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Venezuelan authorities ban violinist Wuilly Arteaga from protesting

Violinist says real heroes are dead or behind bars

CARACAS, Venezuela – After breaking his violin, beating him and later arresting him, Venezuelan authorities banned violinist Wuilly Arteaga from protesting. They also ordered him to appear in front of officials every eight days, his attorney Alfredo Romero tweeted. 

Arteaga talked to reporters Wednesday. He said the real heroes of Venezuela were dead and behind bars.  According to Penal Forum, a Venezuelan human rights group, there are about 676 political prisoners and at least 120 deaths are linked ot the four months of protests. 

He also asked politicians to stop arguing over elections, as the political parties in opposition of President Nicolas Maduro stand divided about who will run in the municipal elections. 

"How many more will die?" Arteaga said. 

Arteaga was arrested while playing the violin July 27 in the streets of Caracas during protests. Authorities released him Tuesday and ordered him to report to court every eight days. 

Earlier this week, he shared a drawing of a broken violin on Instagram saying that neither broken violins nor aggressions against him would prevent the Venezuelan people from reaching freedom. He also said he was willing to give his life for the cause. 

"The truth is that attacking a person who only expresses himself through his music, accusing him of being violent is cowardly," Arteaga wrote. "At last, all dictatorships act cowardly. They shield themselves in terror to subdue the people, but that is about to end. Let's move forward. Victory is ours!"

Armando Cañizales died during a May protest in Caracas.

Arteaga started playing his violin during protests after 17-year-old violinist Armando Cañizales, who played with the Sinfónica Juvenil José Francisco del Castillo, died during a protest May 3. Cañizales, who was shot in the neck, had dreams of going to medical school. 


About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.