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Billionaire Branson hopes aid concert opens Venezuela's borders

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Billionaire Branson hopes aid concert opens Venezuela's borders

 

2019-02-21T004601Z_1_LYNXNPEF1K016_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRANSPORT-VIRGIN-VOYAGES.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Sir Richard Branson listens to a question at the unveiling of the Virgin Voyages ship in New York, U.S., February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

 

(Reuters) - Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson on Wednesday said he hopes a concert in Colombia aimed at raising money for crisis-wracked Venezuela will encourage the country's soldiers to defy orders from President Nicolas Maduro and let humanitarian aid cross the border.

 

Some 250,000 people are expected at Friday's concert in the Colombian border town of Cucuta that organizers say will raise about $100 million to buy food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering widespread shortages.

 

Branson, who is backing the show, dubbed "Venezuela Aid Live," told Reuters he expects money to flow in from many countries if the Tienditas Bridge crossing from Colombia to Venezuela can be opened.

 

"I think that if we can persuade the soldiers to open the bridge, that's the ideal outcome from this concert," he said in an interview via satellite link from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. "That will then mean that people who are dying from cancer because they're not getting the right pills, or other illnesses, they will be able to get help medical help."

 

The United States and scores of other countries have openly backed Maduro's rival, opposition leader and congress chief Juan Guaido, who last month invoked constitutional provisions to declare himself interim president.

 

The opposition plans to send aid into Venezuela on Saturday from collection points in neighbouring countries including Colombia via sea and land, despite Maduro's refusal to let it in, setting up a possible clash with authorities.

 

Maduro, who is facing growing international pressure to step down after his disputed re-election last year, denies there is a humanitarian crisis and has blocked the bridge leading from Colombia to prevent aid getting through.

 

The presidents of Colombia and Chile have publicly said they will attend the free concert, which has evoked comparisons to Irish rock star Bob Geldof's 1985 global "Live Aid" concert to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

 

Two other world leaders may attend, organizer Fernan Ocampo told reporters in Cucuta earlier on Wednesday, without naming them.

 

"We've got quite a few presidents from South America coming to the concert who have pledged to put a considerable amount of supplies into Venezuela once we can get the bridges opened," he said.

 

The event will feature performances from at least 35 artists including Alejandro Sanz, Maluma, Luis Fonsi and Carlos Vives.

 

While still unclear how the aid will get across the border, Branson said 1 million people are expected on the Venezuelan side of the bridge, led by Guaido, to distribute the aid.

 

Branson also responded to comments made on Tuesday by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, who criticized the concert as a U.S.-backed effort to tarnish Maduro's socialist government, saying there was “no mayhem, no murder, no apparent dictatorship” in Venezuela.

 

"I don't think that Roger Waters is the best expert when it comes to what's going on in Venezuela. He says that it's a democracy, people are not suffering, and it's just not true," Branson said. "Anybody who knows anything about Venezuela should know that that is a load of a rubbish and Venezuelans need help."

 

Donations to the event will be received online and via direct deposits.

 

Hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian aid from the United States and other countries are being stored in warehouses in Cucuta.

 

Maduro is planning rival concerts on the Venezuelan side of the border on Friday, and the Venezuelan government says it will distribute aid to poor Colombians.

 

(Reporting by Labib Nasir in Washington, D.C., and Nelson Bocanegra, Julia Cobb and Helen Murphy in Bogota; Additional reporting by Paul Vieira in Mexico City; Writing by Helen Murphy; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Leslie Adler)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-02-21

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I'll be the first to salute Sir Richard Branson (before his detractors come along and accuse him of grandstanding and knocking his gargantuan effort as a publicity stunt).

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Defiantly trying to do something positive good luck and be carefull 

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But how much of a crowd can he draw out in the Colombian boondocks?  If it is really about raising $$ he should have it in a major European or North American city.  Maybe he's really doing it to taunt the powers-that-be.

