Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has been making headlines this week in an unlikely region of the world: the Andean region. Is he going to be swinging through Quito, Bogota, Lima, Caracas, and LaPaz for a tour, you ask?
Hardly. (Although given his affinity for Nicolas Maduro, a “concert for the dictatorship” wouldn’t be out of the question).
Rather, it’s his expertise as a geopolitical commentator, rather than his musical stylings, that have been making headlines.
Waters is outraged…outraged, that his countryman Richard Branson is sponsoring a “Live-Aid-ish” type event in the city of Cucuta, on the Colombo-Venezuelan border, a place that has become the focal point for the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis.
Waters sees Branson as an unwitting pawn of the “Evil Empire”: the United States, which, of course, just wants to steal all of Venezuela’s oil. (He apparently believes that Russia and China have no interest in Venezuela oil, and is blissfully unaware that the United States has been buying the lion’s share of Venezuelan oil for decades already…”buying” on the global market is now “stealing” according to Waters).
For Waters, here is the rub. Branson’s ambitious goal of raising USD$100 million for sick and hungry Venezuelan refugees has nothing to do with humanitarian aid, but rather with the planned United States “takeover” of Venezuela.
Not exactly. The United States is not interested in “taking over” Venezuela, any more than it is interested in “taking over” Mexico, Chile, Peru or any of our other close allies in the region.
And waters really gets steamed up about democracy…according to him, Venezuela has a spectacular and “real” democracy.
This is beyond laughable. The overwhelming majority of the Venezuelan people stand with the opposition and the National Assembly, which won a two-thirds supermajority the last time free and fair elections were held.
If imprisoning, torturing, and banning opposition politicians from running in elections constitutes a “real democracy”…then Venezuela would undoubtedly have one of the “most real democracies” in the world.
Waters argues that Branson’s event has nothing to do with the needs of the Venezuelan people. Enlighten us, Roger.
I suppose those three million people who have fled Venezuela left because they just wanted a change of scenery, right?
I suppose that the 500,000 Venezuelans now residing in Peru are there because they had always wanted to do the full tour of Machu Picchu and enjoy some world-class ceviche? I suppose the streets of every major Colombian city are packed with Venezuelans because of the world-class healthcare and education that was promised by brother Maduro and friends?
It’s amazing how they have billions for their palaces, mansions, private jets, and overseas bank accounts, but don’t seem to be able to find money for food and medicine for the working class people they claim to champion.
Roger Waters may be a musical genius, but he is an all-around fool if he buys hook, line, and sinker, the entirely false narrative put forth by the socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro. This is a prime example of what happens when you allow your ideology, your extreme political bias, to cloud your judgment.
Peter Gabriel, call me!
Waters seems most concerned that his fellow British pop icon Peter Gabriel is slated to perform at the event.
He begs the former Genesis singer and world famous solo artist to give him a call, so Waters (noted political commentator and observer of the Andean region) can set his friend straight.
Because of course, a concert to raise USD $100 million for hungry and starving Venezuelan refugees would very likely lead us into another Iraq.
This is one of the worst analogies of all. Iraq was a disaster because it led to the United States refereeing a long-simmering sectarian and inter-ethnic conflict featuring Sunni, Shia, Kurds, and others, all forced to live together due to badly-drawn colonial borders that were imposed by the British. The Iraqi people did, briefly, rise up and celebrate the demise of a brutal dictator, but rather than clamor for freedom, they soon turned to perpetuating a bloody conflict largely rooted in Islamic jurisprudence.
Venezuela is an entirely different can of worms. Maduro has virtually no popular support. In an actual free and fair election, he would be hard pressed to get 10% of the vote. And that is being generous.
None of this matters to Waters. He is so far removed from reality that he believes Venezuela is Switzerland.