Et tu, Norah? While Cubans are struggling to find food and medicine and living under brutal oppression, Norah Jones has announced “4 days and nights of music and adventure” on the island prison of Cuba. Billed as a “cultural and educational exchange,” in reality and practice, it is another ploy by the communist Castro dictatorship to attract foreign tourists and earn hard currency. As expected, Cubans, who earn less than $20 a month and can’t afford the concert ticket prices, are none too happy Jones is allowing herself to be a cheerleader for the communist regime.
Norah Jones asked to reconsider her trip to Cuba: ‘Don’t support dictators’
Dozens of Cubans urged the American singer Norah Jones to reconsider her planned trip to Cuba, and warned her that the regime will use her to whitewash its image: “Don’t support dictators,” they stated.
On Tuesday, the artist announced concerts in Havana for next February, and reactions to the post on Instagram were quick to follow.
“No, please, don’t support dictators by going to Cuba. Big mistake,” “You are an excellent artist, I like how you sing and your music, but believe me, if you go to Cuba, they will use you to whitewash a dictatorship that has children imprisoned for protesting. I ask you… think that if you go to Cuba, it’s like performing in Iran or Afghanistan, there is also repression and much more,” were comments on the announcement of the upcoming visit to Cuba on the artist’s official Instagram profile.
“It’s astonishing how artists like you are not informed about the reality of Cuba: it’s a dictatorship! Visiting it as an artist is endorsing one of the most oppressive regimes that exist today, where artists are imprisoned simply for dissenting from government policies… You should be ashamed, Norah,” another commenter said.
Another mentioned: “Oppression, human rights violations, political prisoners. A dictatorship for 64 years. Who cares about that, right? I’m so tired of all the famous musicians who contribute all they can to not learn anything about how others live.”
“Cuba is a dictatorship where the people are starving, going there is supporting the misery that these people live in. God will punish you for that, and in Miami, the Cubans too,” another person commented.
“Nice for those who love your music. But it’s a shame how enthusiastic you seem, Nora, about how the Cuban dictatorship uses you to clean up its image. I hope you can differentiate between one thing and another.” “Wow. Cuba is a dictatorship. @luismanuel.oteroalcantara and @maykelosorbo are artists, like you, and they are imprisoned. You are allowing your image to be used to whitewash the dictatorship.” “Dear @norahjones, in Cuba there are 1,047 political prisoners. There are artists imprisoned for thinking differently and having values contrary to the communist ideology @luismanuel.oteroalcantara @maikelobsorbo,” others wrote.
However, a small group considered that “maybe her music brings a much-needed escape, at least metaphorically, to a tragically oppressed people.”
Yesterday, the American singer Norah Jones announced that she would be giving two concerts in Havana in February 2024 as part of an event that includes different “experiences” as part of a package of “cultural and educational exchange,” clearly aimed at promoting tourism in Cuba, which has been struggling.
“Excited to go to Cuba for the first time as part of a cultural and educational exchange! I look forward to learning more about the rich musical heritage of the country and sharing my music through two shows at the historic Teatro Martí on February 17 and 18,” the singer announced on her social media.
The post says the American singer will be accompanied by “some of the best artists and musicians from Cuba,” including, among others, the group Síntesis and the salsa musician Alain Pérez.
The packages include, in addition to the concert ticket, four days and nights at the Grand Aston Hotel in Old Havana, participation in a Q&A session with the artist and her group, a masterclass with the singer, a convertible tour of the capital, and dinners at the restaurants La Guarida, Cocinero, El Atelier, and Al Carbón.
The event’s website specifies that the prices of the packages for attending the concert and staying in Havana range from $3,499 to $8,599.