Smokey looking for Miracles in Cuba?



In the interests of full disclosure, Smokey Robinson is a very talented performer and songwriter. However, he’s a bit naive thinking that music will change Cuba.

Smokey is down in Cuba with other musicians.   It’s part of the latest effort to promote cultural contacts:

The three artists were among a dozen who joined a presidential delegation led by the directors of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution that wrapped up a three day-mission to Cuba on Thursday morning. The purpose was to expand cultural exchanges with Cuba — the latest sign of warming relations in the wake of the countries’ decision to restore full diplomatic ties last year. The U.S. and Cuban cultural leaders announced the delegation’s achievements at a closing forum in the beautifully restored Grand Theater.

The officials’ delicately worded, and bilaterally edited, bureaucratese did not quite match the giddy passion of the artists, but it seemed that some progress had been made, even as the Cubans’ ire at the U.S. trade embargo hovered over the proceedings.

Like others before, Smokey does not understand that the problem in Cuba is Castro not exposure to US music.   In fact, most Cubans are already familiar with Smokey and can hear his music via Radio Marti or an AM station out of Miami.

The real problem in Cuba is a lack of freedom not music.

How did Smokey’s trip promote freedom in Cuba?

It didn’t and that’s the problem!

In fact, Smokey’s music sales in Cuba will enrich the Castro regime.   Castro Inc will share the profits with Smokey and the Cuban people won’t get anything out of this.

Let me paraphrase one of Smokey’s songs (“You really got a hold on me”) and remind everyone that the Castro regime’s really got a hold on the democratic aspirations of the Cuban people.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.