Saturday, August 30, 2014


Transmission

Don't Cry For Me, Venezuela: Chavez Musical In The Works In Belarus

The late Venezuelan president was often seen singing and strumming a guitar.
The late Venezuelan president was often seen singing and strumming a guitar.
By RFE/RL's Belarus Service
MINSK -- Music lovers in Belarus will soon be treated to a show honoring the life of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

The Belarusian Music Theater has announced it is working on a Spanish-language musical in collaboration with Venezuelan artists.

"In Memory of Hugo Chavez" is scheduled to premiere this summer in Minsk and later in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.

The Minsk-Novosti news agency reported that the music would be composed by Gerardo Estrada, the first secretary of the Venezuelan Embassy in Belarus and a seasoned musician.

Olga Gudazhnikava, a spokeswoman for the theater, told RFE/RL that the musical's director was currently unavailable for comment.

The news from Minsk will come as no surprise to those who have witnessed Chavez's own musical antics and knew of his friendship with Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Chavez (left) enjoyed a good relationship with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
Chavez (left) enjoyed a good relationship with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka

The "comandante," who died from cancer last year aged 58 after a 14-year tenure as Venezuelan president, was regularly seen crooning and playing the guitar.

One of his favorite repertoires was Venezuelan traditional music, which he regularly performed at political rallies, during his weekly television show, or even on stage, as during this 2006 performance at a Caracas theater.

In March 2012, one day after undergoing surgery to remove a second tumor, he sang along with musicians and danced with his daughter in a carefully orchestrated show intended to ease concerns about his health ahead of presidential elections.

Chavez was also known for breaking into song in the middle of his trademark marathon speeches.

In 2009, after addressing the United Nations for an entire hour, he sang a verse from the song "Meeting with Angels" by Cuban revolutionary singer Silvio Rodriguez, exhorting the world to be "a little bit better, and a little less selfish."

He also improvised a tune about his thorny relationship with then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a speech in June 2012.

"I'm not much loved by Hillary Clinton," he sang, "and I don't love her either."

Chavez's fierce anti-American rhetoric and melodramatic style earned him the admiration of the iron-fisted Lukashenka, who referred to the Latin American leader as his brother and invited him to the former Soviet country on five occasions.

The two countries have retained close ties since Chavez's death, with Belarus helping Venezuela develop its vast oil and natural-gas fields.

A park in Minsk was named after him last week.

-- Claire Bigg, based on reporting by RFE/RL's Belarus Service
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Comments
     
by: Catrina Coffey from: NY
January 13, 2014 22:23
Correction, Chavez was not 'anti-American' he was anti Bush Administration as most of the world was. He had hoped that when Bush was gone the anti-Latin American policies of that regime would disappear also.

But the US is angry at that part of the world because they have finally regained their sovereignty and independence for the most part, from the oppression of Corporate Western Imperialism.

The western media bias towards the independent Latin American states is ALMOST amusing, so alone are we in our inability to get over actual Democracies making their own decisions about their own resources and Global Corporate influences which adversely affect their people.

Chavez began that turnaround thankfully and is widely viewed everywhere, except among the far, right extreme corporate elements of the Western world, as a hero. Nothing they can do about that, he earned it.

Try to keep bias out of reporting. It descredits the source far more than the target.

In Response

by: Regular Joe from: USA
January 14, 2014 22:10
Thanks to your hero, Hugo, and is misguided "Bolivarian" policies, Venezuela is an economic and social basketcase, with the world's highest murder rate, spiraling inflation and impending economic collapse, and all of this despite vast energy wealth. Those that follow Comrade Hugo's example aren't far behind. And Chavez was crazy long before Bush was U.S. president. You may find the situation "almost amusing," but for those who actually care more for the well-being of the Venezuelan people than for an outdated and discredited communist ideology, the results are far from funny.
In Response

by: Catire from: USA
January 17, 2014 22:26
The so call impending economic disaster has been impending for 14 years now. The neoliberal policies were kicked out of Venezuela and the standard of living of all venezuelans have risen ever since. Just look at how many venezuelans travel during the holidays. There may still be problems, with criminality, and that's being addressed. But the only reason for inflation is the large gains they have made in purchasing power of the population as a whole and the economic sabotage orchestrated by the opposition and the US policies. Chavez deserves all the recognition he gets. A more selfless leader in the world stage you cannot find today. Obama may talk elonquently, but Chavez took actions that are admirable. Just to mention one, mission Milagro; hundreds of thousand people have recovered their eyesight thanks to this mission. And there are many more missions. Now we're all Chavez.
In Response

by: ImanAzol from: Everywhere
January 20, 2014 02:28
"Now we're all Chavez."

You're all going to die from complications of socialized medicine? I hope so.

But if it's such a utopia, please move there. We wouldn't want to deprive you of the benefits.

by: john from: canada
January 14, 2014 20:10
Chávez' theatrical legacy for Venezuela includes corruption ranking (160) even worse then Belarus' 123:
http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/results/
- Recent murder of ex-Miss Venezuela reflects murder rate (45.1) incredibly-higher then Belarus' 4.9:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate#By_country
** But at least Venezuela's dismal press freedom ranking (117) still beats Belarus 157:
http://en.rsf.org/press-freedom-index-2013,1054.html
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
January 16, 2014 08:57
Chávez's legacy for Venezuela consists in that he kicked you, Beavuses, out of the country and out of most of Soth America (with the exception of Colombia and Paraguay), and another one of his legacies consists in that the rich in Venezuela and elsewhere are on their way of ending on pitchforks :-)). Adelante, Comandante Maduro!!!

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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