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Nacho Denounces Venezuelan Government on Social Media After Passport Incident

Miguel Ignacio Mendoza
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Miguel Ignacio Mendoza aka Nacho of Chino y Nacho performs at Stage 48 on June 24, 2015, in New York City. 

Nacho, one half of Venezuelan duo Chino y Nacho, took to social media over the weekend to denounce the Venezuelan government of President Nicolás Maduro after his passport was allegedly annulled as he tried to enter the country on Saturday (Feb. 20).

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Nacho had just landed on an American Airlines flight from Miami and was -- not coincidentally, he says -- en route to perform at a concert in support of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López.

“Stop being so blind! “ he shouted in a tirade posted in his Instagram, pointing to his Venezuelan passport. “I’ve been coming and going from Venezuela since 2014 with this passport. And precisely today, when I come in to defend the cry for freedom, it’s the only passport that gets an error in a flight carrying 150 people??”

 

DEJEN LA CEGUERA.

A video posted by @nacholacriatura on

The post went viral, and despite the passport snafu, Nacho (real name: Miguel Ignacio “Nacho” Mendoza), managed to perform at the event. And, not surprisingly, he took that platform to attack the Venezuelan government at many levels.

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At one point, he paused and, Venezuelan flag in hand, started talking about payola. “This government has often accused us of benefiting from payola,” he said. “If it were that easy to get radio play for money, then many “official” artists would be No. 1 in the world, since they’re the only ones who have access to unlimited preferential dollars,” he said, taking a jab at the power structure.

Nacho has been on a campaign critical of the Venezuelan government and supporting the opposition for the past several months.

Most tellingly, on Feb. 12, he spoke at the Venezuelan National Assembly, the equivalent of the Senate, where he gave a 30-minute speech critical of the government and the state of affairs.

As for the passport, Venezuela’s Migrant Authority (SAIME), in charge of issuing passports, wrote on its Twitter account that Nacho’s passport had “NOT” been annulled, but had simply been misread by the scanner, and had been manually processed.

“We suggest he apply for a new passport,” SAIME wrote in a next tweet. It wasn’t immediately clear why Nacho would have to apply for a new passport due to a reading error, a fact that was quickly picked up on by social media posters.

Nacho’s anti-governmental comments don’t enjoy unanimous support and his posts have garnered lively social media discussion in a country known for its social media engagement. But by and large, the response to his speeches and vitriol has been one of vocal relief.

“Drugs go in and out with diplomatic passport and Nacho gets his annulled because he doesn’t support the regime,” read one tweet.

As of late Sunday morning, “Nacho Mendoza” was still a trending topic in Venezuela. 

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