Bono is at a U2 concert in Glasgow when he asks the audience for some quiet. In the silence, he starts to slowly clap his hands.
Holding the audience in total silence, he says softly and seriously into the microphone, "Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies ..."
A voice from near the front pierces the silence: "Well, fucken' stop doin' it then!"
— From CounterPunch.org.
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U2's Bono is backing a video game that promotes the invasion and destruction of Venezuela in order to check a "power-hungry tyrant" who has "seized control of Venezuela and her oil supply". This is an obvious reference to the democratically elected government of President Hugo Chavez, who is hated by US President George Bush for opposing US domination of Latin America and the Middle East.
The game, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, was created by Los Angeles-based Pandemic-Bioware Studios. Pandemic is a subcontractor for the US Army- and CIA-funded Institute for Creative Technologies. The game simulates a mercenary invasion of Venezuela and the destruction of Venezuela's capital, Caracas, and promises to leave no part of the country untouched.
The link between the game and Bono and U2 is through the investment firm Elevation Partners, created to exploit marketing opportunities between U2 and its fans, including projects from Pandemic-Bioware Studios. Pandemic states that as a partner in Elevation Partners, Bono "has visibility into all projects at Pandemic and Bioware".
For Bono — the face of the "Make poverty history" campaign — to offer any support to such an attack on Venezuela is totally hypocritical. Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution is leading the struggle to overcome poverty and oppression by empowering the poor and spending the country's oil wealth on health care, education and other social programs. Venezuela is showing that if we are serious about eradicating poverty, we have to make capitalism history.
Resistance is supporting the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network's petition to tell Bono to stop supporting Bush's attempts to criminalise and overthrow any government that doesn't do Washington's bidding in Latin America. To sign the petition, visit <http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org>.