Billionaire businessman Richard Branson says he hopes his Live Aid-inspired concert to raise funds for Venezuelans will persuade members of the country's military to defy President Nicolas Maduro and allow humanitarian aid to cross the border.
Branson, who will host "Venezuela Aid Live" on Friday in the Colombian border town of Cucuta, said he is aiming to raise about $100 million to buy food and medicine, essential supplies for the country, which is gripped by a political and humanitarian crisis, according to CNN.
The event will feature performances from more than 30 artists, according to the concert's website. These include huge names in Latin America, like Colombian musical legends Carlos Vives, Juanes and reggaetón singer Maluma -- all three of whom have collaborated with pop-star Shakira in the past.
Swedish DJ Alesso is also on the lineup, alongside Mexican rock band Mana, who have won seven Latin Grammys and four Grammys, and Spanish singer and songwriter Alejandro Sanz.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who invoked a constitutional provision last month to declare himself acting president, has been working with a raft of global partners, including the United States, to bring aid into the country. Maduro has repeatedly refused assistance, leaving aid languishing on the border despite growing shortages.
Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, told CNN en Espanol Thursday that he was asked to do the concert by Guaido.