HAVANA – Fidel Castro described last weekend’s concert in Havana by Colombian superstar Juanes as a blow to the 47-year-old U.S. economic embargo against Cuba.
“The Cuban people, especially in their magnificent youth, showed yesterday that even in the midst of a brutal economic blockade it’s possible to overcome unimaginable obstacles,” Castro said in the latest of his “Reflections” published Monday night.
Fidel, who officially resigned the presidency of Cuba in February 2008 in favor of younger brother Raul but continues exercising a kind of moral leadership, dedicated his latest reflection to climate change, but slipped in some words about Sunday’s concert, describing it as “extraordinary.”
The Cuban government has been cautious about interpreting the “Peace Without Borders” concert politically, a way of silencing all those in exile who said that it would try to make the concert work to its political advantage and criticized Juanes and the other artists for lending themselves to the maneuver.
A crowd estimated by organizers at 1.15 million packed Havana’s Plaza de la Revolucion for Sunday’s event.
Joining Juanes on the stage were Spain’s Miguel Bose, Luis Eduardo Aute and Victor Manuel; Puerto Ricans Olga Tañon and Danny Rivera; Ecuador’s Juan Fernando Velasco and Italy’s Jovanotti, while the large Cuban contingent included Silvio Rodriguez, Los Van Van, Amaury Perez, the Orishas, Carlos Varela, X Alfonso, and Cucu Diamantes & Yerbabuena.
Despite criticism of the concert from the Miami exiles, some of Cuba’s estimated 210 political prisoners signed an open letter endorsing Juanes’ initiative. EFE