not as if this isn’t happening in the US, or that the corporate media she appeared on at Obama’s inauguration isn’t involved with such activity in the US, where recently all community peg stations have it much more difficult, and many have closed. The situation is much more complicated than she’s making it out to be.

    “– Perform at and pay your respects, visibly shaken, at the funeral of the dictator.”
    This is quite amazing that someone is being attacked for subversive political behavior when he’s visibly shaken at a funeral. Was he supposed to go prancing around saying: “Ra ra ra he’s dead?” This was someone who helped fund the musical activity that Dudamel believes in; one could just as easily point out anyone playing in say “Carnegy Hall” or “Rockefeller Center” or the places the Koch brothers now fund are involved promoting whole economic empires. Has G M played at any of these places? And funerals bring all sorts of emotions into play, emotions involved with anyone a person has lost during their life time, because death comes into play. I find this quite warped to harp on whether Dudamel was “visibly shaken” at a funeral, and insensitive to whatever he was going through emotionally, or what loss he feels with death itself. Good Lord, that one can’t go to a funeral and seem “visibly shaken” without being accused of who knows what. As in, if you are shaken when my enemy has died, this means you’re making a covert political statement.

    “– Perform for regime officials and the general public on the day peaceful protesting students are murdered by that same regime which funds your orchestra.”
    Dudamel has spoken against the violence.

    “– Party with regime officials who are publicly known to be your personal friends.”
    Again, he’s not allowed to have friends who are in the government? This also presumes that one never changes the opinion of a friend, or that you must hate your enemies or stay away from people who you disagree with for them to change their ways.

    “– Watch a movie you are involved with at the Presidential Palace with the dictator. (This was commented on proudly by Maduro on TV)”
    Thus Dudamel should not watch a movie he’s involved with, although it might help provide funding for music, an innate part of being human.

    “– State that you “Have respect for Venezuela’s leaders and the offices they hold” when many of the said officials are known to be involved in corruption and allegedly also facilitate and lead the drug trafficking cartels in South America.”
    We aren’t told what the context was in the statement. I don’t think that leaders in the Venezuela government have a monopoly on alleged covert drug behavior. The CIA is quite good at it (and there’s enough proof that it’s not been allegedly), and it’s not completely delusional to believe that perhaps they might be (allegedly) neglecting to stop or are even encouraging drug activity in that area because they know it destabilizes a regime the US doesn’t like.
    So on, and so on….

    If Gustavo is “apolitical”, then:

    “– Where are the performances for the other half (or more!) of Venezuela? The opposition?”
    If you are sponsored (get financial aid for a medium of expression that’s Universal) by someone, then to not play for anyone who wanted to be in control of the sponsoring body but didn’t make it is “political.” It also says nothing of whether or not Dudamel would have preferred the opposition to win. I suppose mentioning that to inspire the people of Venezuela to see that it can create and support El Sistema might help inspire the opposition to want to win an election and perhaps actually do that is again too deluded, because as someone has stated, only if it’s protest music can it help. Has Dudamel ever stated: “My performances are not for the opposition.”

    “– Where are the numerous photos with the opposition leaders and victims of the regime?”
    As if Dudamel is dismissing all of the opposition and the victims because he’s not been photographed with them. Are opposition people also supposed to judge him that he didn’t have his picture taken with them? And then where’s G M’s picture with Troy Davis, or numerous others from the US (there are enough to choose from, I think).
    “– Where is the denouncement of the blatant violations of human rights of Venezuelans by the regime?”

    G M lives in the US, it would be quite easy to pick out any of numerous actions the US has taken that one feels she should speak out against, and hasn’t. And mind you because she HASN’T she’s then involved with covert political behavior according to her own logic. As she says: “That is not someone being apolitical. It is someone being VERY political but not wanting to openly disclose it.”
    “– Where are his statements concerning the arbitrary imprisonment of Leopoldo Lopez and the other 75 opposition leaders and students? Many of them tortured and held in inhumane conditions?”

    Where are G M’s statements (as someone that lives in the US) about Guantanamo Bay, extra-judicial renditions, wars that go against international laws, wall street corruption (and heh, this might involve the state of the Venezuela economy and the destabilization of the country regardless who is in charge)?

    “– Where is his outrage at the absolute collapse of his country at the hands of the authoritarian regime? His outrage at the lack of security, food, medicines, justice, etc… “
    Dudamel does bring music into the country, and music re-instates the human condition for everyone, otherwise it’s like saying people aren’t allowed to think. If you’re not along my lines music won’t help you. And you will get my outrage (as if that’s going to help, or has shown to). Dudamel also isn’t in charge of security, food, medicines, justice, nor probably most of what is referred to as etc. so why doesn’t Gabriel refer her outrage to those in charge of such things, and there’s a lot more than Venezuela that she could vent her outrage at, it’s become pretty much global the past years or so.

    I’m not even saying GM should make all of these statements, but that she does demand them from others.

    I don’t really judge her on that, I understand she’s extremely hurt and saddened to see what has happened to her country, and her statements express that; and she’s spoken out and said things which needed to be said while it made an unfair target out of her, banned her from Venezuela unfairly and caused her to acquire hostility against her which is never justified. And G M has reported how players in El Sistema were threatened to take part in a propaganda video, and they told her about this in tears. That’s great for her to do it.

    But to deny that music in itself, by it’s nature, helps can sentimentalize and moralize what music is. As if air itself is supposed to go: “Whoa, heh: DICTATOR! Don’t flow there he might breath!!” And what reinstates the human condition is to be withheld because people aren’t being “humane” as if that makes a statement about what humanity is. As in: “If you aren’t healed, we won’t heal you,” making medicine out to be a luxury, how music already IS misrepresented, as if it is a luxury. When someone has experienced what kind of difference music can make, although it seems all sorts of other method are stressed as being effective although they involve coercion, shame, guilt (trauma based forms of control); when someone knows that music can remind another of what it truly is to be human and restore a situation none of the methods being used could, it takes immense courage to stick with this, even though it’s not going to be acknowledged as little as anything so invisible, anything so personal between a person and their emotions remains.

    I do commend G M for saying things that wouldn’t have been said, despite bringing personal danger to herself and consequently being banned from Venezuela. But those are statements about the Venezuela Government, which Dudamel isn’t running. He’s a musician. I don’t think that Dudamel has to take the same approach as her or he’s involved with covert political behavior.

    And I don’t see Dudamel criticizing G M or her stance, or criticizing others in a way which would cause tension, and the kind of judging of motives we see here; he just clarifies his position and says he doesn’t endorse any political party.

    I’m also sorry if I seem harsh or sarcastic in my remarks.
    I just think it’s not completely fair to what music is, and I find it distressful that it seems as if Dudamel is not even allowed to believe music makes a difference, just because it’s music, and we are to ignore all of the feelings towards and how we see it does.
    And what Gabriel does as a musician does make a change, as music does for everyone, because it’s an innate part of the human condition which gives a home to the soul, to emotions beyond anything objective to be wielded.

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