The Economist

If music be the food of love...

Sept 03--Arguments for, and against, a Colombian rock star playing in Havana

3 de septiembre de 2009

HE IS young, dark and handsome, with a lilting light tenor, and he swept the Latin Grammys last year. But should Juan Esteban Aristizábal, better known as Juanes, perform his songs at a “peace concert” in Havana? The debate over the Colombian rock star, who is based in Miami, has now been raging for a month or more on the city’s Spanish-language radio and TV shows.

Older Cuban-Americans, los históricos as they call themselves, who left Cuba in the immediate aftermath of the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro, vehemently oppose the concert. They argue that it is just the latest attempt by the Cuban regime to manipulate public opinion. Traditionally, these older exiles have exercised all the political clout in Miami. But younger ones are pushing back, especially when it comes to the arts. A recent poll by the Cuba Study Group, a Cuban-American business association based in Washington, DC, found that while 62% of Cuban-Americans aged 65 and over oppose the concert, only 25% of those aged 34 and under do.
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