www.ambiente.us AUGUST | AGOSTO 2009
Peace, Freedom & the Arts | Juanes in Cuba
By Herb Sosa
For over 5 decades now, the issue and ideology of cultural exchanges with communist
Cuba have been debated, discussed, battled and hummed, with no clear answer as to
what is right, what is correct. Like many other issues of ideology, freedom &
democracy, the answer lies with who is asking, and who is listening.
For this first-generation Cuban-American, the answer IS quite clear.
Let me first digress and address what some might not understand, criticize or
condemn…my self-imposed banner of Cuban-American. I am PROUD to have been
born in the best country in the world, and all the benefits, freedoms, right to vote &
responsibilities that come with it. I am equally PROUD of my heritage – mi herencia -
the sacrifices my parents & grandparents made in leaving everything behind to flee
communism and oppression in search of freedom & opportunity, and the ability they
granted me to grow up and be able to share my thoughts with you...openly, freely and
without repercussions, censorship or worse.
music and shares the stage and hugs with government appointed pro-communist
performers, he will look out at a mass of people hungry for all. Hungry for music, hungry
for food, but most importantly, hungry for FREEDOM…all this, as Juanes looks straight
at a mural across the plaza of the oppressor responsible for thousands of Cuban,
Mexican & Bolivian lives – the human butcher known as Che Guevara.
Concert for Peace, or Concert for FREEDOM
Performing on one of many Middle East borders would certainly be a Concert for
Peace. Performing for his countrymen and singing against the FARC in Colombia
would be a Concert for Peace. Peace is what one seeks when there is a war going
Cuba, by all practical definitions, has Peace. What Cuba most desperately needs of
FREEDOM, so a Concert for FREEDOM is what Juanes should and needs to do in
Havana for the world to see & hear. He needs to not allow the Cuban dictators to
oppress what he says or what he sings – which they will. He needs to choose freely
who can join him on stage, like Willy Chirino, Gloria Estefan, Albita Rodriguez, Olga
Guillot, Amaury Gutierrez, or one of thousands of other Cuban-born international artists
that, because of their disagreement with the regime, are not allowed to perform in
Cuba, and would need a pre-approved Visa to enter their native country. A visa that
none of them would ever be granted. He needs to raise his voice before a people who
have been divided, demoralized and stripped of all freedoms - A people that over 50
years knows only of conforming, fearing and losing all hope for the future.
Cuba and Cubans do need Juanes voice, but not just to sing to the dictators controlled
and orchestrated media circus, but to raise his voice for FREEDOM for ALL Cubans, on
and off the island.
As for me, how lucky am I to have & live in complete Freedom AND Peace every day.
Thanks mom, dad & the U.S.A!
Copyright 2009| HerbSosa & Ambiente. Do not reproduce without prior authorization.
MIAMI RIVER INN
Back to Juanes…
Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez,
better known as Juanes, was born
August 9, 1972 in Medellín,
Antioquia, and is a Colombian rock
musician. He has sold more than
ten million albums and won 17
Latin Grammy awards, more than
any other artist. Juanes is also
known for his humanitarian work,
especially with aid for Colombian
victims of anti-personnel mines.
Juanes recently announced his
intentions to put on a concert in
Havana, Cuba on September 20th,
at the invitation of the communist governments dictators. This concert has been named
the Concert for Peace by Juanes & the Cuban government.
Peace, Freedom & the Arts
I love the music of Juanes and would want nothing more than for his songs of hope,
inspiration, love and freedom to be played in and shared with ALL Cubans on the island.
This is a wish I share with many of my friends, family and acquaintances. Music & the
Arts are FREE and to be shared, used as a vehicle to learn, exchange ideas and open
frontiers. I believe any performer from Cuba, or anywhere else for that matter can &
should come to Miami and also share their talents with the world. Where the problem
lies is when the artists and their performances are tainted with politics, ideology and
ignorance of what a people
are going thru. This, I believe, is the core problem with Juanes performing
for the Castros in Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution in the shadow of a
beaten and disillusioned Jose Marti. As Juanes plays from a pre-approved
list of his own