The president of the National Assembly (AN) and recognized Venezuela’s interim president for half a hundred countries, Juan Guaidó, arrived this Friday by surprise to the Colombian city of Cúcuta, where the concert “Venezuela Aid Live” was held, organized by the British billionaire Richard Branson. Guaidó said that he crossed the border to the Colombian side thanks to the support of the Armed Forces of his country despite the prohibition to leave the country that the administration of Nicolás Maduro imposed on him.
The concert seeks to raise funds to alleviate the shortage of food and medicine that is lived in Venezuela.
Guaidó -who is prohibited from leaving his country by order of the Venezuelan authorities- met in the concert area with the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, and with other authorities, such as Sebastián Piñera and Mario Abdo, presidents of Chile and Paraguay, and Luis Almagro, Organization of American States (OAS)'s Secretary General.
While this meeting was taking place, the Colombian Juanes sang on stage. Upon seeing Guaidó, concertgoers began to shout It's already here! It's here! , Reports the special envoy of BBC to Cúcuta, Boris Miranda.
The recital took place on the side of the Tienditas bridge, which links Colombia and Venezuela and was never inaugurated.
The Venezuelan leader, Maduro, decided to counterattack with the organization of the concert Hands off Venezuela (Manos fuera de Venezuela), which is being held on the other side of the same bridge.
Guaidó wants the tons of humanitarian aid sent by the United States, which are currently in Colombian territory, to enter Venezuela on Saturday.
The Maduro government says it will not allow the aid to be delivered as a pretext to justify a foreign intervention. Many fears that on Saturday, the day of the ultimatum of Guaidó for the entry of aid, there will be an outbreak of violence.
The presentations of the concert Venezuela Aid Live began around 11 in the morning of Friday and achieved an attendance of more than 160,000 people. The first stage artist was the Venezuelan Reymar, who played Me fui, considered a hymn of indignation in her country.
The turn was then for José Luis Rodríguez El Puma, who during his presentation said Enough of dictatorships in Latin America. On the stage there were also other artists like Maluma, Chyno, Danny Ocean, Paulina Rubio, Carlos Baute, Mau and Ricky, Fonseca, Carlos Vives, Luis Fonsi and Lele Pons.
On the other side of the border, about 1,000 people gathered at the concert Para la guerra nada (for war, nothing), which in previous days had been promoted as Hand off Venezuela.
Among those attending the event were dozens of uniformed officers of the Venezuelan armed forces and militias. On the stage a Venezuelan flag was flying, while the animators hurled slogans in rejection of foreign interference.
Among the artists on stage were César El Magnate and the Yugular group.
Jorge Rodríguez, Minister of Information of Venezuela, announced that the government welcomed a proposal by many artists from that country who asked for the opportunity to hold a cultural meeting, a great concert to celebrate peace and life.