[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Yoani Sanchez and Juanes (UPDATED)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yoani Sanchez and Juanes (UPDATED)

The Herald published a front-page Sunday article on Yoani Sanchez today, spanning a total of three pages (not something they do very often, BTW). For anyone familiar with Yoani and her work on Generation Y, most of the article is standard "who is Yoani and why does she do it". An interesting section in the third page addresses the Juanes concert controversy. Lydia Martin quotes part of a recent Generation Y post:

"(Juanes) will raise his voice before a people who have been divided, classified according to a political color and compelled to confront any who think differently,'' (Yoani Sanchez) recently posted. ``We need his voice, but only if he comes to sing without forgetting any Cuban, without rejecting any difference.''

Sounds fairly innocent and pro-Juanes sounding, doesn't it? It appears, however, that Lydia Martin was just showing her thinly-veiled attempt to show support for the Juanes concert by taking a small part of Yoani's post which portrays the concert in a rather favorable light.

If you want to get the full picture of Yoani's thoughts, here's the entire post titled Juanes and the Plaza:

A grey place, of concrete and marble, that makes people feel tiny and insignificant. I pass near the Plaza of the Revolution every day on my way home and cannot stop feeling overwhelmed, seeing myself crushed before that architecture so reminiscent of fascist megalomania. I was there once with a white and yellow banner shouting “freedom,” in front of a dove-shaped altar designed for the Pope. I’m not Catholic, but I wouldn’t have missed the chance for anything in the world to say another kind of slogan in that Plaza.

It appears that on the September 20th, Juanes will try to put a human face on an architectural ensemble where no one is going to go and sit placidly. I have never seen a couple or a Cuban family there who—without being called—find a corner to talk or laugh. A space without trees, designed to gather, overcrowded, for the leader to shout at us from his height, some meters above the pavement, and wait for us to respond with some repetitive slogan of, “We shall conquer!” “To the wall!” or “Viva!”

I think that Juanes should come and sing. If his subject is peace, he will have to know that this Island is not immersed in bellicose conflict, but neither does it know concord. He will raise his voice before a people who have been divided, classified according to a political color and compelled to confront any who think differently. A population that for years has not heard talk of harmony and that knows the punishment given to those who dare to voice their criticisms. We need his voice, but only if he comes to sing without forgetting any Cuban, without rejecting any difference.

We would like him to accompany his song with the cadence of Willy Chirino, the trumpet of Arturo Sandoval, the rhythm of Albita Rodríguez or the sensual sax of Paquito D´ Rivera… but none of them will be allowed to be there. Juanes will enjoy the privilege of the foreigner, who on this Island is worth much more than the natives. Everything he says between songs—if he says anything—will be interpreted as his support for a system that ebbs away, as the accolade to a group in power.

It was not an innocent decision to choose the Plaza of the Revolution as a stage for his music and he will not be able to shake the political weight that it carries. But if it has to be so, if there is no space in the poor neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, in my birthplace of Central Havana, on the brink of collapse, if he’s not allowed to immerse himself in San Miguel or Marianao, or even to use the Latin American Stadium, then let him sing under the statue of Martí, facing the image of Che Guevara, but at least let him sing for everyone.

*I wonder if the same thing will happen as at the last two concerts of Pedro Luís Ferrer, where they didn’t let some bloggers in.

A totally different picture is painted when the entire post is included. Yoani knows that Juanes won't be able to fulfill her request, that is, to "sing for everyone". It's a classic set-up, and exactly the reason why this concert will end up being just like all the ones that have preceded it: nothing to see here. Move on.

Bravo, Yoani!

If Juanes wants to play in Cuba, go right ahead. I don't agree with it, but I would rather use this opportunity to remind people of the truth in Cuba and the people Juanes is "buddying up" with who have either directly or indirectly imposed the five-decade long suffering on the Cuban people, not to mention the hypocrisy of the whole "concert for peace" thing. It's much more effective than smashing a pile of Juanes CDs in Little Havana or tweeting death threats. The former approach makes people think. The latter approach doesn't.

UPDATE: Carlos Miller writes an piece at the pathetic NBCMiami.com site that does absolutely nothing to advance the dialogue one bit (including a shout out to a local lefty Miami blogger). And I thought journalists were at least supposed to give the impression of being impartial, even if they're really not.

