Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez announced Monday that Nicolás Maduro’s government will hold a concert Friday and Saturday in Venezuela to rival the concert that billionaire Richard Branson announced last week that he was hosting at the Venezuela-Colombian border.
“People from all over the world want to take part in this message of love, solidarity and denunciation against the aggression that they’re trying against the Venezuelan people,” Rodriguez said, according to the Associated Press.
Rodriguez did not announce who would be performing at the Maduro government concert. The Venezuelan Information Ministry did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.
Branson said he expects 300,000 to attend his concert on Friday to raise humanitarian aid for the Venezuelan people. Confirmed artists include Alesso, Juan Luis Guerra, Luis Fonsi and Paulina Rubio.
The battle of the bands is an unexpected extension of the battle of Venezuelan governments. On Jan. 23, Juan Guaidó, head of the National Assembly, Venezuela’s opposition stronghold, declared himself interim president of the country. He was quickly recognized by the United States, Canada, Colombia and Germany as Venezuela’s president.
Maduro, however, still says he is the president, and Russia and China recognize him as such.
Maduro ordered U.S. diplomats to leave the country. Guaidó has said they should stay. Maduro has vowed to block U.S. humanitarian aid to the nation. Guaidó insists the military should accept it.
And, come Friday, the two will be at odds over which concert is legitimately for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.