Leave it to Rubén Blades to offer a graceful response to the ongoing situation in Venezuela. While other celebrities like Cher (yes, Cher) and Willie Colón (irony) are waxing extreme about the news from Caracas, Blades’ piece, originally written in Spanish, explores the crisis’ nuances and complexities.
You can read the entire Spanish post here. In essence, Blades’ post admits that both sides fighting for the soul of Venezuela are at fault, when he writes (our translation):
These two political factions have, each in its time, the opportunity to really serve the country, but failed, perhaps because each has chosen to serve their own agendas, failing in the attempt to integrate the majority of the country. It is perhaps for this reason that the arguments made by the representatives of both sides are demagogic sounds to independent ears. Neither really has majority support, hence the paralysis. Both arguments have a bit of truth, but both refuse to join each other to create common ground to request a proposal for all Venezuelans.
The country is sadly polarized and therefore today Venezuela hurts. The apparent absence of a solution is due to the lack of leadership that will establish a purpose of unifying the country fight rather than dividing it. If you are in favor of the opposition, you are a bourgeois parasite CIA agent, selling out to the Empire. If you favor the government, you are a communist thug, selling out to Cuba and Castro. None of these definitions speaks to Venezuela and its needs. They just paint the hatred and expectations of those wields such personalist arguments, preventing the possibility of an intelligent and patriotic dialogue.
Blades continues to criticize both the government of Nicolás Maduro and the opposition, especially Enrique Capriles. He then writes:
The need for new players that present an objective and patriotic, not demagogic or ideological agenda is vital right now. So initiatives like the student movement, the formation of truly independent groups, can be the beginning of a movement to allows for national reason, overcoming partisan rage and class hatred.
In the end, Blades is calling for peace from both sides. He urges for alternative solutions, and most importantly, for the politics of personality to go away. Venezuela deserves better, according to Blades. If it came from anyone else, most people would dismiss this post. But it’s Rubén Blades, the guy who sings this: