“Enough is enough,” world celebrated Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel said Thursday of the increasingly deadly political crisis gripping his homeland.
“Nothing justifies bloodshed,” the director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic wrote on his Facebook page in a post urging Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “to listen to the people.”
His comments came the day after an 18-year-old man, identified in reports as a member of Venezuela’s national youth orchestra system, was shot dead during one of the near-daily anti-government protests.
Taking aim squarely at Maduro, Dudamel slammed the violence and
“repression” as thousands of protesters hold near-daily protests against the government.
“We must stop ignoring the just cry of the people suffocated by an intolerable crisis,” he wrote, adding that “the democratic exercise involves listening to the voice of the majority.”
“I urgently call on the president of the Republic and the national government to rectify and listen to the voice of the Venezuelan people,” wrote the 36-year-old acclaimed violinist, who lives in California.
Criticism by such a publicly known figure is a blow to Maduro, who has resisted the protesters’ demands that he call early elections.
Instead, he is preparing a body to rewrite the constitution in a move the opposition says is undemocratic and illegal.
Venezuela is suffering a political and economic calamity, with shortages of food and medicine and runaway inflation while Maduro’s government seeks to sideline the opposition-controlled parliament.
Prosecutors in the country say at least 35 people have been killed in over a month of unrest.