Sep 22, 2009

What happens when you bite more than you can chew?

Photo source: veneco & Babalú Blog

You can perfectly give a free concert in Cuba!

Just to round up Juanes's concert in Havana last Sunday, and to close the topic once and forever. [Disclaimer: no, I didn't see it, I don't even like Juanes to sacrifice the wonderful quality time I spent with my loved one at a friend's wedding.]

I know people who went to the concert, under the brutal Caribbean sun, up since very early in the morning. Let's face it: there are not that many recreation choices back there in the gulag, you know. Despite the super early rise, they got to la Plaza just to find out the very first lines were already occupied/reserved for the "chosen", a.k.a. young communist militants, the chose ones from the CDR's, the chosen Venezuelans...

But, were you surprised by that? I wasn't. At all.
Been there. Seen that. Standard procedure.

Yesterday, I read Zoé Valdés (Spanish) post about it and I also share her suspicion about the astroturfing filing the first rows with Venezuelans chavistas. C'mon, they have planted police officers and state security officials in the prisons when the Human Rights commision went there!

Aguaya saw it on TV and also noted the perfect human lines... check Humberto's take here. And Gorki Ávila "in your face"explanation here.

I have to disagree with Zoé in one thing, though. My good, non-chavistas, Venezuelan friends do dance and move pretty good; it is just that they follow a beat, ergo, a hip movement taht is slightly different from ours.

It seems the comrades chavistas are becoming quite international; rallies in Honduras, concerts in Cuba..., I wonder if they are also receiving frequent flier miles...

BTW, I didn't knew that Miguel Bosé sang for Pinochet (video here, please). Yep, that evil right winger dictator (and I really mean it) condemned by that half of the world that now does not have the balls to condemn the left winger dictators that have destroyed Cuba for 50 years...

Nor that his father toreaba for Franco, or that Víctor Manuel also sang for "dear leader"Franco; the things one learns from this useful idiots... plain and simple opportunism.

I do believe that Juanes and Co. bit more than they could have even been able to chew, o sea, que se metieron en camisa de once varas - make that shirt any color you want.

If not, why were dissidents visited by the state security prior to the concert to be warned not to show up there, why was Olga Tañón told not to even think about singing Celia Cruz's songs, why Emilio Estefan and Willy Chirino request to Juanes to be included were trashed, why was Pánfilo so coincidentally released the day before the concert.

Apolitical? My shoes.

El Mundo (Spanish) has an editorial that summarizes it. Here are some of my rough and free translations:
... the event was marked by the underlying political dimension and the huge expectations generated both between supporters and detractors. The latter, mostly because of the thought that [the concert] was gonna be used by the regimen as a whitewashing for their image...

The result is a sour and sweet aftertaste ... it is sad that artists with such a dimension did not take a step forward to reject the dictatorship. It was not, obviously, a matter of throwing fliers from the stage, which could have result in a huge public unrest incident. But there were many ways to demonstrated their opposition to the regimen.

First of all, there was the leitmotiv -Concert for Peace-; if there is something that is never scarce in a dictatorship, including the Cuban one, is peace, the peace of the graveyards and the peace of the exterminated freedom.

They could have also postponed the concert until the veto against several other artists was lifted by the Cuban government. Unfortunately, all clues take you to think that the event's organizers bent way too much to the regimen while putting together the plan.
Almost forgot! For a quick lesson in the relativity of numbers, as seen by the MSM, go here and see by yourself how 70 thousand can quickly become 1.15 million, and viceversa.

Memo to Juanes: you are either apolitical, or you are not. There is no middle ground in that one, hon. Read more often; in Cuba we don't need peace because we are not at
war. To get rid of a dictatorship, freedom is what is needed. And, pleeeeease, "asere" is
a slang. The wide and frequent use does not make it different, nor it is cool; still it is a slang.