17 Comments:

Blogger Alex said...

Wait, now you are for "advancing the dialogue"? You are seriously ready to have a dialogue about the Juanes concert?

7:50 PM, August 23, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Sure. You start. BTW, long time no hear. I missed you.

8:20 PM, August 23, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

I'm traveling, but when I get to my hotel I'll send the first salvo.

1:23 PM, August 24, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

We're talking specifically about the Juanes concert issue here, not necessarily the whole "pan con bistec". That's what was meant in the updated portion of the post. Just want to make sure you understand.

1:39 PM, August 24, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Sorry it too so long (just busy) and that it's so long. This is mostly a piece I wrote a week or so ago debating the main arguments of the opponents of the concert.

It’s hard to read Yoani’s post and interpret it as anything other than a guarded endorsement of the concert. She clearly says the concert should happen, it should reach the maximum possible amount of Cubans, regrets the choice of venue and reflexively wishes it was more inclusive of Cuban artists who are not aligned with the regime. Her position is identical to that of apolitical, broad-spectrum or moderate groups such as Raices de Esperanza and the Cuban Study Group, or artists such as Willy Chirino and Rey Ruiz. Indeed, it’s the only possible rational and pragmatic position at this stage.

By railing against the concert and Juanes, as hardliners have been doing --in may instances through mischaracterizations and infantile ad hominem attacks-- they are just showing how out of touch they are with regular Cubans in the island, how their main commitment is to avenge the past instead of moving towards the future and how impractical would be listening to hardliners for anybody interested in finding ways to move away from the status quo and connect to the Cuban people.

In other words, since nothing short of Juanes leading a charge on el Malecon would satisfy hardliners, they are just not a good participant in the argument and relegate themselves to the fringe. Which one suspects suits them just fine, given how often they retreat to that familiar corner, issue after issue.

One aspect I find particularly galling is how patronizing their attitude is towards the Cuban people. There’s a derisively clear it’s-just-bread-and-circus, we-know-better-than-you-because-you-have-been-brainwashed feeling that permeates their arguments. Tell a hardliner that your everyday Cuban would like a night of enjoyment and see if the answer doesn’t fit that pattern. Why do hardliners assume Cubans aren’t clued in to their reality? Why can’t they believe Cubans can separate propaganda chaff from message wheat? If there’s a skill one learns early in Cuba is “doble moral”, the art of appearing publicly committed while privately apathetic or opposed. The multitudes that will go see Juanes sing won’t there to rejoice in revolutionary spirit. They will be enjoying a concert, period.

Just for the sake of debate, let’s look at the hardliner arguments against Juanes and the concert. I’m not going to bother with puerile digs such as the Palinesque “buddying up” or that Juanes is a closet-communist, etc; other than to note that these weaken the hardliner position even more. And I think we can all agree that Vigilia Mambisa’s camera-hungry antics are an embarrassement better left alone.

8:40 PM, August 25, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

(continued)

Hardliners: Juanes has no respect for the suffering of the Cuban exile community.

The reality: Juanes has talked to a broad spectrum of exile representatives, including Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. He has held several meetings with exile organizations, listened to their concerns and taken into account their recommendations. (Hardliner rhetoric tends to appropriate the most painful experiences of exile, but in reality there are many who have been in jail, have had relatives incarcerated or murdered by the regime, went to Bay of Pigs, etc; and do not agree with the militant hardliner faction.) Furthermore, if one reads Juanes’ Twitter feed when the controversy first arose --and not just the couple lines that were highlighted by the Herald-- there are many posts by the singer acknowledging the historical pain of the Cuban exiles, whom he knows because he lives right here in Miami.

But understanding this pain does not automatically mean agreement with hardliner tactics or isolationism, and in the case of Juanes, of seeing the need to cancel the concert. It is precisely because of a deep understanding of the Cuban situation that the separation between the victims and the victimaries becomes not only understandable but indeed obvious, and thus Juanes can in good conscience jump through the procedural hoops in order to perform for the Cuban people.


Hardliners: “Concert for Peace”? There’s no war in Cuba. What Cuba lacks is freedom.

The reality: arguing semantics and buscándole las tres patas al gato. Hardliners have to admit that there’s conflict in Cuba, between the people and its rulers. (Otherwise what dictatorship are we talking about?) In that sense, when Juanes says “without peace there can’t be freedom” it can perfectly be understood that until the Cuban conflict evolves towards a solution, there will be no hope for freedom.

