Years of crippling socialist policies have left Venezuela so bereft of food, average Venezuelans must spent up to six hours waiting in line to received their allotted rations of basic goods like vegetable oil, flour, or milk.
Musician Jonathan Acosta has offered to help ease the frustration by visiting supermarkets and performing for those waiting in line.
Acosta, from the Venezuelan state of Lara, has so far only made local appearances, singing songs of hope and offering hugs to those waiting patiently in line. He has launched a hashtag campaign called #ÁnimoVenezuela, or #EnergyVenezuela, looking to inspire hope in those looking to improve their daily life situation, and hopes to visit the capital, Caracas, with his music soon.
“There is a need to bring a message of hope and a song of encouragement before the struggle Venezuelans live through today… let’s go and give these people some energy,” Acosta says he thought when first launching the project in an interview. Acosta is a licensed attorney by day but has always enjoyed performing music, and he says he has found that engaging Venezuelans with music has a positive emotional effect on those spending hours on supermarket lines in order to feed their children.
He notes his effort is bipartisan, and he has rejected overtures from the government of socialist president Nicolás Maduro to perform at government functions.