Breaking: Gustavo Dudamel urges Venezuela regime to back down

Breaking: Gustavo Dudamel urges Venezuela regime to back down


norman lebrecht

April 25, 2017

Amid mounting conflict between the Maduro government and the country’s citizens, Venezuela’s cultural ambassador has broken his silence to call on the regime to set egos and ideology aside and find a solution.

This is the first time he has spoken out on the collapsing political situation.
Dudamel says: ‘I share with you my concern about the events of my country. I call on political leaders to find the necessary ways to solve the crisis in Venezuela.’


  • enemigopublico says:

    No. He deliberately didn’t make it clear who he was talking about. His compatriots are tearing him apart on social media at the moment.

  • Janet de Hasson says:

    Too little, too late …

    • Michael says:

      So let me try to understand… When a Barenboim or a Kremer makes a statement concerning politics, the response is invariably: “you are a mere musician, just shut up and play.” Yet when Dudamel publicly addresses the political situation in his homeland it is “too little, too late.” I find both critiques demeaning – as if artists are either puppets for our amusement with not right to opinions as concerned citizens, or otherwise to suggest a single conductor has the power to wave his baton and save his country from crisis. But as far as such critics are concerned, hypocrisy is clearly a two-way street…

      • Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

        Cannot agree more!
        And unlike the numerous keyboard warriors here, Mr. Dudamel is a musician who owes a lot to his motherland Venezuela. For him it is a significantly more demanding job to deal with political issues. He has family, friends, local staffs and protégés there. According to the standards set by some commenters, Shostakovich also didn’t “made it clear enough”.

  • Ungeheuer says:

    He will not play violin to the hand that feeds. Oh, and it is an affront to memorable music making to write his name and conductor side by side.

    • Michael says:

      And you are?… What exactly makes you such an authority on what constitutes “memorable music making?”… Please don’t presume your self-righteous indignation speaks for the rest of us.

  • Lucas says:

    Too little, too late.

    • Anabel Borges says:

      It is never too late . Ignoring this type of violent and inhumane act is the worst thing a human can do. This is something that keeps happening to protesters and Ian been happening to journalists for over 17 years. Today, another student died who was attacked by the Venezuelan security forces who are using excessive force against people who does not even have weapons. I applaud Dudamel for his courage and thank him.

      • e says:

        Ana. The counterrevolution is violent and calculated. The oligarchy wants the reigns of power away from the people to themselves. Violence is the strategy. The political lines are drawn. You have the people, poor Venezuelan workers and peasants verses the Venezuelan oligarchs, Colombian oligarchs, Wall Street, Exxon, and Gustavo Dudamel. Shame on him.

  • Sue says:

    Ah, the joys of socialism and Marxism. The gift that keeps on giving long after the money has run out.

    • NYMike says:

      Yep – far better to have the plutocrats and christofascists that run the USA.

      • Peter says:

        But don’t you agree those are far better at “creating” money out of thin air?
        The problem with the socialists and Marxists is, they are stuck in that 19th century paradigm, that people are producers and should actually produce. Come the Wall Street parasites and pull a trick where you do nothing except printing money and making people believe it is worth something. Making them believe with a mighty military if necessary. It works. Pure genius…

      • herrera says:

        No orchestra in the US is surviving by taking food out of anyone’s mouth, and forcing classical music instead down their starving throats.

        For some, “music is the food for the soul” is a metaphor, for Venezuelans, it’s wishful thinking.

    • El Cid says:

      Socialism in Venezuela gave you Maestro Dudamel and Yola. Shame on you for your ingratitude. Tell your CIA to stop its criminal intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela. They don’t want to be a US vassal state, like the narco ruled Colombia and Mexico.

      • mech says:

        Socialism created nothing El SYSTEMA is a product of a great for all mind ,nothing to those chavistas mind destroying and stealing all from the country .El sistema is long live way before these “socialism ” to kill of hunger and right for the venezuelan people

        • El Cid says:

          It is true that the Bolivarian Revolution did not create El Sistema, but it thrived grew ten fold under Chavez. Why? Because Chavez dramatically increased ten fold. The figures alone tell you. Before Chavez 225,000 participated. Today over 800,000 overwhelmingly from very poor families get free instruments and high quality music education. That is the difference a Revolution makes. Before, the Venezuelan oligarchy stole the oil money and never paid their taxes.

