MIAMI - After Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's administration canceled the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela's tour in Asia, Venezuelan conductor and violinist Gustavo Dudamel responded on Twitter Thursday.
The tour of the government-funded youth orchestra was supposed to begin next week. Some 180 Venezuelan musicians were hoping to travel to Taiwan, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
- Venezuelan authorities ban violinist Wuilly Arteaga from protesting
- Chronically ill teen juggles needs to survive in Venezuela
- China reiterates support for Venezuelan socialist regime
- Venezuelan dissident violinist decides to move to the U.S.
- Venezuelan activist Lilian Tintori says government banned her from traveling
"My heart is broken by yet another cancellation by the Venezuelan government of a tour by El Sistema orchestra," Dudame wrote. "For my dear brothers and sisters in Venezuela, remain strong and proud - we are the future."
Dudamel, the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, also said he is committed to defending the freedom of expression of Venezuelans.
"Music shall forever nourish our dreams of better days to come," Dudamel wrote.
Critics of Maduro blame his administration for the death of 17-year-old violinist Armado Cañizales, who was fatally shot during a May 3 protest, and the injuries, arrest and harassment of 23-year-old violinist Wuilly Arteaga, who recently left Venezuela.
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