Why are we connecting the release of our album and this track-by-track discussion to the Venezuelan Parliamentary Elections? Well, the DOGON story has been interwoven with Venezuelan politics from the beginning. Miguel and so many other artists and students first came to the US to college as part of a progressive government program which supported the youth of the country to take advantage of US colleges and bring their talent and resources back to the country. That is how we first met in 1981. The program ended shortly thereafter. The formation of DOGON occurred during the so-called "disturbios" (or riots actually) of 1988-89. We began as invitees to the Amnesty International Concert that year, which was not held due to government suspicion of large groups of young people gathering. Our first album was recorded during riots in Caracas.
I returned to Venezuela many times during the ensuing decades and developed a deep love for the country and its amazing people. We watched as corrupt administrations pilfered the national treasury and served their cronies. We witnessed the Chavez Revoluciøn, when socialist rhetoric and programs purported to (and sometimes did) empower the underserved of the country. But we witnessed this same rhetoric and failure of these programs create divisions and increase violence among the people of Venezuela. And I witnessed the dissolution of a once rich, vibrant society, the failure of its infrastructure, the increase of its murder rate to one of the highest in the world, while other South American neighbors built infrastructure and schools.
The country and its people have suffered terrible destruction and pillaging of their natural resources and historic cultural and human wealth. It has become a failed state, struggling to offer the barest essentials to its people, bread, milk, coffee, sugar. People live in fear of each other. The time for a major political change is upon Venezuela and we pray for a peaceful transition to a new era of prosperity, human decency, social conscience and cultural thriving.
We offer this song: "One Love Broken Heart" as a gift of peace at this time.