  • enemigopublico says:

    Dudamel’s video translated into everyday Spanish:

  • Maarten Brandt says:

    A fantastic statement by Maestro Dudamel!

  • herrera says:

    Venezuela is literally starving to death. But hey, the important thing is that the Simon Bolivar Orchestra is touring and the toast of the town in European capitals.

    Let us applaud Dudamel and his band of well fed fiddlers while Caracas burns (well, if the people had any fuel to burn with).

  • El Cid says:

    Currently, there exists a violent mob backed by the United States and the local economic elites. There objective is to take the reigns of power away from the people. In Venezuela, the democratic opposition is a non existent fantasy. The people support the Bolivarian Revolution begun with the election of the late president Hugo Chavez. The opposition and economic elites are unelectable. Yet, they sabotage the economy, and make the people suffer.

    • Alex says:

      Yet the opposition won 2/3 of the National Assembly in the elections, with the CNE controlled by the government.

      And you say they’re “unelectable”. Eat your heart out ~

      • El Cid says:

        They are unelectable at the level of President. With regard to the assembly, they are there to disrupt and stop government functioning just like the disruptive Republicans in the US Congress that we refused to vote for a Democratic nominee for the US Supreme Court. Moreover, three members of the Venezuelan Assembly has their elections annulled because of fraud. Clearly the strategy of the Venezuelan elites is a violent coup with a slaughter. The people will not go for it.

  • Philip Conlon says:

    Your headline uses trickery. This is a carefully calibrated diplomatic statement aimed at all sides of the conflict. He is calling for peace and dialogue and compromise. That is not a support for those trying to bring down the government nor is it support for the governing party.

  • Mihail Ghiga says:

    The statement is not so bad after all. That country is collapsing, and a bloodbath is almost sure. We saw that in our country and in others and what follow will be: mass protest, repression, parts of army and police abandoning the regime, regime crumbles and Maduro is executed or flees, new interim power, opposition takes control in early elections, revoke the nationalisations and reopens the market, multinationals buy the country for cheap, people live in misery like they previously did but they can buy more i-phones. The two parts really talking would be a good solution but unfortunately itțs not a realistic one.

  • El Cid says:

    I am very disappointed with Maestro Dudamel. Clearly the Venezuelan elites have finally gotten to him. He must condemn the violence generated by the economic elites who are behind the riots. The Venezuelan government must at all cost maintain public security, againsts the economic elites such as Capriles and criminal Leopoldo Lopez who is serving in prison for inciting violence.

  • George P Thomas says:

