Things That Matter

Through Music, Nacho And Spotify Hope To Spread The Word Of Venezuela’s Crisis

Nacho / Facebook / @nacho / Instagram

Spotify has brought together Latino activists and advocates to share the stories of their struggles and activism through a series of playlists called Soundtrack de Mi Vida. This week Nacho, of Chino & Nacho, posted his playlist to tell the story of the crisis that is crippling his home country Venezuela. Nacho has been vocal about the heated political climate in Venezuela as well as the Maduro government, even speaking to the National Assembly during Youth Day in 2016. Nacho spoke with mitú about the importance of Spotify in bringing awareness to the crisis that hits very close to home.

Nacho has been using his music, fame and voice to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis that has rocked Venezuela. Now he has the support of Spotify to spread that message.

“Spotify has changed the world,” Nacho says. “Everyone is connected differently with music at this time because it is closer and more personal. To have this ability and this influence that Spotify has and to use it for a beautiful cause, which is the support of the liberty of an entire country, is something I think it is a very noble, valiant move and a valuable contribution.”

He includes his song  “Valiente” in his playlist, which he wrote specifically for the youths in Venezuela.

Para conocer situación sentimental, ver foto. ??

A post shared by Nacho "Miguelito" Mendoza (@nacho) on

Nacho believes music is the best way to communicate a message. However, artists also have to make sure the messages they send are what young people want to hear.

“You won’t succeed if you aren’t sending out the message that they want to hear,” he says.

While Nacho wants people to enjoy the music in his playlist, he also wants them to pay attention to what is happening in Venezuela.

Venezuela libre. NO a la constituyente.

A post shared by Nacho "Miguelito" Mendoza (@nacho) on

“The people need to know, firstly, that there is no freedom in Venezuela,” Nacho says.

“It needs to be clear to everybody that there is no democracy in Venezuela,” he adds. “If we are all clear on that then there is hope. If people have a doubt about whether or not there is freedom in Venezuela, then that’s where we are failing because the freedom in Venezuela has been assassinated.”

Especially since an any act of  resistance, even through music, is squashed in Venezuela by law.

FANTÁSTICO.

A post shared by Nacho "Miguelito" Mendoza (@nacho) on

According to Nacho, artists are trapped in a country where protests songs that question or stand up to the government are not allowed on the radio. That silencing has caused an influx of artists releasing protest music, however, which has saturated the market, making it hard for artists to have their music played in regular rotation or “reach the next level,” as Nacho puts it.

Nacho has made trips to Venezuela in support of a democratic country, but times have gotten harder and his ability to enter his home country has been restricted.

“Every time I arrive in Venezuela, it’s a big risk that I am taking because I want to return to my country,” Nacho says about traveling home. “At this point, it has been a while since I have been there because I have a letter that says that the next time I go, the first thing they are going to do is be against my travel documents. If they take my documentation in Venezuela and they don’t deliver them then they’re basically making me pay a price to enter the country. I will lose my life; what I worked for. I wouldn’t be able to see my kids again. It’s a very complicated situation.”

“Family for me isn’t just my wife and kids,” Nacho says about how travel restrictions to Venezuela have impacted his family.

Let's keep going, then. @ingermendoza

A post shared by Nacho "Miguelito" Mendoza (@nacho) on

“I have a lot of family that is still in Venezuela and are confronting directly this shortage crisis – of the food shortage, of the medicine shortage,” Nacho says. “They don’t have the ability to obtain health insurance in the hospitals or clinics. They have to be in long lines in order to find just one basic-needs product. They can’t leave the house because on the streets there is the feeling of a civil war that is always increasing as the crisis in Venezuela increases.”

Nacho wants people to know that there are several ways to help Venezuelans, even something as simple as sharing videos and news coming out of the country.

Justifica esto, Nicolás Maduro.

A post shared by Nacho "Miguelito" Mendoza (@nacho) on

For people wanting to help, Nacho recommends communicating the crisis to other people. It might seem small but Nacho says that the Venezuelan government has put a gag on all media that disagrees or publishes content that goes against the government and President Nicolás Maduro. Meanwhile, publications willing to only speak positively about the current regime are given more journalistic freedom.

You can also send supplies if you can find someone to receive them.

Y para que cuando estés completamente sana puedas vivir en una auténtica libertad. Dios te bendiga, princesa.

A post shared by Nacho "Miguelito" Mendoza (@nacho) on

“Sending supplies to Venezuela is also difficult and it depends on customs. As everyone is in need, the supplies don’t arrive in full. Sometimes they arrives with less than half,” Nacho says. “The National Guard takes a large part of the supplies. The politicians get part of everything that is sent, from medicine to milk. Everything up to sanitary paper. But it is a way to help. You can collect necessary supplies and send them to Venezuela.”

According to Nacho, the music in Venezuela has suffered because the crisis forces young musicians to flee to other countries.

As the country gets more and more restrictive, musicians wanting to advance their career are leaving their homeland behind to to pursue their dreams. To Nacho, it makes sense that they would want to escape the crisis and constant fighting.

