This Wednesday Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro authorized the “scheduled and safe reopening” of all theaters, museums and cultural spaces in the country as part of the 7+7 reopening plan to combat COVID-19. During the delivery of the National Prize for Culture 2019-2020, the head of state asked government authorities related to the sector to implement this guideline.
For his part, the Minister of Culture, Ernesto Villegas, explained that they have worked together with the Minister of Health, Carlos Alvarado, and “meetings have been held with everyone in the performing and cinematographic arts, and a clamor has been made regarding the recent announcement.”
He explained that progress has been made in ironing out a set of biosecurity measures, taking into account international experiences, with proper physical distancing, for the certification of biosafety protocols in cultural establishments.
Villegas pointed out that a “joint resolution of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Health has already been drafted, awaiting the approval of the Presidential Commission for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19, so that when it’s advisable from a sanitary point of view, we can begin to greenlight this sector.”
“It’s authorized, it’s approved,” said President Maduro. “Let the flexibility of the entire cultural sector be fulfilled, in a safe, planned manner, and respecting all biosafety protocols.”
At the same time Maduro commented that both in Venezuela and abroad, the miniseries Carabobo, Ways of Freedom, to be directed by Luis Alberto Lamata, has generated great interest. “I was reading the script for the first chapter and I think it’ll be a success,” commented Maduro, indicating that he valued the audiovisual project and called for the support of similar endeavors.
Maduro called for casting of this miniseries at the national level, so that criollo artists can apply and be actively engaged with the idea. The Minister of Culture seconded this suggestion and pointed out that there has been a great deal of interest from artists across the country to join this project. Last weekend the first casting was held in Caracas, with more than 500 attendees.
The dignitary asked Venezuelan cultural workers and artists to assume 2021 as the great year of the light of Carabobo, the triumph of Venezuelan culture and identity.
Featured image: Photo courtesy of Prensa Presidencial.