Vigil Recap: Synchronicity – UPDATED

Tonight we held a candlelight vigil at the landmark Cuban restaurant, Versailles, in Miami. We had over 100 people join us in the vigil along with 3 TV stations covering it. Below are some preliminary images.
While we were in the middle of reading the names of the 300 political prisoners, one of my best buddies approaches me and says, “Andy Summers is here.” Andy Summers is the guitarist of The Police. It turns out that he was simply there to have dinner at Miami’s most famous Cuban restaurant.
I politely approached him in the foyer before he was seated. I told him we were having a candlelight vigil outside, precisely because he and The Police are in town. He listened patiently as I explained that Amnesty International recognizes 69 prisoners of conscience in Cuba and that in our Miami community there are close to 1 million Cubans who fled the human rights abuses in that country. He told me that the Cuba concert is not a certainty. I told him that we weren’t protesting the concert but appealing to them to stand up for human rights in Cuba like they had in the past for other countries. I asked him to share the message with his band mates and he said he would. The entire exchange took no more than 90 seconds while he waited for his table.
Later after the event was over, we went inside to have dinner and they sat us about 3 tables away from him. My niece approached him and asked if she could have a picture with him. He was very much a gentleman and took the picture with her, he also took a picture of her taking a picture of him. Those pictures are below as well. We will post more pics, video and news clips as they become available.
Another picture courtesy of Artie from

19 thoughts on “Vigil Recap: Synchronicity – UPDATED”

  1. Henry – I am so proud to be part of this campaign. Your words, and especially the photos from the vigil, have me near tears. Seeing those photos and knowing y’all read the names of so many fellow Cubans I have come to know so well through their stories, convinces me again that one day, freedom will be theirs. I am certain of it. -MRM

  2. You guys are incredible! What a stroke of luck that a Police band member would be there on the day of the demonstration! Is it pure coincidence? Unbelievable!
    You guys have done a job well done! I’m so proud of you all and of the work that you are all doing and of your campaigns, the radio program, the reasoned arguments especially Ziva’s, the Herald Watch, etc… You go guys!!!!!!!

  3. Congratulations guys! I can’t believe Andy Summers was there and heard the message in person!
    “You sent an S.O.S. to the world…”

  4. Henry: I do not believe that it was a “coincidence” that Andy Summers just happened to be there while the candlelight vigil regarding his band’s political views just happened to be going on. I have no doubt that Sting and the Police sent their most noncontroversial member to spy out if the protest had community support. Summers’ noncommittal response that their Cuban concert was “not a certainty” is the same hogwash that their producer told Channel 4 in response to your TV interview. I believe that you niece would have looked a lot cuter in the photo if at the moment of taking it she would have held up a “BUCL.ORG CAMPAIGN FOR THE INVISIBLE ONES” sign next to Summers. What a great blog posting that would have made.

  5. Channel 4 just ran a story about the “controversy” in south Florida about the Police concert (5;00 news) and used the pictures that are posted here! There was a few seconds of a video clip of people lighting the candles and then the reporter (a Police “fan” who not only could not identify Andy, but called him the guitarrist, no, the drummer, no wait, the guitarrist. Anyway, now it’s in people’s minds!

  6. It’s OK to hope for the best, but definitely don’t hold your breath. We really need to stop “depending on the kindness of strangers” like poor deluded Blanche du Bois–ESPECIALLY entertainment business celebrity strangers.
    Summers looks like a nice middle-aged man who is (or should be) past playing rock star, just like the rest of the band. I know that as long as something sells it WILL be sold, but I find the whole aging-rock-star thing more than a little cheesy.

  7. Asombra,
    I know what you are saying but it’s Cubans against the world. You need public opinion on your side to get change. The idea of this campaign is to catch more flies with honey than with vinnegar. And by flies I mean media coverage. If we had picketed, or if I had confronted the guy unpleasantly, where would be? How newsworthy would it be.
    On the other side, who is in the uncomfortable position of having to defend their actions now?

  8. I know what you’re saying also, Henry, and I don’t really blame you, but I’m tired of begging for scraps from people who will NEVER really get it, either because they can’t or because it doesn’t suit their agenda. The more we depend on outsiders, the longer it will take to get the job done. It’s no skin off THEIR nose how much longer the tragedy continues. It’s simply not THEIR issue.

  9. Asombra,
    The campaign is an appeal in the sense of bringing the situation to their attention, as opposed to begging for crumbs off their tables. If nothing else is accomplished, we bring attention to Cuban prisoners of conscience, while putting the human-rights ball in Sting’s and The Police’s court, their ignoring of which clearly exposes their hypocrisy on the issue, how they deny Cubans what they demand for themselves and others.

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