Hiding behind the lie

Nothing in Cuba is apolitical. A day in the life of a Cuban is a constant barrage of politics; you have to be careful what you say, where you go, who you speak to, and if you think too much, you worry the State may have found a way to monitor your thoughts. Not even the dreams of Cubans are free from the politics imposed on their daily lives as every fiber of their existence is permeated with it. Yet we continue to hear from Juanes and the supporters of his concert that somehow, on an island where merely stating publicly you are hungry is considered subversive political speech, this concert will accomplish what no Cuban or foreigner on the island has been able to accomplish since January of 1959.

Some people believe that Juanes is simply being naive. As a typical artist living in a fantasy world of limousines and private jets with the popping sound of champagne corks in the background, he is incapable of understanding reality. He prefers instead to view the world in the same way he views his songs–an escape from reality. It would be easy to explain this situation if that were the case, but Juanes is not naive. He is a self-described “political animal,” and when given a forum where he feels safe to express what he truly believes, he has sung–figuratively and literally–the praises of leftist dictators.

The issue here is not whether Juanes is being naive or not, but that he and his supporters are hiding behind the lie that this concert is apolitical. Nothing could be further from the truth.

With only a few days to go before this musical political extravaganza, the Cuban dictatorship is already cashing in on the political capital this concert provides them.

Cuba Contrasts U.S. Embargo with Juanes’ Peace Concert

HAVANA – Cuba’s foreign minister contrasted the U.S. economic embargo against the island with the upcoming “Peace Without Borders” concert here headlined by Colombian superstar Juanes.

The concert “seems to me (to be) a demonstration in favor of peace; the embargo is an act of economic war,” Bruno Rodriguez said upon being asked at a press conference for the Cuban government’s opinion of the controversial concert set for Sunday in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolucion.

The minister said that it was up to the artists whether to give an opinion on the embargo, but he said that “the artists who are going to sing for peace here on Sunday in no way would (want for) this absurd embargo policy to continue.”

So soaked in politics is the life of a Cuban, that even the dissidents have unwittingly fallen into the trap and are being used as pawns by the regime that oppresses them. Their own expressions are being used to promote the dictatorship they have fought against.

More than 20 members of a group of 75 Cuban democracy activists jailed in a Spring 2003 crackdown recently issued a statement supporting the Juanes concert.

“We think this concert … is a great opportunity to further the process of reconciliation among all Cubans and leave behind the hate that has poisoned our homeland for so many years,” the statement read.

Nothing in Cuba is apolitical, and everyone, including Juanes, is well aware of it. They can try and hide behind that lie, but sooner rather than later, the Cuban regime will prove otherwise.

6 thoughts on “Hiding behind the lie”

  1. Nothing on the left is apolitical. Every problem is a political problem, and every solution must be a political solution. Individuals are incapable of anything.

  2. there is no question that anything, especially in the arts is political as far as the regime is concerned. I’m not even going to quote Fidel because we all know the famous saying. I like to think the best in people so I don’t think Juanes is a lying sack of sh** but rather and insensitve ass****, as well as a f******* moron.

    That being said, I leave it to the dissidents to say their piece – I cannot criticize them. It is their island, their future and they have sacrificed much more than most of us could just to speak their minds. So if they want the concert, fine, I respectfully disagree but I cannot criticize these brave freedom fighters or their sentiments.

  3. Juanes is under no obligation to do anything for Cuba’s freedom. He could focus solely on Colombia’s problems, as Uribe does, and not give Cuba any thought. That would be totally his right and his business, and I would not go after him if he did so. We can’t make anybody care about us or go out of their way for us. And we absolutely have to deal with our own problems as best we can before even thinking of asking for outside help. However, this Havana concert business is a different story.

    Juanes took it on himself to get very publicly involved in Cuba’s situation, knowing all along such involvement would be not only unwelcome but offensive to a great many Cubans. He claims it was his idea and not that of Castro, Inc. Thus, he is fully responsible, especially since he went ahead despite very strong objections and attempts to enlighten him by the Cuban exile community. He cannot say he didn’t know what was involved. He’s doing this because he damn well pleases, period (and, of course, because Castro, Inc. loves the idea and is cooperating fully–otherwise there’d be no concert).

    The kicker is the claims of an “apolitical” or “white” concert, as if Juanes were the pope simply going to give mass in Havana. It’s already come out that he is NOT apolitical, neither about Cuba nor in general, and claiming this major media event could ever be apolitical in a place like Cuba is an insult to even a modest intelligence. At least 3 prominent players in this concert are definitely NOT “white.” Miguel Bosé expressed approval of the 9/11 massacre (even if he later tried to backpedal), and Silvio and Amaury, both documented Castro lackeys, signed an official public document supporting the summary executions of 3 young Cubans for the “crime” of trying to flee Castroland.

    Juanes is surely aware of all this, but he’s STILL sticking to his bullshit story and playing pious little victim. At least indirectly, he and his camp are suggesting or insinuating that WE are the bad guys, and that he knows better (or, even worse, cares more about Cuba) than we do. This is not only blatantly false but insufferably arrogant, not to mention absurd. Juanes knows it’s more or less a no-win situation for us, because all the usual suspects will behave and carry on the usual way.

    But no, Juanes can’t be expected, let alone required, to fight for Cuba’s freedom. I certainly would never ask that of him. However, I do expect him to mind his own business and not do anything that could in any way aid or abet those who keep Cuba enslaved and miserable. If some Cuban singer tried to meddle in the Colombia situation by, for instance, cozying up to Chavez or the FARC, can you imagine the (justified) outcry from Colombians? And let’s not even think about some Cuban exile singer doing a Juanes number in a place like Pinochet’s Chile or Botha’s South Africa: O-M-G !!!!! That would unleash absolute international pandemonium, and then some!

    Again, the problem is NOT that Juanes won’t confront Castro, Inc. and fight for Cuba’s freedom. That’s not his job. The problem is that he’s playing along with Castro, Inc., which would NEVER allow this concert otherwise, and he’s showing MAJOR disrespect for the Cuban exile community and meddling in a matter that is NOT his business and is very much OURS.

  4. It goes without saying that if the Miami Herald was a respectable news outfit, Juanes would have been shown up as a very political animal within days, if not hours, of the announcement of the concert. If the Miami media won’t do its job in a case like this, no other media will even come close to doing theirs.

  5. Cardinal:

    Juanes knows nothing in Cuba is apolitical, yet he continues to say his concert is such. Since what he is saying is not true, and he knows it is not true, here is therefore lying. Or, as you said, a lying sack of sh*t.

    It’s pretty simple.

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