lunes, 28 de septiembre de 2009

Olga Tañón: Cuba is a country with lots of dignity
Google translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.

CAROLINA, Puerto Rico (AP) Olga Tañón admitted Friday the artists who participated in the Peace Without Boundaries concert in Cuba felt a lot of pressure before starting the show, but described the final result as wonderful.''
The singer arrived on Friday in her native Puerto Rico, where she was received by Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock, who supported their participation in the controversial show on Sunday.
"I think people misunderstood the production, thought that we had required white shirts but no, we let in anyone without a white shirt,'' said the song stylist at a press conference upon arrival at the airport.
That, plus the perception that Juanes was under surveillance and other trifles, made me think that there was excessive pressure. To me, that was a micro, which happened at the concert was the macro,'' he said.
Added to the criticism that I'm not going to put a fight with anybody,'' and said that everyone knows I'm not a Communist. If so would call me to laugh.''
' What I say is what I found in Cuba was not what I was told. It is true that Cubans lack many things, but nobody is crying. It is a people with dignity,'' the Puerto Rican said, adding that she would accept another invitation to sing there. Tañón return to her homeland to suffer the effects of laryngitis prevented her from saying much, the point was to interrupt the press conference several minutes by a bout of coughing. For the artist, the purpose of bringing peace to Cuba was totally fulfilled. We cried, we worked.
But when we saw the result we realized that we were right. I have not stopped to mourn because the result was wonderful. Cuba gave its all and showed she is ready for the world,'' she said.
On Thursday, we learned that hours before the historic concert in Havana Juanes threatened to cancel the event, supposedly infuriated by the constant surveillance by Cuban officials and rumors that the police were blocking the passage of the concert audience. In a video captured by reporters at the National Hotel in Havana on Sunday morning, Juanes states: It was very annoying, very annoying ...
We're here for young people of Cuba, Cuba's future ... We found a barrier very strong and we will not allow ... We have come with all the love, with all respect. This can not continue. It's over.'' However, on Friday Cuba's official Granma newspaper said that the images were shown out of context and Juanes's manager , Fernan Martinez, in Miami, confirmed the version in the newspaper

martes, 22 de septiembre de 2009

Juanes won the battle with a dove

Marta Rojas • La Habana
Google translation. Revised by Walter Lippmann.

Sunday September 20, 2009 is recorded in our memory where we had the privilege of enjoying Juanes' Paz Sin Fronteras concert, in the Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana, or any part of the island and the world where it was shown on television.
We have experienced a cultural and humanistic event par excellence, truly momentous and unprecedented, given their proportions in terms of attendance of well over a million people, almost all in their twenties, and international and local.
That the Colombian Juanes, intimately enjoying the birth of Dante, his first son, as stated in the Cuban capital, has set an example of solidarity and love is unquestionable. Thus, it earned a spot in the history of Latin American artistic culture to have proposed and brought about a concert for peace. It was called on short notice and drew other artists of outstanding quality and reputation,. Among these were his friend Bosé, Olga Tañón, who exuded joy and transmitted in bulk and without losing the infectious Creole rhythm more than once, shouted excitedly the brotherhood of his country and Cuba with the words of poet Lola Rodriguez de Tio, who José Martí made famous: "Cuba and Puerto Rico are two wings if a bird."
Tañón entered the concert in triumph and the level never dropped for over five uninterrupted hours.
That day a universal battle was won with a single dove, that of Peace, who flew around the world from the hands of Juanes and his friends in Latin America, Spain and Italy, in brotherhood with the Cubans.
There were many surprises, among them the Cucú Diamante "parragueña Cuban" -- as they call her -- was done with the group call-Yerbabuena, and the Yoruba drums of Andabo.
The experts will tell you otherwise but this afternoon also showed that Latinos snatched the scepter of classic rock in the world.
Only natural water bottles, candy or other treats were enough to keep the Revolution Square, full of joy and rhythmic movement, more than a million of our youth.
Outcome: The expected with Formell and his Van Van, which was joined by other artists in the foreground Juanes, Olga, Danny Rivera, Bose and others. Tears of joy and emotional love for Cuba and for peace. Formell understand was a telling phrase "who was hurt was hurt and the Juanes concert for peace, Cuba earned it."
This is a golden chapter of men and women of goodwill in the world. Thank you, Colombian Juanes.

