Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz who this week ends a Latinamerican tour in Costa Rica said he was desolate his concert in Caracas had been again canceled after Venezuelan government officials declared the 14-time Latin Grammy Award winner persona non-grata.
The decision was motivated by the "difficulties and inconveniences" coming from the Venezuelan authorities, according to spokesperson Jonathan D'Croz, of D. Baron Media Relations in California. The February 14 concert was a makeup show for a November 1 concert that Sanz had to cancel after the reservation at the Poliedro stadium was "unilaterally annulled" by the Ministry of Education. Both moves are seen as retaliation for Sanz comments against the policies of President Hugo Chávez. "I don't like President Chávez, I don't like presidents of other countries either," Sanz said at a February 2004 concert in Caracas according to published reports, "and I don't think my president has done a good job either." In an interview published in Costa Rica's La Nacion Sanz stated he felt "really desolate" by the Caracas cancellation, and said that the claim "that the organizers didn't count with the appropriate conditions for the show" was "nonsense". "We've all made a huge effort; I wanted to meet my fans in Caracas, the organizers, my followers all made a tremendous effort but the law of silence and darkness prevailed. I feel very sad about it". He revealed that not even the hotels wanted to make reservations for him and his band of musicians. As to the fact he has been considered "persona non grata" Sanz said the decision had "no moral support coming from whom it comes. I don't like that form of governing because it indicates that anyone that has an opinion different than his is silenced" underlined Sanz. After the November cancellation, the Venezuelan Minister of Education, Luis Acuña, expressed little tolerance for the outspoken Sanz. "If an artist comes to Venezuela to rail against Chávez, against Chavez's political movement, how do you think the people of this country would respond if he were to be allowed to use the stadium?" Acuña told El Nacional from Caracas. In the interview with La Nacion he added that "I care about the people of Venezuela". His publicist added that "Sanz expresses his condolences for this situation but wants to reiterate his huge respect and love for the Venezuelan people".