Calling on the global community to allow the people of Venezuela "to exercise their legal right to self determination," activist and Pink Floyd founding member Roger Waters slammed billionaire Richard Branson for his planned "Live Aid-ish" concert in neighboring Colombia scheduled for later this week.
Billed by Branson as a relief concert for struggling Venezuelans, Waters argues that the concert "has nothing to do with humanitarian aid at all," but instead only furthers the narrative—promoted by the Trump administration—that President Nicolas Maduro should be overthrown.
Allowing political posturing like Branson's upcoming concert to go forward, Waters warns in a two-minute video posted to Twitter, could lead Venezuela "down a garden path that ends in regime change."
"Do we really want Venezuela to turn into another Iraq or Syria or Libya?" he asks. "I don't, and neither do the Venezuelan people."
Watch the video:
The Red Cross and the UN, unequivocally agree, don’t politicize aid. Leave the Venezuelan people alone to exercise their legal right to self determination. pic.twitter.com/I0yS3u75b6
— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) February 18, 2019
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"It has to do with Richard Branson—and I'm not surprised by this—having bought the U.S. saying, 'We have decided to take over Venezuela for whatever our reasons may be,'" said Waters. "But it has nothing to do with the Venezuelan people, it has nothing to do with democracy, it has nothing to do with freedom, and it has nothing to do with aid."
Branson announced his plan Monday to host a concert later this week in the border town of Cucuta, Colombia to focus on raising money for "much-needed medical help" for Venezuelans.
The concert is being planned as President Donald Trump issues threats to the Venezuelan military, demanding that it allow U.S. "emergency aid" into the country.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and United Nations, however, have both warned the U.S. against sending aid to Venezuela as it pushes for regime change.
Any effort "to help the people of Venezuela...has to be shielded from this political conversation," Alexandra Boivin, ICRC delegation head for the United States and Canada, said earlier this month.
"Humanitarian action needs to be independent of political, military, or other objectives," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Reuters. "When we see the present stand-off it becomes even more clear that serious political negotiations between the parties are necessary to find a solution leading to lasting peace for the people of Venezuela."