A reflection on the music in Cuba

John Suarez reflects on how music has led the movement for freedom in Cuba and has become the soundtrack of resistance against communist tyranny.

Via Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Fête de la Musique – World Music Day: Reflection on music in Cuba

June 21st is Fête de la Musique or World Music Day that encourages people of good will to honor musicians and singers. It is also a day to encourage young and inexperienced musicians to perform live in front of an audience.

This annual observance began in France in 1982. World Music Day was launched by Maurice Fleuret, director of the French Ministry of Culture’s Department of Music and Dance, and Jack Lang, then-French Minister of Culture and is now a day to support musicians around the world.

Including those who are prisoners of conscience.

Cuban rapper Maykel “Osorbo” Castillo Pérez has been unjustly imprisoned in Cuba since May 18, 2021. Amnesty International has recognized him a prisoner of conscience. His crime is writing songs that speak truth to power in Cuba, and defending with his art human rights.

Over the past two years Maykel has twice been featured in Rolling Stone magazine.

Rolling Stone on January 6, 2023 published “Two Years After ‘Patria Y Vida,’ Cuban Rapper Maykel Osorbo Remains in Jail” an article by Julyssa Lopez in which she explained that the “2021 protest anthem he worked on lit up the country and won two Latin Grammys. His supporters don’t want the world to move on.”

Rolling Stone on March 25, 2022 published “From Cuba to Russia, Rappers Are Being Targeted in Record Numbers” an article by Stacey Anderson in which she reports, “Cuban rappers are now some of the most persecuted rap artists in the world, according to Freemuse, an international NGO that advocates for artists’ rights and freedom of expression.” … “In Freemuse’s new findings, Cuba topped the list of countries with documented incidents constituting violations of artistic freedom, followed by Russia.”‘

Back in 2018 Cuban rapper Denis Solís González posted a music video titled Sociedad Condenada (Condemned Society) on his Youtube account in which he sang about repression in Cuba and predicted his future with the lyrics “it maybe that they put me into a prison cell for the weight of my voice, but I needed the courage to say the truth.”

Continue reading HERE.