Wednesday, February 17, 2010

From Cuba to the world... and never back.

The forties and fifties were the years of splendour in Cuban music without any doubt. Forties and fifties were years when Havana ruled as the music capital of Latin-America and that are an indisputable truth. The most important musicians traveled to Havana to shine there, and Cubans traveled abroad to show the world their exuberant music. From Cuba to the world

Never before ideology and politics had intervened in our cultural world to break the mutual travelling of music in and out Caribbean island. We were a nation of musicians, we are a nation of songs. But 1959 came and the rules were broken.

With Castro, politics and ideology invaded music, artists and cultural scenarios. The rule was established early from the front pages of official voice of the Revolution: with the Castro everything, against the Castro nothing.

Artists and music were trapped in an ideological web. Many of them decided to run away, some stayed behind probably waiting for the ultimate decision of the times: they were stranded in that web.

Great voices like Olga Guillot, Blanca Rosa Gil and the one and only Celia Cruz said good bye to Cuba forever. Till then, our radio, TV shows and newspapers are crying for their return.

In the same way the new Revolution established its strict rules against dissidents, political opposition and religion, music was fenced between the prisons of the automatic defence of everything that was called revolution. Glamour and superficiality were swept away as ideological divisionism. With them, it also disappeared all American music, Pop and Rock, and Beatles and artists with opinions against our social process, and especially against its leaders.

Year after year, Cuba suffers an outflow of artists when they traveled abroad. One by one, all of them are leaving the ship to fulfill their dreams broken for a false tune in their rhythms: Communism.

More than 50 years had gone and still today Cuba is suffering from the same illness. The capital city of Latin-American music is now in Miami, where a long list of Cubans artists are making a living. Every year new names are added to the list of musicians, intellectuals and artists in general who never come back to Cuba.

Meanwhile, the same rules applied yesterday are applied today. As soon you cross the Florida Straits and don’t come back, your name is banned from all the media: you are no more in official Cuba, but you are. Hand to hand they are in Cuba, against any will and any odd.

No radio stations, no TV shows, no newspapers, your name is erased automatically. But on the streets of Havana, still Celia Cruz is singing Burundanga, a cd of Albita Rodriguez runs from hand to hand and someone plays Gloria Stefan loudly against any odds.

Our artists are leaving Cuba to the world, many of them to never come back but their music, even against the will of the Cuban censors, is alive and quivering in the huge heart of our nation: is a music that never leaves and stay with us. It goes beyond ideology, politics and rulers forever.