Oh, Pablo / Miguel Iturria Savón
Miguel Iturria Savón, Translator: Unstated
The Pablo Milanes concert, announced for August 27 at American Airlines
Arena in Miami, unleashes opposing views in capital of the Cuban exile,
where the promoters of Fuego Entertainment fill their lit billboards,
their posters at bus stops and their TV ads, with what goes unnoticed by
some while angering hundreds of critics who consider the author of the
songs "Yolanda", "To Live" and "The brief space where you are not" as
"the Castro government's emissary disguised as a musician."
At the other extreme is the impresario Hugo Cancio, the alleged
organizer of cultural exchanges between artists from Cuba and the United
States, who says that "Pablo Milanes is undoubtedly a musical icon
followed by millions of fans around the world. We are extremely excited
and proud to have the opportunity to produce his first U.S. tour in
almost a decade. "
To make matters worse, Hugo Cancio announces on the Internet that the
appearance in Miami of the Cuban singer "is a historic event, unique,
iconic, powerful evidence that our city has changed, we've matured, we
are more tolerant, wise, that we are more united, a new generation
blooms, blossoms, spreads … "
Beyond the hype of the president of Fuego Entertainment and the reasons
of the exiles who see in Pablo Milanes the musical spokesman of the
Cuban dictatorship, it is clear that the dilemma is the result of the
traditional ideological positioning imposed on the island for half a
It is true that Pablo Milanes, like Silvio Rodriguez, was a singer
committed to the Revolution and socialism. In founding the Nueva Trova
Movement in the late sixties both trumpeted the official chimeras and
received much support in their "missions" inside and outside the island.
Silvio is still subject to the circles of power, but Pablo has two
decades of estrangement; in his case, to classify him as on the
"official" side, is to ignore his criticism of the regime and his
Consider also the right of art impresarios to contract with figures
consistent with their spectacles, and the rights of artists to perform
where they want. They should not have to be on their guard because Pablo
Milanes sings in Miami or Puerto Rico. Pablo, like Silvio, Chucho Valdes
and Juan Formell are also children of the marketplace, and thanks to the
international market they have hard money and the freedom to travel.
These singers have nothing new to offer because the theme and variables
of the "Nueva Trova" is ancient history, like the "revolutionary magic"
that holds them in the past. In the case of Pablo, this is an artist who
crosses the threshold of the past and criticizes the Gods of the
shipwrecked island; more than an official singer he seems like a
dissident limited by certain beliefs and commitments. Although Miami is
the reverse of Havana, why demand from them other political positioning?
August 19 2011