Jose Luis Rodriguez wants to save Venezuela from a ‘catastrophe’

For years celebrities have made their discontent be known for the civil strife that Venezuela is suffering through, including increased poverty, violence and political instability,…
Jose Luis Rodriguez wants to save Venezuela from a ‘catastrophe’

FILE-Singer Jose Luis ‘El Puma’ Rodriguez poses at the launch party for Amas de Casa Desesperadas at Karu & Y on January 8,  in Miami, Florida. He recently came out criticizing the government in Venezuela, asking its people to save themselves from a catastrophe. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

For years celebrities have made their discontent be known for the civil strife that Venezuela is suffering through, including increased poverty, violence and political instability, and now Jose Luis Rodriguez, the singer better known as “El Puma” is chiming in; he’s asking its armedto  forces save the country from a “catastrophe.”

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The singer who put Venezuela’s pop music scene on the international map has retreated to relative obscurity in recent years—sans a few Orbitz gum commercials—but he came out to criticize the government on TV; the comments were made on the Chilean show “Mas vale tarde”.

An excerpt published by “People en Español” reads: “I appeal to the women and men in the armed forces of Venezuela, who have prepared all their life to defend and safeguard our country: honor your uniform and don’t allow that the richest country in Latin America, which is the country of your children, that these people continue to impoverish it.”

While making the comments, El Puma pointed to Fidel Castro and Cuba as the real leaders pulling the strings in Venezuela, alluding to the Chavista government as a restrictive dictatorship. Among the other comments made he also spelled out the conditions he considers already in place for a “peaceful transition.”

“It’s a transition process that needs to be peaceful,” he said in the interview. “The church is ready, the people are ready, students are ready. Some of our troops should save the country, because if that doesn’t happen, Venezuela can await, 40, 50, 60 years of anguish…”

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Artists such as Maria Conchita Alonso have also voiced their concern in Venezuela and abroad against the changes Maduro has perpetuated from Hugo Chavez’s presidential administration: The government has exerted state control over many private industries, including petroleum, and squelched most independent media outlets, but the country’s masses of poor citizens continue to support the government for their charitable programs such as subsidies and food handouts.