Let’s also acknowledge that this concert is part of a series, and that the previous one was held in a region that suffers from armed conflict. Political speech in Latin America has historically been full of references to war and peace, and Juanes is a product of Latin America.

One point the hardliners have in this argument, although I haven’t heard it expressed well by many of them: talking about “peace” in the Cuban context can be construed to match the regime’s propaganda point about being at “war” with Yankee imperialism. In that sense the name of the concert is unfortunate. “Concert for Hope”, for example, would not have had those connotations.

8:42 PM, August 25, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

(continued)

Hardliners: Juanes can’t be apolitical and the concert will be an endorsement of the Cuban regime.

The reality: it can be argued that nothing in a country under communist rule is apolitical, but this line of thinking can only lead to inmobilism, since there’s no choice but to engage in a political game with the regime. “Apolitical” in this case is the price of entry, because coloring the event with politics would mean its cancellation. Nobody is fooled by this double talk, much less the Cuban regime, but it is part of the necessary theater in order for the concert to go on.

The endorsement part is just a projection of the hardliner victim complex. “Everybody will see Juanes singing in Havana and automatically think everything is right” goes the refrain. Where’s the proof of this assumption? Why would people around the world see it as anything else than what it is, a pop singer giving a concert in a closed country? If the concert is noteworthy is precisely because people around the world know that pop singers can’t just schedule a tour stop in Havana. Rather than being an endorsement, it’s a stark reminder that Cuba is not a regular country.

Hardliners have argued that the tyranny will use the concert as a propaganda bonanza. But being concerned about what will the regime use as propaganda is a fool’s errand: they can and have used anything as propaganda. In fact, nothing would be a better propaganda godsend now than the cancellation of the concert because of the intolerant attitude f Cuban exiles.

If hardliners were rightly concerned about depriving the regime of propaganda tools, they would be opposed to the embargo, because support it or not, there’s no denying that it has been the cornerstone of Cuban propaganda and the single issue that has sold most people around the world on the “little island vs. giant enemy” argument.


Hardliners; Juanes is going to sing to the Castro-supporting elites.

The reality: Juanes has made clear that he wants to sing for the Cuban people. The choice of venue has a lot to do with this. There is simply no other space in Havana that can hold hundreds of thousands, and it’s impractical for the regime to control every point of entry. Regular people will go, will enjoy the concert and will sing the songs attaching their own meaning to them and at the end they will go home feeling more connected to the world, less forgotten in the island-prison. We can speculate that the choice spots will be reserved for ideologically safe groups –if one wants to believe any large group in Cuba is ideologically safe- but anybody that has lived the Cuban reality knows this will only remind non-privileged Cubans of the divisions imposed by the regime.

8:43 PM, August 25, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

(continued)

Hardliners: Juanes is going to sing next to Silvio Rodriguez and los Van Van, who are accomplices of the regime. He won’t sing next to Porno Para Ricardo or any artist critical of the regime.

These are part of the group of requests/demands/wishes in this controversy that if they were to be followed, the concert would not be allowed to proceed. To insist on these as a condition of support --“I would not support the concert unless XXXXX sings” or “I won’t support the concert unless Juanes asks for XXXXX from the stage”-- are easy positions to take but being neither pragmatic nor honest, they amount to just cop-outs from the debate. Nevertheless, Juanes and the organizers have asked for suggestions of other Cuban performers to invite and have attempted to contact them. I don’t know how far have they gotten. I don’t know if we’ll see Pedro Luis Ferrer, Carlos Varela or Buena Fe (“si viajar en avión no fuera candela, si todo el que se casa una casa tuviera… y si no hubiera que sacarle presión a la caldera”) on stage. The controversy have made more difficult for musicians inside the island to accept a role as the “unofficial” alternative.

As to Silvio Rodriguez: many younger Cubans on both sides of the straits admire Silvio the musician they grew up with as much as they detest Silvio the regime puppet. Let’s not elevate him to more than what he is, which is a contrarian who enjoys being on the wrong side, a token figure like every other delegate to an national assembly that meets four weeks once a year rubber-stamping laws written by the regime and an opportunist who has made a lucrative career of being militantly anti-American.


Hardliners: Juanes will sing in the Plaza de la Revolución, which is a symbol of the dictatorship.

