Spanish version

POLITICS

Rubén Blades calls for an end to violence in Venezuela

Blades said the government needs to engage in dialogue with the opposition.

Spanish version

Temas:

Ruben Blades has advice for both sides of the conflict in Venezuela. Ruben Blades has advice for both sides of the conflict in Venezuela.
Ruben Blades has advice for both sides of the conflict in Venezuela. LA PRENSA/Archivo

Panamanian singer-songwriter Ruben Blades Sunday called on the government and the Venezuelan opposition to stop their fight for power and end the violence which has cost 21 lives. 

"Violence of the state against the civilian population, or of civilians against civilians, must cease in Venezuela. It can not be that Venezuelans die because of the fight between political factions," Blades wrote on his website. 

For the Panamanian artist, 68 and with presidential aspirations for 2019, the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro is "obstinate" and "intends to remain in power based on a popularity that it does not possess." 

In addition, it "has been closing all avenues for a democratic solution, to the point that today it is almost a de facto dictatorship," Blades added. 

Venezuela has been the scene of three weeks of violent clashes following a series of protests against Maduro that have left 21 dead, as well as hundreds wounded. The government and the opposition are each holding the other accountable. 

Maduro, with his popularity undermined by a severe economic crisis, says he is fighting an "economic war" promoted by the "Venezuelan extremist right," which seeks to overthrow him with the support of the United States. 

"He should then agree to hold and election immediately and thereby demonstrate his legitimacy," argued Blades, a 14-time Grammy award winner and former Minister of Tourism in the Government of Martin Torrijos (2004-2009). 

On the other hand, Blades also asked the opposition "to act with due civic and human responsibility. Do not cause violence and resist the temptation to come to power at any cost." 

In addition, he warned it must not return to the pre-chavismo era, where the economic power "with its abuses and looting of Venezuela produced the social circumstances that determined the rise of the chavistas."

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