Lately, more and more artists around the globe have come out to criticize Venezuela’s dictatorship. Gustavo Dudamel, Venezuela’s star classical director, finally “spoke out” (against repression) and urged Maduro to change course, Miguel Bosé “lent his full support” to the peaceful protestors, and Los Amigos Invisibles took a few minutes of their live show to bash “those hijoeputas” in power and honor those fighting on in the streets.
Heck, even Residente is condemning the repressors (read: the government).
But what about those leftie artists that just looove to speak out against oppression?
Here’s Ska-P, a Spanish ska band well-known for harshly criticizing capitalism, racism and animal cruelty:
En esta democracia hay mucho listo que se lucra
exprimiendo a nuestra clase social.
Les importa cuatro huevos si tienes catorce hijos
y la abuela no se puede operar.
Yup, seems like they’re singing against the bolichicos. Funny that their references of Venezuela are all about praising the low electricity prices or flat-out denying that Venezuelans are hungry. The reds are in power, so everything must be great!
Or how about Manu Chao, a pacifist, ecologist, and marijuana legalization supporter? Take it away:
Esta ciudad es la propiedad del señor Matanza
Esa joya, esa mina y esa finca y ese mar,
ese paramilitar son propiedad del señor Matanza
Ese federal, ese chivato, ese sapo al sindicato
y el obispo general son propiedad del señor Matanza
Hey, seems he found a great new nickname for Godgiven Hair (a.k.a. Diosdado Cabello)– but still remains oblivious to it. Manu Chao thinks Venezuela is going through a social transformation that “upsets some people”. You got that right, bro, it’s upsetting millions upon millions who don’t get enough to eat because of irresponsible government policies.
And here’s Andrés Calamaro, whose ideology is “the music belongs to those who listen to it, and nobody else”:
Lo tuyo es mío y lo mío es mío
nos han llevado a la indiferencia
tenés excusas, los otros tienen
que te mantengan, para eso están
sos el burgués más corrompido que existe
y te engañás pensando que sos un hippie
vos explotás a todos y no das nada
y eso es ser el peor capitalista
cuando tenés te hacés el burro
vivís de arriba, qué asco me das
Me! I know this one! He’s talking about Juan Carlos Monedero, who swindled the nation out of at least 3 million dollars while advising Venezuela on how a country goes socialist.
And of course, there’s Rage Against the Machine, a band well-known for their stand against repressive governments, that sells T-shirts depicting Molotov cocktails. Back in 2014, Guitarist Tom Morello was fond of Zurda Konducta’s logic that called the protests a US-backed coup.
Tha same bodies buried hungry
But with different last names
These vultures rob everyone
Leave nothing but chains
Pick a point here at home
Yes tha picture’s tha same
There’s a field full of slaves
Some corn and some debt
There’s a ditch full of bodies
Tha check for tha rent
There’s a tap, tha phone, tha silence of stone
Tha numb black screen
That be feelin’ like home
And tha riot be tha rhyme of tha unheard
Yep, they know what happens when vultures rob everyone. The unheard rise up. It doesn’t matter if the vultures are from the right or from the left – it happened in the Caracazo, and it’s happening now. Tom, read your own Twitter bio sometime: feed the poor, fight the power.
Here’s the deal. We like these artists, we grew up with their music, we empathize with their calls for a more just society and to take care of the Pachamama. But they don’t get to speak out against the Rajoy administration’s corruption and Pinochet’s human rights abuses while remaining completely silent about Maduro’s dictatorship and the ruinous state of Venezuela.
It’s time for leftie artists to eat their lyrics. If they’ve read unbiased accounts of the crisis and the protests, if they’ve spoken to a venezolano de a pie recently, they know our people are being oppressed by the new rich. And they should speak out against the Maduro regime.
It’s the right thing for a true leftist to do.
Okay, so are you feeling like some internet trolling fun? Play this game with us:
- Find a song that speaks against oppression, authoritarianism or state-sponsored violence. Preferably from a leftie, to help them overcome their blind spot.
- Take a screenshot of the relevant lyrics.
- Holler at the artist on Twitter! Use the hashtag #CanciónDeProtestaParaVzla
The times they-are-a-changin.