Most of my English-language readers probably haven’t heard about this, but the Spanish-language media has been abuzz with the story. Juanes will be playing today a concert that has been heavily promoted, in Havana, with the blessing of the Cuban Communist regime. It is scheduled for 2-6PM.
Capitol Hill Cubans have posted a Letter to Juanes From the Family Members of Cuban Political Prisoners
Those of us writing this letter are family members of Cuban political prisoners that are enduring the pain of having our loved ones in prison for their ideas. The Cuban reality is very difficult to understand by those that have never suffered first-hand the deprivation of their freedom and basic human rights.
We ask that, using the platform that is being prepared for you and your colleagues in Revolutionary Square on September 20th, you call on the Cuban government to immediately and unconditionally release all of its political prisoners.
Go to the above link and read the list of names. Every person signing that letter endangered what little freedom they have left.
The free concert, which coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, will also feature Spanish pop act Miguel Bose and Puerto Rican tropical star Olga Tanon in addition to Cuban artists Amaury Perez, X Alfonso, Carlos Varela, Los Van Van, Silvio Rodriguez and Orishas. CuCu Diamantes and Yerba Buena, Italian rapper Jovanotti, Puerto Rico’s Danny Rivera, Ecuador’s Juan Fernando Velasco and Spain’s Victor Manuel and Luis Eduardo Aute are also on the bill.
There are certainly fewer artists than journalists,
More than 160 journalists have been credentialed to cover the concert, which will be aired via satellite through Cuban TV. The feed for the concert will be made available to any TV, online or radio outlet.
I would like to see a couple of the performing artists and a dozen or so journalists insist on meeting some of the relatives of political prisoners who signed the letter and not waste this opportunity.
Because, I see no chance at all of Juanes growing a pair of cojones big enough to speak out, live on stage while the whole world is watching, on behalf of the political prisoners themselves.
For more on Cuban political prisoners, visit Marc Masferrer’s excellent blog,