As protests in Venezuela swell, many citizens abroad are watching the events unfold from afar and asking themselves what they can do. The members of the band Cardiel have come up with an answer.
The stoner punk duo of Samantha Ambrosio and Miguel Fraino – who have made Mexico City their home away from home – has released two new pieces of merch that will help them support protesters back home. Sales for the T-shirt designs will go directly to Universidad Central de Venezuela’s first aid volunteers Primeros Auxilios UCV, a group of medical students who have been providing aid to demonstrators involved in the action. One of the designs features a tanqueta – an armored car used by police and military to break up marches – set on fire; the other features an image of Nicolás Maduro eating feces from a plate while a confrontation takes place in the background. The latter is titled, appropriately, “come mierda.”
Cardiel spoke to Remezcla about the crisis in Venezuela. “[It’s] something that has gone beyond the absurd, and shortage has become an everyday occurrence. The work of Primeros Auxilios UCV doesn’t just extend to bringing medical help to those affected by the protests, they also help fight off the Bolivarian National Guard from seizing (or stealing) medicine, cars, tools, etc. With destabilization, it’s hard having access to medical supplies. Our contribution is just a small collaboration to help the situation.”
The duo elaborated on the actual design concept as a response to tactics taken on by protesters. “The idea behind the ‘Come Mierda’ design comes from the popular ‘puputov’ bombs, which are jars, bottles, and bags filled with feces that are used to help fight the National Guard during marches. We wanted a dirty illustration and our friend Travis Treviño made it; we needed something visually aggressive that had a deep impact. The ‘Tanqueta En Llamas’ design was made by Oh Fetush who developed our idea. It’s something we started with the video for our song ‘GNB.’”
Cardiel joins other Venezuelan musicians raising concerns about the turmoil in their country. “Every time you think that things can’t get worse, they get worse. One thing that really baffles us is seeing these people in the government living in extreme luxury abroad; it’s so brazen how rotten human beings can get for power and money. If you see a chavista with a golden iPad, stop him!”
As for what can we do (other than buy these T-shirts), Ambrosio and Fraino have a message for their fellow Venezuelans and allies in other countries as well. “Don’t let the routine derail you from seeing reality. We know we have to move on and and make ends meet abroad, but don’t let apathy take over. We should take this situation as an example. This time, it happened in Venezuela but nobody knows when something like this will happen in your country. Question your politicians, education and prison systems, religion, etc. Educate yourselves on laws and who makes them and who enforces them.”
To purchase the T-shirts and support first aid volunteers, head over to the band’s website.