domingo, 13 de septiembre de 2009

Cuba: Raul Castro Heads Homage to Almeida

Havana, Sep 13 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Raul Castro on Sunday headed the homage the Cuban people is paying to Commander of the Revolution Juan Almeida Bosque, who died on Friday night.
The president, accompanied by Almeida's relatives, put a flower near the image of the outstanding revolutionary fighter at the Revolution Square's Jose Marti Memorial hall, where the ceremony develops until this evening.
So did Commanders of the Revolution Ramiro Valdes and Guillermo Garcia, as well as the rest of the members of the Political Bureau of the Cuban Communist Party's Central Committee.
A Guard of Honor escorts the image, while thousands of Cubans have been paying tribute since very early today to the commander who was linked to all transcendental events of the revolutionary process.
The burial will take place later next week at the memorial site of the Third Guerilla Front in the province of Santiago de Cuba.

viernes, 11 de septiembre de 2009

Tania Bruguera investigada por repartir cocaína

BOGOTÁ, 11 Set 2009 (AFP) - Una obra de "arte político" de la cubana Tania Bruguera, programada en la estatal Universidad Nacional en Bogotá, terminó convertida en un caso judicial debido al reparto de cocaína a los asistentes que abarrotaban el auditorio, informó la fiscalía.
La presencia de la artista cubana en la Universidad Nacional formó parte del VII Encuentro del Instituto Hemisférico de Performance y Política que investiga las prácticas corporales en el arte, financiado con fondos públicos, según señaló la Fiscalía en un comunicado.
"La única responsable de esta obra fui yo", aceptó Bruguera tras recordar que fueron "tres o cuatro bandejas de cocaína, y cada una con 20 líneas", las que se repartieron en medio de la manifestación artística que incluía una mesa redonda a la que asistían ex guerrilleros de izquierda, ex paramilitares de derecha e intelectuales.
En declaraciones telefónicas desde Estados Unidos a la radio RCN de Bogotá, la artista se negó a responder cómo y con quién consiguió la droga, señalando que como "como persona que hace arte político, soy responsable y no voy a decir quiénes me ayudaron a conseguir algún elemento de mi trabajo".
Bruguera dijo que los organizadores del certamen no conocían hasta dónde llegaría la situación.
Este viernes, la Fiscalía informó en un comunicado que "comenzó la etapa de indagación preliminar, para establecer si en la Universidad Nacional fueron distribuidos alucinógenos a los asistentes a la presentación de una artista internacional".

Gloria Estefan: "Voluntary CIA agent?"

By M. H. Lagarde

Google translation. Slightly revised by Walter Lippmann.

According to People magazine, if fate had not put Gloria Estefan in the music world, probably the Cuban singer would have become a spy. She was then still very young and by her ability with languages, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) United States proposed that she go to work for it.
"They realized that I was someone who could pass as a regular person without raising any eyebrow. So the CIA approached me and wanted me to train in their Atlanta headquarters," said the 52 year-old song interpreter to the
Telemundo TV program Al red vivo with Maria Celeste Arraras. She explained that the offer came while working as an interpreter of Spanish, English and French Customs at Miami International Airport. The Cuban said her mother influenced her decision saying she should not consider the proposal, having already suffered a lot from her father's political activities. However, besides the knowledge of several languages, the history of her father may have been one of the reasons that the CIA proposed that she join their ranks.
Her father, Jose Fajardo, had been a bodyguard for the dictator Fulgencio Batista and was imprisoned in Cuba after being captured during the mercenary invasion of Bay at the Pigs in 1961. Fajardo, then fled to Florida, where he was granted citizenship and later joined the U.S. Army to fight in Vietnam.
However, the famous singer of the eighties, admits it had been an attractive offer. "Maybe I made the decision [to do], he said, What better cover to go as a singer, talking to the chairs, talking to the Kings, close to all the people who wanted access? So, who knows ?
The truth is that agent or not, at least in regard to its retrograde position on Cuba, such a father-of ...- both the singer and her husband, music impresario Emilio Estefan, have done a great service to the Agency.


viernes, 4 de septiembre de 2009

Placido Domingo Backs Juanes' Concert in Cuba

Bogota, Sep 3 (Prensa Latina) Spanish tenor Placido Domingo offered support to the September 20 concert of Juanes in Havana.
Placido, who will sing Saturday in Cartagena de Indias, wished he could sing in Cuba despite pressures from Miami, adding that Juanes' bravery deserves wide support.
The renowned tenor also called for general cooperation and to allow everyone to travel on free will, and called Juanes brave for enduring adverse reaction to his work for peace.
Placido Domingo called the Colombian musician brave for carrying his music to the Cuban people and wishes he could walk in the streets of Havana.

