Can El Sistema Navigate Venezuela’s Roiling Politics?

El Sistema was founded in 1975 by Jose Antonio Abreu, a musician and economist, and it has flourished under eight different governments while aiming to keep many impoverished kids on the straight and narrow. “Ultimately, we have no idea how Dudamel, maestro Abreu and others are functioning in El Sistema. Abreu’s way of working has always been to try and influence the politics subtly from the inside. The second he takes a public stand, he can’t do that anymore.”

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