Who, exactly, will be the recipients of the aid, and how will it be delivered to them?  There are currently tonnes of supplies warehoused across the border, right?  It is not simply a "more money" problem, at least not at the moment.

 

 

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5 hours ago, neeray said:

I'll be the first to salute Sir Richard Branson (before his detractors come along and accuse him of grandstanding and knocking his gargantuan effort as a publicity stunt).

He's just a puppet of the deep state war mongers.

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nothing to do with him wanting to open private healthcare for his companies. Branson is a scumbag

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He is a billionaire, so why he just dont GIVE some, instead of organizing a sing along?

BEsides borders will be closed as its now for Curacao, also wanting to help.

SOme stupid government guy from Venezuela said: there is no situation in Venezuela, back off all you helpers !!

So you can only help the fled persons, about 3 million. 

Though i wonder if any is helped, lots of situations in the world, like Bangladesh, Tahiti , Tibet ,it is still a mess and people arent helped at all. I think money is going wrong way. 

Roger Waters words:  

Money, it's a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash

A new car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I'll buy me a football team

Money, get back
I'm all right Jack, keep your hands off of my stack


Money, it's a hit
Don't give me that do-goody-good bullshit

I'm in the hi-fidelity first class traveling section
And I think I need a Lear Jet

Money, it's a crime
Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie

Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today

But if you ask for a rise it's no surprise
That they're giving none away

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9 hours ago, bendejo said:

But how much of a crowd can he draw out in the Colombian boondocks?  If it is really about raising $$ he should have it in a major European or North American city.  Maybe he's really doing it to taunt the powers-that-be.

Who, exactly, will be the recipients of the aid, and how will it be delivered to them?  There are currently tonnes of supplies warehoused across the border, right?  It is not simply a "more money" problem, at least not at the moment.

 

 

 

 

cucuta is a very nice city. the concert there is more symbolic since it is near the venezuela border. with those artists many will travel there from other regions. colombia and venezuela have long been friends, at least the people maybe not governments. many covert documentaries show the clear despair and poverty in venezuela. maduro accepting humanitarian aid is akin to an admission of such conditions that he has thus far publicly denied.

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....'humanitarian'.....is that what we call 'bloodthirsty, circling wolves' now.....???

 

....oh.....

 

...555....

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sure there's politics involved also but if food, medicine, etc etc is stockpiled across the border intended to help the masses in venezuela  it is not the worst thing to occur.  big problem is the venezuela government/police/military corruption that controls and profits off needed things like food, etc.  see covert documentaries 

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abc tv australia undercover story in venezuela

 

 

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19 hours ago, neeray said:

I'll be the first to salute Sir Richard Branson (before his detractors come along and accuse him of grandstanding and knocking his gargantuan effort as a publicity stunt).

 

I'll be the first to salute Roger Waters for calling it like it really is and for his speaking truth to power worldwide.

 

Waters could sit back and enjoy his money but instead travels the world speaking out for justice for the oppressed - Palestinians, went to Brazil and performed in a memorial concert for assassinated  Brazilian councilwoman Marielle Franco,  and now for Venezuelans.

 

 

"The Canary has also repeatedly reported that establishment experts themselves admit that the purpose of brutal US sanctions is to “make the economy scream”;

 

and that economist Mark Weisbrot has insisted that “the sanctions do actually kill people”, stressing that the latest rounds of US sanctions will “destroy what’s left of the economy”.

 

 

"Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters dismantles billionaire Richard Branson’s ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Venezuela"

https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/02/19/pink-floyd-legend-roger-waters-dismantles-billionaire-richard-bransons-humanitarian-intervention-in-venezuela/

 

 

 

Edited by JimmyJ
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Excellent summation of the situation and why Waters and millions of others defend the Maduro government:

 

 

 

 

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hers an overview of usa sanctions re venezuela

 

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IF10715.pdf

 

typically sanctions with sadly hurt normal people more than the ruling class. this is  the case in north korea as kj doesnt suffer at all

Edited by atyclb

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