martes, 1 de septiembre de 2009

Silvio Rodriguez on Juanes Havana Concert

(PL) The announcement in Havana of the concert Peace without Frontiers, promoted by the Colombian musician Juanes, next September 20th at the Revolution Square, has aroused diverse opinions. In the Island, there is expectation for the meeting. There is also a grateful attitude for the recognition to Cuba's voice in the name of Peace.
One of the guest artists, the Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, in an interview granted to La Jiribilla, on answering about the "concerns" aroused by such an "audacity", reaffirms it as "an event of Peace that bothers the extreme right-wing, because the nature of these people is aggressive, as well as the blockade, and because the idea and the fact of peace undermines the hatred that feed them".
When the strains of the performance in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil, on the occasion of the commemoration of the independent war of August 10, 1809, could still be heard, Silvio, who sang songs that constitute a substantial part of the song history of this continent before some 25 000 people at the Model Stadium, shared some reflections with this magazine.
The concert by the Colombian musician Juanes at the Revolution Square has a previous and spontaneous story in Havana. Tell us about this story and its antecedents.
The antecedents, regarding my own person, began by a phone call of the Ministry of Culture to tell me that Juanes wanted to give a Concert for Peace in Havana and he was coming to Cuba to talk about that. I was called because there was going to be a dinner and they wanted me to attend. There I met Juanes and I heard him speak about the project for the first time. He asked me if I wanted to take part and I said yes. I had seen the first concert for Peace they had made at the border between Colombia and Venezuela on TV and it seemed positive to me.
During the launch of the book Cancionero (Song book) you mentioned that at the age of 20 you believed that poetry could change the world and now, at the age of 60, you were convinced that you couldn't change it, but you could in deed make it much better. Can this concert by Juanes in Cuba provide evidence of such certainty?
That is correct; I don't believe that a song or a concert can change the complex reality overnight, but without a doubt an event like this one can be a strong message of Peace will, in this case between the United States and Cuba, countries that are separated by half-century discrepancies. In my opinion, this concert intends to join the voices of many here and there who want the situation to become normal and that everybody can live the way they want, respecting differences.
The idea of this musical event has caused a huge stir in Miami accusing it of being a politicized concert. Why can an event in favor of Peace bother so much?
The voices condemning this concert are not the voices of the immense majority of the Cuban emigrant workers. Even less the voices of the 11 million people who live in Cuba. The awkward and aggressive voices are of the small but very powerful Cuban extreme right-wing that goes hand in hand with the US extreme right-wing (it is common knowledge what this extreme right-wing does all over the world). An event of Peace bothers the extreme right-wing because the nature of these people is aggressive, as well as the blockade, because the idea and the fact of Peace undermine the hatred that feeds them.
There are many outbreaks of wars all over the world: military, ideological, economic And this concert is dedicated to oppose Peace to such conflicts. In favor of what causes or against what acts is it worthy to "sh oot" songs?
Juanes says he wants this concert to be white; he has also said that white is the lack of color; therefore I deduce that Juanes doesn't want any idea prevailing over another one; he wants everyone to have the same opportunity. I believe that in this concert there is space for all the songs transmitting aspects of the human condition, which is a very diverse and very rich thing, apart from ideologies. Therefore, everything that means respect to the right to life, to education, to freedom and to diversity will be valid. And rather than "shooting" I guess that it will be a concert where songs will be blown so that the wind helped by satellites takes them every where softly as possible.
Among your songs, there are several against war. Will we hear some of them at the concert? Maybe some advance of the new production "Segunda cita" (Second appointment).
To make the program I guess that first we need to know how many artists will take part in it. Then we can have an idea of the repertory that each will play.
Segunda cita is a disk that is pretty focused on the Cuban reality; I could maybe sing some of those. I don't know yet. At some point I thought of singing "Rabo de nube" (Small tornado), which I couldn't sing at the homage to Pete Seeger. I have also thought about "Días y flores" (Days and flowers). But I could also dust revive one, entitled "Blanco" (White), which I composed forty years ago.
To sing at the Revolution Square is a duty, recalling your anthological song. What meaning does it have to do it today, in the present circumstances and accompanied by all these musicians?
It continues to be a duty and, of course, also a pleasure.
You have just given several concerts in Ecuador, one of the centers of the social renewal that takes place in Latin America. Taking into account the experience of this visit, your contact with the people, together with the recent facts of the coup d'état in Honduras, the world crisis and the Yankee military bases in Colombia, what sings or lessons born in this context should be a lesson for the most immediate Latin American future?
I think that the coup d'état in Honduras is very similar to the one given by Pinochet in Chile and I think that they didn't do it alone here either. The ambitious ones have stained once more the dignity of the Armed Forces of a Latin American country. There are many bullet wounded and if there are less dead people it is because of the alert presence of TeleSur. It is obvious that the Honduran people will say the last word. On the other hand, the intensity of what we have lived in Asuncion and Guayaquil reinforces my faith that the second Latin American independence continues.