The underlying hope of talent leaving Venezuela is that they will someday be able to shed light on what is happening in the country.

“They have the fight to keep growing professionally,” Nacho says. “That way their voice has a little more weight. You have to focus on your career and you have to try to succeed so the people follow you in your art, in what you do and in your music and give you their attention. After that, you can start to share the message that you want to share. That takes a lot of time. I have seen that there has been a mass exodus of great professional musicians that have moved to different parts of the world and are starting that process. There is going to be a bit of time before we have a solid base of influential Venezuelans in music internationally to get a shared message out.”

You can listen to Nacho’s Spotify playlist for Soundtrack de Mi Vida below.


READ: Two Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Were Arrested In The Middle Of The Night And No One Knows Where They Are

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This Veracruz Taquería Made Marvel’s Thanos Twerk In Its Hilarious Ad

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This Veracruz Taquería Made Marvel’s Thanos Twerk In Its Hilarious Ad

Takesabroso / Facebook

If you’ve ever visited Mexico, you know that copyright laws seem pretty lax. There are all kinds of Pokémon, Disney, and Cartoon Network inspired goods from piñatas to costumes in most mercados. The same can be said for tv ads. Takesabroso, a taquería in Veracruz, México, has jumped on the trend and created a stellar ad for their food using Thanos and his unknown twerking skills. Jorge Lajud produced a commercial for the taquería that artfully mashes up a scene of villain Thor from “Avengers: Endgame” and a montage of tacos and other Mexican food. Like any other art form, you have to see it to appreciate it.

The video has gone viral with over 5.5 million views thanks to it being posted on Twitter.

Credit: @goingonajournie / Twitter

The commercial starts with a scene we’re all familiar with–the moment Thanos thinks he has all the Infinity Stones and offers a build-up to the moment he wipes out all of mankind. Spoiler: he doesn’t. Thanos says, “Yo soy inevitable,” snaps his fingers, and nothing happens.

Then, instead of the scene cutting to superhero Iron Man, we see Takesabroso owner, Luis Vazquez, dramatically saying, “Yo soy Takesabroso.”

Credit: Takesabroso / Facebook

He snaps his fingers and saves the day with a montage of Takesabroso’s menu items. In the bottom left-hand corner, supervillain Thanos seems to be happy with how terribly his plan failed and is twerking up against the lechón on screen. 

Yup. Thanos is twerking to cumbia.

Fans are here for it. As video rolls on burritos, tacos, and rotating meat, Thanos just keeps on dancing cumbia in the corner. “It’s the twerking thanos that really tied it all together,” commented one fan.

It’s official. Thanos is now Thaños and is clearly invited to every carne asada.

Credit: @troyareyes / Twitter

That little tilde on the “n” goes a very long way in making Thanos a true dancing Latino icon.

Some folks are worried that Takesabroso isn’t going to get away with using Marvel footage.

Credit: @Westside_LEE / Twitter

Personally, we think Thaños is far more appealing than his evil twin, Thanos. Mexicans have basically responded to this tweet with pure laughter. “Marvel lawyers trying to stop a Mexican restaurant from stealing intellectual property? Good luck,” tweets one fan.

This has prompted a whole other thread about different ways folks have seen Mexican restaurants “give precisely zero f***s.”

Credit: @urfriendktt / Twitter

One person seemingly well versed in copyright infringement tweeted their two cents, “Well it’s not illegal the clip used is not long enough to be considered plagiarism and its transformative enough to be fair use but Disney has sued for less and won lol.” 

Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” was the final installment of the “Avengers” franchise and is the highest-grossing film of all time. The timing of the video is smart given that Disney released “Avengers: Endgame” on Blu-ray and DVD this week.

The rest of Latin America has also chimed in to share ways their countries don’t care about copyright.

Credit: @racampos / Twitter

“My fave: Harry Potter y el Orden del Taco,” read one reply. Nope, we’re voting for “Harry Potter y el trompo de pastor” for the win. 

“In Mexico City, we have a place named “Tacos Goku” or also there’s “Tacos Megaman” the copyright is like a joke for them,” one Mexicano tweeted. Another said he ” remembered a tortilleria called “El Thor-tillero” on León, near the bus station (central camionera).”

This isn’t the first time Takesabroso has ventured into hilarious advertisements…

Credit: @jorgelajudm / Twitter 

Takesabroso’s video editor in resident, Jorge Lajud, recast the restaurant owner in a scene from Venom and then had his form be overlayed by a Ricardo Milos dancing. Note the floating images of tacos and burgers floating around him. It’s pretty clear Vazquez is also absolutely delighted by these commercials.

Takesabroso has welcomed the wide response from folks and even dedicated a Facebook post to its fans. “Takesabroso not only seeks to bring flavor to your life, but it also seeks to bring joy to your heart,” Vazquez posted. “This meme is viral, thanks to all.”

The woman responsible for gifting the video to Twitter, which took it viral, is using her platform to promote non-profit RAICES Texas.

Credit: @goingonajournie / Twitter

The Refugee Aid Project, commonly known as RAICES, is the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. It’s staffed with 130 attorneys, legal assistants and support staff whose sole job is to offer legal representation to immigrants at risk from America’s current immigration policies. In 2017, they closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client.

