By Kwase Lane, Staff Writer
[Photo courtesy of Zeta/Nick Zimmer Photography]
Daniel Eduardo Hernandez Saud, founding guitarist of the experimental punk band Zeta, is now being faced with deportation to Venezuela. Saud had previously applied for U.S. residency along with the other three members of the band, but his application was rejected.
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With only 30 days to leave the country or appeal the ruling, Saud has chosen to do the latter. He has also canceled the last ten shows on their current tour and returned to the band’s temporary home in Hollywood, Florida. The group still intends to play shows in the area while dealing with the unexpected pitfall.
Saud started Zeta when he was 12 years old and regards his participation in the group as his full time job. The band has been touring almost nonstop for the two years that it has been in the U.S., playing over 200 shows in 2018.
Zeta’s situation has been escalated by the current climate in Venezuela. Over the past few weeks, thousands of Venezuelans have protested to end President Nicolas Maduro’s term, who was sworn in for a second term after an election in May 2018 that many are calling illegitimate. While under Maduro’s command, the country has suffered hyperinflation and food shortages. Juan Guaido, president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, has declared himself interim president among intense anti-government protests.
Pursuing his dream in America holds a two-fold purpose for Saud, as the money he earns also benefits his mother who still lives in Venezuela and is fighting against Alzheimer’s, according to the Miami New Times. If he were to return to Venezuela, the current power struggles would make it much more difficult for Saud to support his mother, and it would also mean the separation of the band he started so long ago.
Saud has reached out to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services and created a Change.org petition asking not to be ousted from the country. While the USCIS has not returned a statement, like-minded individuals can make their voice heard by supporting Saud in his moment of need. The petition has over 7,600 signatures as of Thursday morning.
“Being separated for us is not an option,” said Saud, according to the Gainesville Sun. “It’s not what we want and it’s not what we’ve been working for.”
Listen to the band’s latest, Magia Infinita, here: