A musical martyr in Venezuela’s civil war

A musical martyr in Venezuela’s civil war


norman lebrecht

May 04, 2017

Armando Cañizales was a viola player in an El Sistema youth orchestra.

On Tuesday, he exercised his civic right to demonstrate against a government that is destroying his country and killing its citizens.

A shot rang out.

AP reports:

On Wednesday, Armando Canizales, 17, was killed after being struck in the neck at a protest in a city east of Caracas. Video shows the young man in jeans and a black jacket being rushed by two men on a motorcycle to an ambulance as friends cried, “No, Armando!”

“A young man who had all his life ahead of him,” said Gerardo Blyde, the mayor of Baruta. “He was just fighting for a better country.”



  • Ungeheuer says:

    Senselessly tragic

  • Sam McElroy says:

    February, 2014. An excerpt from an open letter to Dudamel and Abreu from an Honorary Consul of Amnesty International:

    “But the time has come in which the artists with the most prominent voices can no longer quietly accept the theft and destruction of our nation for fear of biting the hand that feeds them… Unless we demand the restoration of human dignity in Venezuela, and not only by playing the music we all love so much, there will soon be no Venezuela left in which to play our music or raise our children.”

    Tragically prophetic.

    Radix malorum est cupiditas.

  • Leandro Oliveira says:

    What about the brave and courageous Dudamel?

  • Marg says:

    Gabriela has spoken out with courage and conviction for years, and her compositions and playing reflect her pain about her homeland. This senseless death of a young musician is so tragic, but its hard to see an early end to the pattern of conflict. Dudemel too needs to take a stand for justice but I doubt he will.