Has El Sistema joined the Venezuelan opposition?

Has El Sistema joined the Venezuelan opposition?


norman lebrecht

June 29, 2017

You might think it has from this report on the academic website, The Conversation.

The headline reads: The Venezuelan government’s newest opponent is a state-funded orchestra

And the author, Yana Genchova Stainova, a post-doc at Dartmouth College, concludes: ‘Now, El Sistema musicians are defying their expected roles and summoning their musical skills to oppose the very government that funds them. Beyond fueling political action with creativity, the musical and social skills that these young people have acquired embody the human values that are fundamental to the creation of a new political community. The collective practice of making music is forging bonds of solidarity – trust, the ability to listen – in a fractured society.’

But Dr Stainova has no new information on which to base this conclusion, other than scattered press reports of isolated incidents. There has been no turnaround at El Sistema. As far as any objective assessment is possible, El Sistema and its local leaders are still right behind the oppressive Maduro regime.

But let’s not confuse academic thinking with actual facts.




  • enemigopublico says:


  • Anon says:

    There is no “the opposition” in Venezuela. There are many fractions and one is in power.

    Also the simplistic naiveté with which some people born in the western freedom always assume, opposition means openly fighting in the streets, when in fact even more important and also more effective is the deceptive and cautious dissident work on the ground, behind the scenes, and for those one is responsible for, is often sad and laughable in the same time.
    Pressure from the streets is one but by far not the only requirement in a revolution or transition of power.

    Now of course certain western service like to finance street protests in enemy nations, because it is very effective for public attention through the media.

    Which doesn’t mean that the Maduro regime is not crooked, but differently than in Disney flics, in the real world often there are no good guys, except those who are innocently caught between the front lines, while certain “interests” go on with their power struggle…

  • Sue says:

    I remember an erstwhile colleague of mine from teaching; he loudly trumpeted the virtues of Chavez and once told me that Chavez didn’t like Bush!! Now this was over a decade ago but I was staggered that a man in his 50s, and a school principal, was still bandying about the ideas of teenagers. Now this same man is languishing with advanced Parkinson’s Disease which, whilst sad, will perhaps provide more time to reflect on the way the world works.