The Economist on Juanes’ Havana concert



The Economist looks at both sides of the controversy over Colombian singer Juanes’ forthcoming “Concert for Peace” at the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana, where he will be joined by a dozen or so international artists, including Cuba’s Silvio Rodríguez, Puerto Rico’s Olga Tañón, and Spain’s Miguel Bosé, among others. Here’s an excerpt. The link to the complete article follows:

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. “For many of our generation, it’s just not an issue,” says Felice Gorordo. Mr Gorordo, who is 26, is the co-founder of Roots of Hope, a 3,000-strong Miami-based youth movement that seeks to bring Cubans on both sides of the Florida Strait closer together. “A lot of our members say, ‘Let him go and we’ll judge when he comes back. It’s worth a shot’.”

You can find the article at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s