Branson organizes aid concert on Colombia-Venezuela border

By Renzo Pipoli
Richard Branson kneels next to his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on October 16, 2018. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/77ec686ca89bd2fcd985c7aa2ddf9fa5/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Richard Branson kneels next to his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on October 16, 2018. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 15 (UPI) -- British billionaire Richard Branson will organize an international benefit concert next week, called Venezuela Aid Live, to help ease the ongoing crisis in the South American nation.

The concert is set for Cucuta, Colombia, on Feb. 22, one day before a deadline given by Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaido for aid to enter the country.


"I know a thing or two about the music business, and I'm old enough to remember how George Harrison's concert for Bangladesh and Bob Geldof's Live Aid moved the world to action," the founder of the Virgin air group Branson said. "So I've offered to help organize an international benefit concert."

"We were able to confirm a fantastic line-up of top Latin American and global artists, who are donating their time and their talent to bring worldwide attention to this crisis and raise funds for essential humanitarian aid," the organizers' website states.

RELATED Venezuela: Guaido says aid to enter soon; Maduro slams U.S.

Branson said he's organizing the concert at the request of interim President Juan Guaido and opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez, the Miami Herald reported.


A spokeswoman for Venezuela Aid Live said the list of artists participating in the event will be announced later Friday.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro, who said he rejects the aid, has not acknowledged there's a humanitarian crisis in the country and believes the aid is an attempt to fan instability. He has the support of the Venezuelan military and control of all government assets.

RELATED Venezuela's Juan Guaido calls for march to allow aid

The concert was called just days after Roger Waters, co-founder of the rock band Pink Floyd, criticized the United States and expressed support for Maduro.

International assistance from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico has arrived in recent days and awaits distribution.

Guaido has said food and medicine supplies need to be distributed immediately, and that it's a basic step for an interim government to prioritize those at greatest risk.

RELATED Venezuela military blocks international bridge ahead of aid

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