Power struggle turns into rival concerts at Colombia-Venezuela border

Battle of the concerts: Venezuela Aid Live vs. Hands Off Venezuela

By Louis Aguirre - Anchor/Reporter, Cody Weddle/Caracas Correspondent, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

CUCUTA, COLOMBIA - There are two rivaling free concerts near the Tienditas International Bridge at the Colombia-Venezuela border on Friday. One had the support of embattled President Nicolas Maduro and the other rooted for the leader of his opposition Juan Guaidó.

Billionaire British mogul Richard Branson organized the Venezuela Aid Live concert in Cucuta to raise $100 million to help Guaidó with his plan to get humanitarian aid to struggling Venezuelans.

Mana, Juanes, Carlos Vives, Fonseca, Ricardo Montaner, Diego Torres, Nacho and Juan Luis Guerra are among the dozens of Hispanic artists who were volunteering. 

"This is like the Latin Woodstock," said Michael Capponi, the executive director of the Global Empowerment Mission, a Miami-based nonprofit organization now working in Cucuta.

While there was excitement among Venezuelans who were arriving to Cucuta on Thursday night, there will also be joy at the Silverspot Cinema in downtown Miami. The theater on Southeast Third Street at Third Avenue will be showing the concert starting at 11 a.m.

Meanwhile in Tachira, Maduro was sponsoring the Hands Off Venezuela concert. He was celebrating his recent announcement about Russia's intent to send some 300 tons of aid to Venezuela. 

The list of the Hands Off Venezuela performers was not available Thursday night, but there were dozens of masked and heavily armed men riding through town on motorcycles.  

On Friday, Venezuela's Minister of Culture Ernesto Villegas said there were "an infinite number" of Venezuelan artists who were willing to participate.

While the Venezuela Aid Live concert started about 11 a.m., Villegas said the Hands Off Venezuela concert was starting at 6 p.m., but it started with a band from Argentina about 7 p.m.

 

 

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