It’s the only venue where hundreds of thousands of Habaneros can congregate. Besides, name me a large venue in Cuba that has not been tainted by regime events. Karl Marx theater, where most concerts are held? If you can get past the name, it was also where the st, 2nd and 3rd congress of the Cuban communist party were held. The National Theater, right in the corner of the Plaza? It’s where the Army holds its annual meetings, and has been the scenario of some of Raul Castro’s worst speeches. And so on.

The stage may be symbolic, but it’s not the message. The message is what the person on stage says and how the audience receives it. Yoani speaks in her post about going to see the Pope speak in that same plaza, with hope in her heart. John Paul II –whose visit to Cuba the hardliners opposed as well-- delivered what has been the most direct criticism of the regime in that same plaza.

Less known, but just as relevant to me, was a massive concert held there in 1989, at the height of the movement that took down Eastern European socialism. Inside Cuba, many followed the events with anticipation and hope. The regime had ratcheted up its survivalist rhetoric, but many in Cuba’s intellectual, artistic and civil society sphere were expressing themselves with a lack of fear never seen. In the concert, several barely tolerated singers openly sang their wishes for change, while in the background several plastic artists (whom were the most outspoken critics) wrote the word “Meditar” in monumental letters. Everybody in the crowd that day went home a little changed and a little more free that night.


Hardliners: Juanes’ concert will not change Cuba.

Neither has anything else.

8:43 PM, August 25, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Alex,

Thanks for taking the time to post your comments. Before I continue, let me remind you and everyone reading this that I would not stop Juanes from going to Cuba and performing. It's his decision to make and I'm no one to stop him from doing what he wants to do as a member of a free society. I echo the wise words of Joe Cardona by stating that I represent myself and only myself with my opinions. I will also not demonize any side of the exile community which has the right to express any and all opinions it wishes to express.

For me, this issue isn't "hardliner" vs "pragmatist" as you're playing this out to be. It's about a performer who has consciously decided to organize a concert with the full graces and assistance of a dictatorial and abusive regime, fully aware of the inherently political nature of everything in Cuba. My value system doesn't allow me to accept that as satisfactory or understandable.

I don't think Juanes is a bad person, but how can he hold a concert like this and not realize its political and deeply personal and emotional components, especially in the city he lives in? Life is all about making choices, and Juanes has chosen to minimize the pain of many of his fellow Miamians in favor of a shallow plea for peace, as well intentioned as it may or may not be. We can think that he's just an idealist who wants a better world for everyone, but if that's the case, why perform in a country where every aspect of the concert will be controlled by the very people who laugh at his calls for "peace"? The hypocrisy is staggering. It should also be noted that his past comments regarding Che and Fidel don't help his case one bit against accusations of being sympathetic to communism.

If Juanes' purpose was simply to provide an evening of entertainment for the Cuban people, without the heavy-handed but empty-worded rhetoric of "peace", I would find it less offensive and refreshingly honest.

At this point, the only way Juanes can redeem himself in my eyes is if he denounces right there on that stage all the human rights violations and other injustices the people he's playing for have had to endure for decades. After all, Oscar Elias Biscet, Antunez, along with the hundreds of thousands of others who've been or are still imprisoned unjustly, are Cubans too. This inconvenient fact is too often forgotten by many "here" and "there".

If Juanes was really interested in promoting peace and, most importantly, justice for freedom-seeking Cubans past and present, he would do one of two things: 1) insist that Cuban-American performers are allowed to play as a condition of the Havana concert, or 2) hold the concert in Miami instead and help shine a light on the lack of basic human rights in Cuba.

You may think these wishes are easy positions to take in order to escape a debate. I see them simply as principled and correct. That's why many find these so easy to take sides with. These positions may also appear to be as idealistic as Juanes' idea of a concert for peace in Cuba, but at least they're on the right side.

10:15 PM, August 25, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

If Juanes had chosen to minimize pain, he would not have gone to the lengths he has to explain his position, personally and through advocates. He met with Ros Lehtinen before the controversy. He has sought the advice of exile organizations. For his efforts he has been attacked in a very harsh and very demeaning way by the hardliners. (You don't like it, but this comes down to an inflexible hardline position vs. a pragmatic view, and btw, it's very principled to be pragmatic.) Like I said, one can understand all the pain in the world. It does not mean agreement on tactics.