You can donate to RAICES here.

Watch the full video below!

YO SOY TAKESABROSO

YO SOY TAKESABROSO

Posted by Takesabroso on Friday, August 2, 2019

READ: 20 Hilarious Taqueria Names That’ll Fill Your Tummy With Laughs!

The Bernie Campaign Teamed Up With Cardi B To Talk About Police Brutality, DREAMers And Raising Wages

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The Bernie Campaign Teamed Up With Cardi B To Talk About Police Brutality, DREAMers And Raising Wages

@BernieSanders / Twitter

Vermont Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and rapper Cardi B have been teasing their on-screen discussion on issues ranging from police brutality to canceling student debt for a few weeks now. Finally, the Sanders campaign published the video in all its nearly ten minutes of glory.

The two met at Detroit’s TEN nail bar, a deluxe nail salon founded and operated by two women of color. Cardi B came prepared with a list of questions that her own followers have brought up with her. In essence, Cardi B served as a representative of her fans’ political interests and brought them to a Presidential candidate to see if he would be the guy to officially represent their needs in the nation’s most meaningful capacity–as POTUS 2020.

Six weeks ago, Cardi asked her fans what they would want to hear Bernie Sanders discuss.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

On July 2, the rapper shared a video to Instagram telling her followers that her number one question to Bernie Sanders is about how to end police brutality in this country. “What would you like to ask? what change would you like to see in your community and in the USA 🇺🇸?” she posted. “2020 is getting very close let’s get familiar with who is running and how they can change the country! Put your questions down below and your questions may be answered very soon.”

Nobody expected she was actually going to sit down with Bernie Sanders and represent the Bardi Gang’s political issues.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Hilariously, Sanders wiggled his fingers alongside Cardi B’s as he told us that, “Cardi B’s nails are juuuust a little different than mine. Our views on the issues are pretty similar.” 

Cardi B absolutely nailed it as an interviewer. She steered the conversation and truly represented her followers’ interests. She opened the video to remind everyone that, “A couple of weeks ago, I asked my followers what types of questions would you want to ask a Democratic candidate. Let’s go baby.” Here are the takeaways.

Number one: Cardi and Bernie’s shared goal is getting Trump out of office.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“You know what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to advocate the youth in my community because I feel like there’s a serious problem right now in America,” Cardi opens. “We have this bully as a President and the only way to take him out is somebody winning.”

“We’ve got to get rid of Donald Trump, obviously. Because Donald Trump is an overt racist. He’s just way out there.”

The first question on Cardi’s mind is putting an end to police brutality in America. Bernie has a three-pronged plan.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi B got vulnerable and talked about the mental effects of what it’s like to “constantly see on social media police brutality against black men and against minorities. What are we going to do to change that, because that is discouraging our people? We constantly see our men getting killed every day, and it seems like nobody cares.”

Sanders wants to end the militarization of police departments, which he sees as a form of intimidation.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

To address police brutality, he wants the Department of Justice to investigate every police killing to ensure accountability and prevent local police departments from covering up crimes. He also wants to federally obligate police departments to “look like the community they serve” and “not like an oppressive army.” Sanders related to the “disgust” of seeing 1 in 4 young black men in the criminal justice system. His solution to that specific issue is to invest in free education instead of investing in prisons and incarceration. 

During his first week as President, Sanders will reinstate the executive order that gave protections to DREAMers, and he wants to extend those protections to their parents.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi had recalled meeting a fan who enrolled for protections under DACA and is now facing deportation back to Mexico–a place that he has no living memory of ever knowing. Bernie wants the 1.8 million young people who qualify for DACA to experience the freedoms of this country. When he said he wants to expand that program to their parents, Cardi did a little jiggle and let out a “Yeahhh!”

Bernie is going to raise taxes to allow free healthcare and education, but it will be cheaper on a day to day for Americans.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“People are afraid to pay more taxes than they’re already paying,” Cardi rightly stated. Bernie’s plan to offer free health care for all will ultimately be cheaper for the overwhelming majority of people than paying for premiums, deductibles, and copayments.

Cardi B will never forget how hard it was to make a living wage before she found fame.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi B brought up how “certain people like to brag” about how there are more jobs in America, but she’s questioning the quality of these jobs. Why are her followers having to work two or three jobs to survive? Bernie wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. 

By placing a modest tax on Wall Street, Sanders plans to cancel student debt.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Forty-five million Americans are living with student debt. Sanders knows that those of us in our 20s and 30s were told that we had to go to college to get a good job. Where the good jobs at? Our generation is far less likely to own homes and make financial progress in our lives. For the first time, our generation is worse off than the generation before it. 

Sanders has a message to Cardi B’s followers: “Trump doesn’t want people of color to be participating in the political process.”

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“Participate in the political process,” he tells POC. You can spend five minutes to register to vote here.

Watch the full interview below!

What do you think about Cardi B’s interview?

READ: Cardi B Claps Back At “Republicans And Conservatives” Who Want Her To Shut Up When It Comes To Politics

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