HAVANA – Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez complained that the U.S. government did not give him a visa to allow him to travel to that country to participate in a 90th-birthday tribute to legendary protest singer Pete Seeger.
Communist Party daily Granma on its front page on Monday published a message Rodriguez sent from Paris in which the musician complained that the delay in processing the visa he had requested prevented him from responding to the invitation made to him by organizers of the tribute.
“It’s Friday, May 1, at 8:40 at night in Paris and I just connected to the Web site where the U.S. Embassy in France publishes notices about visa requests,” said Rodriguez in the message, which was directed to his sister and manager in Havana.
“Mine is in the processing stage, as has been the case since I requested it. Since today was the day I had to fly to New York and the visa hasn’t appeared, tomorrow I’ll leave for Havana,” he wrote.
The artist said that the attitude of the U.S. State Department “is very contradictory” to the wishes expressed by President Barack Obama regarding a rapprochement with Cuba.
“As a Cuban culture worker, I continue feeling so blocked and discriminated against, just like by other (U.S.) governments,” he said, adding “I hope this really changes some day.”
The official newspaper noted that U.S. folk musician Seeger, who turned 90 on Sunday, gave “worldwide recognition” to the song “Guantanamera” by Cuban composer Joseito Fernandez.
It emphasized that Seeger has been “a tireless critic” of the U.S. economic embargo on the communist-run island, which he has visited five times. EFE