And yes, it's too easy to ask the impossible of Juanes under the guise of principles. How does asking the impossible achieves anything other than the cancellation of the concert? But let's suppose Juanes redeems himself to you and says what you want him to say: would that get Biscet and Antunez out of jail? It would hit the right notes for sure, and all of us who are for the liberation of political prisoners in Cuba would approve. And then the regime would simply publish an editorial in Granma attacking Juanes as a Miami exile puppet too worried for his record sales and stating once again that there are no political prisoners in Cuba, only CIA agents. There has simply never been one case of a political prisoner in Cuba liberated via direct confrontation, only through diplomacy and negotiations --which incidentally are always criticized in Miami as concessions or treason (see Benes, Carter, et.al).

I don't understand what's hypocritical about going into a prison, which obviously has to be done with the acquiescence of the prison guards, to sing for the prisoners. When Juanes shows he is singing for the elite, for the apparatchick, for the privileged, then I'll agree with you. But you are wrong when you say all aspects of the concert will be controlled by the regime. What the regime can't control is what happens inside the minds of Cubans. I have convinced myself, after a few years fighting these battles, that some people can't realize an important transformation happened in the Cuban collective psyche after Cuba opened up to the world, because they never lived in Cuba when it happened, they never saw the before and the after. It goes beyond simple entertainment and it's what makes this concert and any other effort for direct contact with the Cuban people worth pursuing, because that transformation inside the minds of Cubans is what will eventually free them. For this belief we are accused of being idealists as well, and perhaps we are, but we are on the right side, the side of the Cuban people.

10:48 PM, August 25, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

It's the rhetoric and categorization of the concert that is hypocritical, Alex, not the mere fact that he's playing in Cuba. Remember a few years ago when Audioslave played in Cuba? They didn't make a big deal about peace or goodwill, they just wanted to play a show in the forbidden land. End of story. Sure, people complained, but it was forgotten pretty fast. One of the big problems here is that we're expecting too much from Juanes, who's done a masterful job of hyping this as much as possible.

As far as Juanes' decision is concerned: for me it's a no-brainer that I would rather be ridiculed by a bunch of murderous goons for standing up for the real victims than using dubious tactics to make a bland statement. I hope he proves me wrong.

It goes beyond simple entertainment and it's what makes this concert and any other effort for direct contact with the Cuban people worth pursuing, because that transformation inside the minds of Cubans is what will eventually free them.

The idealist in me wants to agree with you. However, if none other than Pope John Paul II couldn't transform Cuban minds enough in that same plaza back in 1998 with his undeniably inspiring and liberating words, who else on this earth can? Certainly not Juanes, who's not even in the same galaxy as His Holiness. The realist in me thinks the closing sentence of your initial comment string pretty much says it all, unfortunately.

Let's just imagine for a second that Juanes' words have the potential to be the tipping point. Don't you think that a strong statement in favor of dissidents and political prisoners could be a trigger for the Cuban people? Your words lead me to believe that you might be inclined to agree. So why not demand it of Juanes to deliver that message?

11:56 PM, August 25, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

"Complained"? Audioslave was vilified. Zach de la Rocha is a commie, etc. It wasn't big because they don't have the profile Juanes has among Hispanics or in Miami.

And yes, you are expecting too much of Juanes or anybody, the Pope included, if the theory is that their words could be a tipping point. What I said was that it wouldn't lead to an internal uprising, but to yet another propaganda job. It's not a matter of ridiculing or who's right and who's wrong because that is obvious; it's a matter of what can achieve tangible results. I believe change in Cuba will come through a process instead of an explosion. I believe it will take baby steps. I don't expect more from Juanes than that.

12:27 AM, August 26, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

With all due respect, Alex, if there was ever anyone with an established track record of fostering change and hope through words and actions, it was Pope John Paul II.

My point here is if enough high profile people can go to Cuba and without fear and with total conviction demand change and steps towards freedom, no propaganda efforts by the regime can stop the momentum from building. You're right, it's obvious who's right and who's wrong, so why not come right out and say it, propaganda be damned? What does Juanes have to lose? Anything short of that is simply a lack of real commitment and/or care for the Cuban people.

