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Classical maestro Dudamel hits Venezuela govt over protests

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/4/2017

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Classical music maestro Gustavo Dudamel is speaking out against the Venezuelan government he has long performed for over its bloody crackdown on protesters.

Dudamel's statement follows the death of 17-year-old Armando Canizales during a demonstration Wednesday. Canizales was reportedly a member of the government-financed El Sistema musical education program that gave rise to Dudamel's career. He's continued to work with it even while serving as the Los Angeles Philharmonic's musical director.

Critics have blasted Dudamel in the past for being cozy with President Nicolas Maduro.

But Dudamel called on Maduro to reduce tensions and allow dissent in an essay posted on Facebook. It bears Canizales' name in a black, tombstone-like box.

He wrote: "It is time to listen to the people: Enough is enough."

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