Apartheid en Cuba
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    Apartheid protesters got it right

    Posted on Sunday, 09.20.09
    Apartheid protesters got it right

    Diaz-Balart, a Republican, represents the 21st district of Florida.

    Twenty-four years ago, in order to counter the South African Apartheid
    regime's attempt to lure musicians to a tourist resort known as “Sun
    City,'' numerous world-famous musicians (including Bob Dylan, Ringo
    Starr, Miles Davis, Lou Reed, Jackson Browne, and many others) came
    together to record an album with a title song by the same name, Sun City.

    The song's lyrics read:

    It's time to accept our


    Freedom is a privilege nobody rides for free

    Look around the world baby it cannot be denied

    Somebody tell me why are we always on the wrong side,

    Ain't gonna play Sun City.

    Our government tells us we're doing all we can

    Constructive Engagement is Ronald Reagan's plan

    Meanwhile people are dying and giving up hope

    Well this quiet diplomacy ain't nothing but a joke

    We're gonna say

    Ain't gonna play Sun City.

    The Sun City recording and the solidarity it manifested helped tear down
    the wall of silence around apartheid for a generation of young people.
    Horror was exposed, and many artists, musicians and athletes refused to
    set foot on South Africa until it was free.

    Today, a new U.S. administration wants to “constructively engage''
    another tyranny, the one that oppresses Cuba. A singer known as Juanes
    says his upcoming concert in the Castros' private fiefdom will not be
    political, despite his plan to sing alongside despised dictatorship
    spokesmen such as Silvio Rodríguez. Juanes also says he hopes the
    concert will “lessen the tension between Cuba (meaning the totalitarian
    regime which oppresses Cuba), the exile community, and the United
    States.'' To confuse Cuba with the oppressors of the Cuban people is an
    inherently political act.

    Even if one were to believe Juanes' repeated professions of apoliticism
    and “neutrality,'' he should read Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie
    Wiesel's words: “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.''

    I will always stand with those who resist the brutality of the Castros'
    totalitarian nightmare, such as the leader who is a voice of Cuba's
    conscience, who spent 17 years as a political prisoner for his
    nonviolent opposition to the dictatorship, and is a winner of the 2009
    National Endowment for Democracy's “Democracy Award'' — Jorge Luis
    García Pérez (Antúnez). With regard to Juanes, Antúnez said: “For
    Cubans with dignity, the Juanes concert, appearing on stage alongside a
    specimen-troubadour of the tyranny, Silvio Rodríguez, will be a
    grotesque spectacle.''

    Some defenders of the upcoming spectacle have engaged in the despicable
    in order to provide political cover for Juanes, announcing that they
    have “polled'' political prisoners inside the Castros' gulag who
    “support the concert.'' How do they have direct access and what exactly
    are they telling the political prisoners they “poll''? A tragic reality
    of today's Cuba is that even immediate family members of Cuban political
    prisoners cannot see them at will to “consult their opinions.''

    In the film made during the Sun City recording, one of the participating
    musicians, Jackson Browne, explained why he and so many others got
    involved. “Sun City's become a symbol of a society which is very
    oppressive and denies basic rights to the majority of its citizens. In a
    sense, Sun City is also a symbol of that society's `right' to entertain
    itself in any way that it wants to, to basically try to buy us off and
    to buy off world opinion.'' Browne and the other musicians vowed never
    to perform at Sun City because to do so would be to condone apartheid.

    Browne was right then.

    Juanes is not.

    Apartheid protesters got it right – Issues & Ideas – MiamiHerald.com (20
    September 2009)

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