Don't the Cuban people want to be reinforced with the notion that the rest of the world is with them, and not just against the U.S. embargo? It's not simply someone famous showing up in Havana every 5-10 years, it takes repeated and concentrated efforts to build people's confidence.

To me that's what building bridges and spreading a message of peace and freedom is all about, not a lot of well intentioned feel-good talk that results in nothing. If our expectations are for artists like Juanes go down to Cuba, play music for a few hours, make people forget their troubles for a little while, and go back home without delivering a real and sustainable message, then what's the point? Let's demand that artists with intentions similar to Juanes' strive for something better.

Let's open this discussion up. Anyone else care to add something? I only ask that we please keep it civil.

9:07 AM, August 26, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

I'm afraid that we have ended up talking past each other, like most of these "debates". The point is not just play music for on night. The point is that these evnts make Cubans more free, and we should be for anything that makes Cubans more free and we should work to make it a more frequent occurrence.

What you want Juanes to do is not build a bridge, it's burning one. But let's say it's an honest demand. In order to happen, the concert would have to take place, but you are opposing it a priori! You don't have a crystal ball to know what Juanes will say but if it was up to you he wouldn't go.

Look, if your only yardstick is momentum building towards an explosion, you are not going to get it from anything. You won't get it from the Pope (if you are talking about the transition in Poland, it was an intellectual/organized union movement, not a religious one, and it included extensive negotiations with the Jaruzelski regime -read the 19080 Gdansk agreement that briefly legalized Solidarity. Besides: a)the Pope was Polish and that was hugely symbolic, b)Castro was very clever to co-opt the resurgent force of the Catholic church in Cuba after the visit) you won't get it from Juanes and definitely you are not getting it from the embargo and isolationism. So it's status quo, and the people who benefit most from the status quo is the regime.

You want repeated and concentrated efforts? So do I. Then stop opposing every effort. Hardliners have been consistently against anything that's not a direct confrontation. Hardliners don't believe in people-to-people contacts. Hardliners take any effort that necessarily has to deal with the Cuban regime because duh, it's the government there, as an affront to their suffering. My point is that this attitude, while giving them emotional "principled" satisfaction, does not work in the real world, has never worked, has never been embraced by anybody else, has divided and isolated the opposition to the regime. These results are more damaging than any concert.

12:34 PM, August 27, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

It's all about the quality of the interactions. Efforts that won't have any real impact on the advancement of freedom in Cuba are just wasted opportunities in the grand scheme of things. It may make Cubans happy for a short time (which is fine) and produce nice memories, but the next day it's back to the daily struggle. Basic people to people contacts occur every minute of every day in Cuba. If those were so effective, then where are the real results? We can ask the EU, which by your measure has adopted the proper, pragmatic approach, if their policy of engagement has significantly changed Cubans' lives (I guess lack of toilet paper is a change, so perhaps I shouldn't go there). The burden of proof is on the pragmatists.

If you want to say the embargo hasn't displaced the regime, that's fine as well. Of course, the embargo has contributed in making the regime weaker financially and more susceptible to internal pressure, but when we're the only ones playing that game, it's tough to sustain anything.

As I stated early in this thread, I'm no one to stop someone from going anywhere. In fact, I say: Let them go. Often. But I won't be fooled by Juanes or anyone else in thinking that by merely showing up and playing along with the regime, things are going to change. Sorry. Juanes' concert will likely end up being just another lost opportunity. Let's just live with that fact and move on.

2:19 PM, August 27, 2009  
Blogger Ziva said...

Alex said, "The point is that these events make Cubans more free, and we should be for anything that makes Cubans more free and we should work to make it a more frequent occurrence."

Please tell me how Cubans are more free from these events. I haven't found any evidence that anyone in Cuba has any freedom, unless you mean in their imagination, outside perks for the elite.

I know someone incarcerated at Valle Grande on a trumped up charge because he exercised a little of his God given Human Rights; I am sure he would love to know about how he will be more free after the Juanes concert.

2:14 AM, September 01, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Ziva: I have a policy of not arguing with you since you insulted me by calling me anti-American for voting for Kerry. I think we can both agree there's no point and besides, I answer your question in my previous comment. But if you want to know what's inside the mind of Cubans in the island, see below:

Robert: Yoani has another Juanes post with a video asking Cubans what they think of the concert.

http://www.desdecuba.com/generaciony/?p=1978

11:17 AM, September 09, 2009  

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