Venezuela: Singer received death threat from parliamentarian

17 May 2017
Venezuelan singer Oscarcito received a death threat over social media by MP Juan Díaz who told the singer to wear a bulletproof vest at his concerts.
Photo: Oscarcito/Twitter

Venezuelan singer Oscarcito (real name: Oscar Eduardo Hernández Villegas) received a death threat over social media by Member of Parliament Juan Díaz who told the singer to wear a bulletproof vest at his concerts because he would “roll” [Latin American expression denoting “to die”] in one of them, reported El Nacional on 24 April 2017.

Oscarcito, a prominent Miami-based Venezuelan artist critical of the regime, told El Carabobeño in an interview on 24 April 2017 that he is worried because in the Venezuelan context “these threats are to be taken seriously. When they say you’re going to roll, then you’re going to roll.”

The singer proceeded to report the threat, also via social media, to Luisa Ortega Díaz, Venezuela’s General Prosecutor, and Tarek William Saab, Venezuelan ombudsman, requesting they guarantee his safety. He also requested an investigation into the threats to Douglas Rico, Director of the Criminal Scientific Investigation Bureau, and Julio Borges, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly. The artist additionally included the Venezuelan Public Ministry in his message.

The MP mocked Oscarcito’s plea for help by stating on social media that “he [Oscarcito] doesn’t recognize the Venezuelan state but immediately goes and uses it”.

The issue seems to have begun after a video posted on YouTube on 20 April 2017 where Oscarcito plays an audio recording in which late President Hugo Chávez allegedly praises the artist in an effort to draw him to his side. Oscarcito then explains how he declined the late president’s proposal of backing him in his campaign, which he said carried grave consequences. The artist then encourages other artists to resist the temptation of being bought off and to stand for their moral principles.

Singer alleges more threats exist
This is not the first threat that the artist has received lately. According to an interview granted by the singer to Caraota Digital, posted on YouTube on 25 April 2017, he alleges he has received threats from people connected to the Venezuelan art scene, who said that, in the artist’s own words, “as soon as I set foot on Venezuela something will happen to me”.

The singer did not disclose the names of the people or offer more information about the threats, though he said his lawyers are working on building a case. However, he did say that he cannot return to Venezuela until those issues are resolved. The singer has said he is not only worried of being killed, but also of being framed for a crime he did not commit in order to effectively terminate his career.



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