Even if Celia Cruz would’ve made it to her 98th birthday this past October 21, the Queen of Salsa would still be banned in Cuba. The pettiness and vindictiveness of the communist Castro dictatorship knows no bounds. It cannot stand to see a Cuban have success outside its “revolution,” and will do all it can to erase them from history. This is socialism in action.
Cuba’s Queen of Salsa Celia Cruz was born 98 years ago today in Havana but the Castro regime still bans her music
“Forgiving is not forgetting. Forgiving is remembering without pain.” — Celia Cruz
Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso was born 98 years ago today in Havana, Cuba, but she was better known as Celia Cruz. She played in Cuba for twelve years from 1948 until 1960. Because she wanted to play her music around the world, she was banned by the Castro regime from returning to the island.
Celia was not able to return to Cuba when her father died there in 1961, and she was not allowed to return to Cuba when her mother became ill, or at attend her funeral when her mom died in 1962.
Celia Cobo of Billboard Magazine observed that “Cruz is indisputably the best known and most influential female figure in the history of Cuban music.” The impact of the Castro regime on music in Cuba goes beyond jailing musicians and includes systematic censorship that threatens the island’s musical legacy as has been the case with the Queen of Salsa.
She is recognized around the world as an icon of music and in 2013 Google honored Celia on the 88th anniversary of her birth with a Google Doodle. In 2010 the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp in her honor describing the Cuban artist as follows.
“A dazzling performer of many genres of Afro-Caribbean music, Celia Cruz (1925-2003) had a powerful contralto voice and a joyful, charismatic personality that endeared her to fans from different nationalities and across generations. Settling in the United States following the Cuban revolution, the “Queen of Salsa” performed for more than five decades and recorded more than 50 albums.”
Next year the United States Mint will be featured on the reverse side of the U.S. quarter as one of the honorees for the American Women Quarters Program.
However in Cuba the Castro regime continues to ban the music of Celia Cruz from the radio airwaves. She is not alone. There are other banned Cuban musicians of great importance. According to Shoot the singer!: music censorship today, a book edited by Marie Korpe states that there is increasing concern within the international music community that post-revolution generations are growing up without knowing or hearing these censored musicians and that this could lead to a loss of Cuban identity in future generations.
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