Venezuelan Violinist Wuilly Arteaga Released Under 'Precautionary Measures', Still Facing Charges

Wuilly Arteaga
“We gave this violin to Wuilly, so that through his music, he may continue to remind Venezuelans that those who love freedom can change the world.” — Marion Smith from Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Photo: Youtube

Wuilly Arteaga is known worldwide for playing his violin on the front lines of the protests against the tyrannical actions of Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro regime. Because of this, the regime has attacked him repeatedly: first, they destroyed his violin. Then, he was shot in the face.

On July 27th, he was arrested for “public incitement” and “possession of incendiary materials.” During his time of detainment by the Bolivarian National Guard, Wuilly was tortured. Now, Wuilly has been released under so-called “precautionary measures.” However, he is still facing illegitimate criminal charges.

"Neither broken violins nor aggressions against me can prevent the Venezuelan people from reaching freedom," wrote Arteaga on his Instagram account. "If this prison is the price I have to pay to see my country free, I am willing even to give my life. The truth is that attacking a person who only expresses himself through his music, accusing him of being violent, is COWARD. They shield themselves in terror to subdue the people, but that is about to end. Let's move forward. Victory is ours!"

In response to Wuilly’s release, Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), offered the following statement:

“For nineteen harrowing days, Wuilly was held in custody by Maduro’s Cuban-backed regime simply because he was a violinist who protested against socialist oppression. Despite being shot in the face, burned, beaten, and tortured, Wuilly bravely maintained his pacifism and his love for his country. That the regime would treat a violinist so cruelly is a tragic reminder that authoritarian regimes have no respect for human rights and dignity.”

Smith added: “Last month’s sham election was a strategic attempt to consolidate Maduro’s power, and he is currently using so-called ‘truth commissions’ to purge all forms of dissent from Venezuela. Midnight disappearances and state-sponsored violence against peaceful protesters continue to be the norm. With over 600 political prisoners, more than 5,000 detainees, and over 130 citizens killed, Maduro is clearly waging a war against Venezuelans despite widespread calls for freedom.

Make no mistake, Wuilly’s release does not mean that he and other Venezuelans are free. The United States must not allow Maduro to establish a new communist regime in the Western Hemisphere. Cuba’s role in the crisis cannot be ignored, and the U.S. should demand the immediate withdrawal of Cuban military and intelligence personnel in Venezuela and redesignate the Castro regime as a state sponsor of terror. We cannot stand idly by as Maduro, with Cuba’s full support, purges dissent and opposition from Venezuela.”

Before his arrest, Arteaga was injured in the face by buckshot from the Bolivarian National Guard while peacefully playing his violin in the streets. The buckshot narrowly missed his eye, and Wuilly has undergone surgery for his injuries. A criminal investigation into this act of aggression has been opened by his lawyers.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a Washington-based, non-profit educational and human rights organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes. VOC was authorized by an unanimous act of Congress on December 17, 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton.

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Shirley Gomez has been exposed to many aspects of the art world. Besides being a Fashion Journalist, she studied Fashion Styling and Fashion Styling for Men at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Interior Design at UNIBE and Fashion Design at ITSMJ Fashion School in the Dominican Republic. She worked as a Fashion Journalist, Fashion Stylist and Social Media Manager at one of the most recognized magazines in the Dominican Republic, Oh! Magazine, as an occasional Entertainment Journalist, of the prestigious newspaper “Listín Diario”, as well as a fashion collaborator of a radio show aired in 100.9 FM SuperQ. When Shirley is not writing you can find her listening Demi Lovato or Beyonce's songs, decorating her apartment or watching Family Feud.