Venezuelan cultural officials say that 150 artists will perform at the “Hands Off Venezuela” concert slated to start later today (Feb. 22) and continue through the weekend on the Venezuelan side of the Tienditas Bridge which connects the country with Colombia. Richard Branson’s Venezuela Aid Live will be held at the same time on the other side of the bridge.
The head of Venezuela’s Casa del Artista Foundation, Roberto Messutti — responsible for organizing the Hands Off Venezuela event — told local press that the artists scheduled to perform over the three days of the concert will perform diverse musical styles including salsa, reggaeton and traditional Venezuelan country music.
Artists reportedly signed up to perform include the group ‘Dame Pa’ Matala’, Omar Acedo, Winston Vallenilla, Armando Martínez, Cristóbal Jiménez and Roberto Messuti.
Interviewed by Colombia’s Blu Radio, Messuti had choice words for artists participating in the rival Venezuela Aid Live event, whose goal is to get humanitarian aid into Venezuela.
Messutti reportedly called popular Venezuelan reggaeton duo Chino y Nacho “traitors, who to keep an American visa would sing against peace.”
He also criticized Venezuelan-Argentine singer-songwriter Ricardo Montaner and Spanish pop icon Miguel Bosé for participating in the concert on the Colombian side of the border.
Messutti said that Hands Off Venezuela was a concert “for peace and solidarity of the [Venezuelan] people,” and described Venezuela Aid Live as “the concert for hate and war.” Thirty-two artists are slated to participate in Venezuela Aid Live, for which, according to media photos, a large crowd had already gathered in Friday morning.