Gustavo Dudamel
Photo: Mathew Imagaing

After having been repeatedly accused for sympathies with the dictatorial regime in Venezuela, conductor Gustavo Dudamel declared last week that, in fact, he is ‘not political’ and that all his engagement for El Sistema and the Bolivar Orchestra is about his love for his county and for the music. His words have considerably upset Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero who published her very personal opinion about it.

Dudamel’s opinion was published by the Los Angeles Times. We are not allowed to reproduce it, but here is the link to the article.

Here is Montero’s statement:

« I have been asked repeatedly since Dudamel’s op-ed my thoughts on his statement that he is ‘not political’.
In my opinion, if you are not political you do not:
– Perform repeatedly over the years for a dictator in numerous public events.
– Have numerous photos taken in public (or private) events with the dictators and his accomplices.
– Accept to be flown in on a government private jet to perform at the closing of one of the last independent TV channels left in your country to lead your orchestra in the opening of the NEW state/socialist channel.
– Perform at and pay your respects, visibly shaken, at the funeral of the dictator.
– Perform for regime officials and the general public on the day peaceful protesting students are murdered by that same regime which funds your orchestra.
– Party with regime officials who are publicly known to be your personal friends.
– Watch a movie you are involved with at the Presidential Palace with the dictator. (This was commented on proudly by Maduro on TV)
– State that you ‘Have respect for Venezuela’s leaders and the offices they hold’ when many of the said officials are known to be involved in corruption and allegedly also facilitate and lead the drug trafficking cartels in South America.
So on, and so on….
If Gustavo is ‘apolitical’, then:
– Where are the performances for the other half (or more!) of Venezuela? The opposition?
– Where are the numerous photos with the opposition leaders and victims of the regime?
– Where is the denouncement of the blatant violations of human rights of Venezuelans by the regime?
– Where are his statements concerning the arbitrary imprisonment of Leopoldo Lopez and the other 75 opposition leaders and students? Many of them tortured and held in inhumane conditions?
– Where is his outrage at the absolute collapse of his country at the hands of the authoritarian regime? His outrage at the lack of security, food, medicines, justice, etc…
It seems to me that if you promote and lend your image, your time and your music to one faction, it is that group that you belong to and stand by.
That is not someone being apolitical. It is someone being VERY political but not wanting to openly disclose it. »

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