    THE BLAME FOR THE VENEZUELAN ECONOMIC CRISIS. It was on April 19, 1961, that Cubans were victorious against the “Bay of Pigs” invasion. Also significant is April 19, 1810, in Caracas, when the Spanish American Wars of Independence and the Bolivarian Revolution began. Spain, a superpower with an imperialist empire that began in 1492, was in ruins by April 19, 1810. Empires rise and fall. Like Spain, the USA, now tens of trillions of dollars in National Debt, is also a superpower coming to ruin. History has proven that Capitalism can’t resolve the world’s problems. Imperialism, as the highest stage of capitalism, does not bring about a world of peace and mutual cooperation but rather one of intensified conflict, violence and war. The blame for the Venezuelan economic crisis rests on the United States empire and its imperialists, and the collaborating Venezuelan rightwing business owners aiming to sabotage the system. Venezuela is being attacked by the imperialists in the same manner that Cuba was… by invasion and embargo, though not necessarily in the same order). An economic coup is now being waged upon Venezuela by the imperialists and by their allied collaborators in the private sector. We have been watching with grave concern, the economic crisis in Venezuela, and conditions such as scarcity of goods, high inflation, broken currency exchange system, falling oil price, violence leaving dozens of citizens dead and hundreds injured. We, The Trinidad and Tobago Bolivarian Solidarity Group, believe that these conditions are the result of acts staged by big business (the opposition), in league with others whose objectives are destabilization of Venezuela. Basic commodity shortages are being caused by the business sector illegally stockpiling products in warehouses and diverting them from the Venezuelan marketplace for sale in Colombia, and by criminal speculators and smugglers who purchase subsidized food items and resell them at higher prices in the domestic market. Some speculators practice massive currency fraud by obtaining divisas (dollars)at the preferential exchange rate under pretext of importing priority goods and then selling those dollars on the parallel market or holding on to them in expectation of further devaluation of the bolivar. In attempting to weaken or overthrow the nationalist-populist government of The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the imperialist empire has resorted to multiple forms of attack including
    (1) corruption (buying off supporters), (2) funding and organizing opposition media, parties, business and trade union organizations, (3) organizing and backing disloyal military officials to violently overthrow the elected government, (4) supporting employers’ lockouts to paralyze strategic sectors of the economy (oil), (5) financing referendums and other ‘legal mechanisms’ to revoke democratic mandates,
    (6) promoting paramilitary groups to destabilize civil society, sow public insecurity and undermine agrarian reforms, (7) financing electoral parties and non-governmental organizations to compete in and delegitimize elections, (8) engaging diplomatic warfare and efforts to prejudice regional relations and
    (9) establishing military bases in neighboring countries, as a platform for future joint military invasions.
    When economic intervention fails, Imperialist domination has often relied on military intervention, both overt and covert, or through military support to reactionary local allies, to dismantle entire societies. Since WWII the USA has not won any war anywhere in the world, except in Panama and Grenada. Yet the USA has army, air-force, and naval bases in Columbia. These bases are not placed to patrol the Pacific Ocean to keep drug shipments from getting to the US. Instead many of them are grouped together on the Caribbean coast where there were already bases, and others are much closer to Venezuela. What missions ‘beyond Colombia’s borders’ are U.S. planners contemplating for this giant military presence in Columbia if not to stoke the flames of regional conflict?”
    The USA is now governed by a collection of morons, people-stupid-below-the-meaning-of-stupid, voted into power by people who are extremely gullible and inattentive. All are believers of the Fake News, Propaganda and “False Flags” fed to them by the mainstream US media, which is controlled by big business. The imperialists are trying hard to destroy the Cuban and Venezuelan revolutions domination because they are beacons of inspiration all over the world for oppressed people who are angered by injustice and seeking change. The Trinidad & Tobago Bolivarian Solidarity Group stands in solidarity with the Chavistas y Fidelistas. We call upon the imperialists and their collaborators to cease their unrelenting attacks on the non-violent revolutionary people, to respect the democratic rule of the constitutionally elected government, and to not change the region from being a Zone of Peace. We urge the media to publicize the truth. Viva Cuba! Viva Venezuela! Venceremos! Patria o Muerte! Hasta La Victoria Siempre!

  • Ana Hernandez says:

    His statement is in no way helping the current situation in Venezuela. He is not condemning the repression, the censorship, or the corruption of the Venezuelan government. The Venezuelan people is simply tired and living in misery, plus they distrust any promise
    of a government that controls the justice system, so at this point nobody wants to have talks with the government. That was tried before with no success. And Mr. Dudamel is so disconnected with the Venezuelan reality that his only suggestion was to recommend the leaders on both sides to talk and find a solution. What were you thinking Maestro? He is very hated right now in Venezuela. He wanted to separate his art from politics, but he never actually did because he was in support of the already repressive government, and went as far as to play at the funeral of Hugo Chavez…

    • Philip Conlon says:

      It is clear from your remarks that nothing less than the capitulation of the President of Venezuela would satisfy you. But you don’t know your own countrypeople, you only know the ones who are rich and angry at having lost some of their privileges. Likewise, you would only be satisfied by the complete subjugation of your most prominent classical musician to the coup makers. But your double standard is interesting. How many American musicians are being criticized for failing to speak up in defense of US Native people fighting the Dakota Acess Pipeline? How many American musicians are being criticized for failing to speak up in defense of Black Americans being shot dead by police? It seems that it is only Dudamel who is to be held to this high standard.

  • Dorinda Moreno says:

    Perhaps, a fund can be established to replace the violin of the young man at the helm of the protests, whose playing inspired the protesters to struggle midst tear gas and whose violin was destroyed in the mayhem. The violin gave the beleaguered community the sound of hope for the future.
    Reported by Univision’s Francisco Urreiztieta, May 24, 2017.