Roger Waters isn’t shy about his hard-left politics.
The Pink Floyd alum may be the most passionate Israeli critic in pop culture, if not beyond. His concerts have featured pig balloons featuring Jewish symbols.
He also begs fellow rockers to join his boycott of Israel, occasionally attacking them if they don’t play along.
So it’s not shocking to see him embrace Venezuela, a socialist “utopia.” Only this utopia is in name only.
The nation is in its death throws under embattled leader Nicolas Maduro.
A once-wealthy oil nation, Venezuela is now experiencing a severe political and economic crisis that has driven a staggering 4 million people to flee. The socialist government struggles daily to keep the lights on and provide reliable drinking water.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R, Fla.) summed up the shocking conditions.
“The suffering people of Venezuela are about to experience the most dramatic shortages they have ever faced, the implications of which we cannot fully predict,” Rubio said at the outset of a Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on U.S.-Venezuelan relations and the humanitarian crisis fueled by dictator Nicolas Maduro. “Venezuela is just a handful of days away from running out of basic staples, wheat and corn meal and cooking oil, again, because of complete and utter mismanagement.”
“All of the leaders of Venezuela are overweight, and yet the people, on average, are losing 24 pounds in a year,” Rubio added. “I assure you, none of the Maduro regime cronies are going to go hungry, but millions of Venezuelans are going to continue to go hungry and [it will be] exacerbated in a way we have not seen.”
Maduro, who took power in 2013 following former leader Hugo Chavez’s death, isn’t even the country’s legitimate leader but still clings to power.
Last year, Maduro “won” reelection in a fraudulent contest boycotted by the opposition. Inauguration Day was January 10. But, since the result was invalid, the opposition-controlled National Assembly, the Venezuelan bishops, and 19 members of the Organization of American States, including the United States, declared Maduro’s presidency illegitimate.
Did the music legend condemn Maduro? Call for his ouster? Demand he do whatever he could to reverse the inhumane living conditions in his country?
No. Instead, Waters shared a heartfelt tribute to Maduro earlier this week on both Facebook and Twitter.
Was deeply moved to receive a gift of a signed Venezuelan cuatro instrument from Nicolas Maduro at Pinewood Studios recently. Thank you President Maduro for your kind gift and message. I shall continue to support the people of Venezuela…
— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) June 15, 2019
The Facebook version of the post fleshed out the singer’s intentions.
Was deeply moved recently to receive a gift of a signed Venezuelan cuatro instrument from Nicolas Maduro at Pinewood Studios recently. Thank you President Maduro for your kind gift and message. I shall continue to support the people of Venezuela, and continue to oppose US interference in your country, particularly the illegal and inhumane monetary sanctions that seek to make life intolerable for your people.
Love Roger Waters
Waters sided with a man many call a “dictator.” Human Rights Watch explains why:
No independent government institutions remain today in Venezuela to act as a check on executive power. A series of measures by the Maduro and Chávez governments stacked the courts with judges who make no pretense of independence. The government has been repressing dissent through often-violent crackdowns on street protests, jailing opponents, and prosecuting civilians in military courts. It has also stripped power from the opposition-led legislature.
He also blamed the U.S. for the nation’s current suffering.
Celebrities like Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and Sean Penn have long sung the praises of Venezuelan socialists. They’ve been mostly silent of late.
Waters, for one, is happy to share his affection for Maduro and his regime.