The Miami Herald

Cuba needs this show to go on

Sept 15--When I read that 17-time Latin Grammy award winner Juanes was headlining a concert in Havana, I was thrilled by the prospect of reaching out to the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of Cubans. Music has a magical way of enlivening the soul, and more than any of us can imagine, the Cuban people need to be inspired, entertained and uplifted by the cultural and artistic expression of influential performers like Juanes.

Unfortunately, the United Nations International Peace Day concert set for Sept. 20, 2009, is now in danger because vocal and powerful people in the Cuban-exile community continue to promote a policy of cultural and artistic isolation.

They have tried to demonize Juanes as a communist and a tool of Castro merely for attempting to perform in Cuba, and many have reported as if these impassioned voices speak for the entire Cuban-exile community. They don't.

We must acknowledge that the cultural and artistic isolation of Cuba has not worked. It has now been more than five decades, and our brothers and sisters still lack hope and fundamental freedoms. I have personally experienced the pain and anger now driving the movement to cancel the concert. We all agree the totalitarian regime depends on stifling free exchange between people, muting opposing perspectives and prohibiting passion and ambition from climbing beyond established boundaries.
Read more here.
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.