People attend the Venezuela Aid Live concert near the Venezuela-Colombia border on Feb 22 (local time)
People attend the Venezuela Aid Live concert near the Venezuela-Colombia border on Feb 22 (local time)

3,00,000 people attend Venezuela Aid Live concert in Colombia amid standoff

ANI | Updated: Feb 23, 2019 02:01 IST

Cucuta [Colombia], Feb 23 (ANI): Around 3,00,000 people turned up for the Venezuela Aid Live concert here on Friday (local time), which is being organised by British business mogul Sir Richard Branson to raise USD 100 million in aid for crisis-hit Venezuela.
The concert is being held at the border city of Cucuta, which is right next to where Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has heightened security and placed containers which block the highway, barring international aid from entering the Latin American nation which is currently in the throes of a political crisis.
Branson told CNN that Venezuela's self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido asked him to organise the concert for Venezuela.
"He (Guaido) will be coming to the other side of the bridge with maybe a million of his supporters, and I suspect both of us, both sides, will be handing flowers to the military and the people guarding the bridge, and seeing whether they can be persuaded to do what they must realize is the right thing," the founder of the Virgin group claimed.
Meanwhile, Maduro is slated to hold a rival concert on the other side - just a 1,000 feet from each other - of the Tienditas Bridge in Tachira, Venezuela.
The embattled Venezuelan President has time and again dismissed reports of a humanitarian crisis in his nation, putting forth that aid efforts by the United States are part of an alleged coup planned to dethrone him.
The Branson-led concert has a line-up of over 30 prominent artists, a few of whom like Maluma have already taken to the stage.
Along with the 3,00,000 people currently in attendance in Cucuta, the concert is also being streamed live on the Venezuela Aid Live website to attract donations. The concert aims at raising USD 10 million, as a starting point towards raising the USD 100 million in aid for Caracas.
"The three basic goals of the event are to create awareness of the current situation, to reopen the Venezuelan borders in order to get the humanitarian aid in, and to obtain enough funds to design and carry out a sustainable social investment that will benefit Venezuela and help bring it and its people back," the Venezuela Aid Live website outlines. (ANI)