A London concert to rescue a Venezuelan family

A London concert to rescue a Venezuelan family


norman lebrecht

August 04, 2017

London musicians are putting on an Emergency Fundraising Concert for Juan Manuel Gonzalez Hernandez, a player in the BBC Concert Orchestra who is trying to get his family out of Venezuela to a place of safety in Mexico.

Juan writes: I am a violinist from Venezuela living in London. My country is seeing one of the darkest, saddest and most violent times it has ever experienced. The crisis there has reached levels that for us living in Europe are difficult to imagine. There is no food, and when there is, people have to queue for many hours. Inflation is currently at 720%. People are destitute. There are no medicines, the health system has collapsed, people are dying because of shortages of medicines or hunger. I am trying to raise money to help my family leave Venezuela as soon as possible and move to Mexico where friends will help them to settle.

During my time in Caracas, I joined my sister Daniela and my 18 year old nephew Daniel at a peaceful protest that turned into a bloody nightmare, a nightmare that Venezuelans endure every day. The police shot stone bullets into the crowd, my nephew was shot in the neck. 

It was very frightening. He was taken to a hospital and he survived, only to then have to escape the hospital to evade the police waiting at bedsides to arrest and then torture protesters. 

Concert details here.

Crowdfunder here.




  • Minutewaltz says:

    This is the regime that Corbyn refuses to condemn.
    Ken Livingstone said the reason Venezuela is in the state it’s in is because Chavez failed to execute his opponents.

    • Adam says:

      It is extremely worrying how many musicians voted for and continue to support Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist ideology.

      • V. Lind says:

        Congratulations upon having discovered Jeremy Corbyn’s ideology. I have been trying to determine what he believes in since he seized the leadership in the first place. He reminds me of the old Lib-Dem mantra, “We are considering our position.” And he increasingly reminds me of Trump — what day it is? And what o’clock? His positions seem changeable, to say the least.

  • Sam McElroy says:

    We have absolute sympathy for Juan Manuel, and our thoughts are with all Venezuelans who have lost loved ones, endured imprisonment, or find themselves exiled from their homeland because of the criminal thugs who have systematically destroyed Venezuela for 18 years.

    We recently had to give half our life’s savings to extract my wife’s brother and his whole family from Venezuela and set them up in a new life abroad, and we continue to support them financially as they try to find work and adjust. Just last week, we secured financing and a place at a conservatory in Europe for a desperate musician of El Sistema, and have offered to house her in our home. For months we have been sending medicines and food packages through secure courier services to the families and friends of people we have never even met, but who reach out every day in desperation for help.

    This is the Venezuela they hoped you would never find out about, airbrushed to the tune of hundreds of millions by the sound of music….

  • Federico Guerra says:

    What about violinist WUILLY ARTEAGA who is now in PRISON?

    • Elena Riu says:

      Hi nobody has any news about him. He has become one of the many political prisoners in my country illegally detained. I wish I could do something to help besides lobbyeing and denouncing. I have been sending Mr Corbyn and Boris Johnson a lot of information I get through the media to see if they can put more pressure on the government. All I can say is that the situation is becoming even more desperate by the minute.