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Chavez's government cancels Alejandro Sanz's concert in Venezuela

Over 85 celebrities join in protest of Chavez's actions

February 21, 2008 -- Many Hispanic celebrities (and a few non-Hispanics) have joined in support of Spanish pop singer, Alejandro Sanz, after his concert in Venezuela was canceled following his criticism of President Hugo Chavez back in 2004.

Venezuelan organizers announced that Sanz's Valentine's concert in Feb. 14 in Caracas was canceled because it lacked "the appropriate conditions." A November concert also was scrapped when officials withdrew permission to use a government-owned auditorium.

Sanz's criticism of President Hugo Chavez led Venezuelan officials to declare he is not welcome in the country — though ticket sales for the Valentine's day concert was sold-out.

Now, in an effort to stand behind the 38-year-old singer, 85 artists, including Jennifer López, Marc Anthony and Ricky Martin, have signed a petition that shows their support the Spaniard singer.

“After Alejandro Sanz confirmed that he wouldn’t be performing in Venezuela on Feb. 14 because of inconveniences and differences various local authorities brought about, we wanted to demonstrate that we stand behind him. We believe it is unfair to Alejandro and to the Venezuelans who want to attend his concert and buy his tickets,” the document reads. “Alejandro is known by all to be a loyal friend, involved with Latin America and always ready to help out there when he’s needed,” the message continues.

The long list of celebrities showing their support for Sanz and their disapproval of the Chávez government includes Ana Gabriel, Shakira, Raphael, Penélope Cruz, Paulina Rubio, Miguel Bosé, Luis Fonsi, Lena, Laura Pausini, Juanes, Joan Manuel Serrat, Fito Paez, David Beckham, Ana Belén, Carlos Vives, Ana Torroja, Fher y Ednita Nazario, among others. “Because we believe in a Latin America where we’re all free to express our opinions, and we believe in respecting the distinct thoughts of every individual, we hope from our hearts that the situation will be resolved.”

Sanz might be best known to American audiences for his mega-hit duet with Shakira, “La Tortura.”

 


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