Strings Take to Venezuela’s Streets After Violist Is Killed at Protest

In Venezuela On

“When he fell, I didn’t even know it was him,” said William Hernández, 19, a friend and fellow musician a short distance from Mr. Cañizales during the protests last month. He never expected Mr. Cañizales, who had expressed no political views to him, to be at the march. The viola had seemed to be the only thing on his mind.

Venezuela’s political unrest is testing the loyalties of many who have benefited from the socialist-oriented government — and at times were its strongest defenders. Doctors and nurses at public hospitals hold marches to demand supplies for empty clinics. Police officers, themselves suffering shortages of food, now question the government’s battle with protesters.

Yet no group has been tested quite like Venezuela’s classical musicians, who for years have been drawn from the country’s working-class barrios.

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