Madonna Disappoints Her Cuban Fans

Nonardo Perea

Madonna in Havana. Photo:
Madonna in Havana. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — On the morning of August 16th, the Queen of Pop’s birthday, I received several calls and emails from friends confirming the fact that the star was visiting Cuba.

I quickly thought about performing for her, singing happy birthday in true Marilyn Monroe style with the same kind of dress included and a speaker outside of her hotel, but it was impossible for me to do this and it remained a frustrated wish.

When I got to the Saratoga Hotel, I found some people circling the entrance; for it to be Madonna inside, I thought there weren’t that many people, but gradually more and more people gathered together.

With a camera in my hand and happy, I thought I’d see her. Thirty minutes went by and the police were told to distance the crowd by putting up rope, according to their own words. Madonna didn’t want to come out and feel attacked (I didn’t understand, attacked by whom?), the audience began to get uneasy because when other people have stayed at this hotel, they’ve never done this, and they’ve even walked freely among the crowd that cheered them on, but OK, Madonna is Madonna and she can get away with anything, or almost anything.

In their attempt to put the crowd behind the line, some policemen pushed and there were unpleasant confrontations, people protesting police abuse, but these events didn’t escalate into anything further.

After three hours waiting outside the Saratoga, many people decided to leave and others kept on coming because they’d heard what was happening.

Five hours later, after not seeing the diva Madonna, nearly everyone was making negative remarks about her, none of those present could understand why she hadn’t even come and stood out on her balcony for a moment to say hello. Then, suddenly, a big show to trick people took place, a car pulled up and went into the hotel’s garage, so Madonna could finally walk out through the front door without being seen.

Many people said that ever since she came she was using doubles, or that she was going out wearing a black wig so that nobody could recognize her. In short, the queen made herself invisible to all the Cuban people that came wanting to see her and her game of hide and seek disappointed many of her fans who from now on won’t follow her like they used to. But for Madonna, this material girl, I’m convinced that she won’t even give a damn.


Nonardo Perea

Nonardo Perea: I see myself as an observant person and I like to write with sincerity what I think and live first hand. I’m shy and of few words; thus it’s difficult for me to engage in conversation. For that reason, my best tool for communicating is writing. I live in Marianao, Havana and am 40 years old.

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39 thoughts on “Madonna Disappoints Her Cuban Fans

  • You are correct about the musicians – we have a friend who is a very successful one and have on occasions at his invitation sat with a circle of his fellows in the early hours, listening to their discussions as they pass around a guitar playing variations on a theme (shades of Paganini). To sit under the stars in the night sky of Cuba listening to them is a privilege – and unlike western celebrities they are just other members of the community.
    As for Gordon, he suffers from grandiose illusions, but let’s not get into the medical definition of that term.

  • There are countless celebrities in Cuba with zero connection to the Castros. Many of the hottest and most popular musicians are in fact at odds with the government.

    Gordon (God love him) lives on another planet. Giving credence to anything he posts is the definition of silliness.

  • There will fortunately always be people who will aid those who need support. Quite a lot of years ago, my daughter as a volunteer taught Vietnamese boat people English in Hong Kong, many of whom moved to Canada.
    Years later I well recall attending a BBQ in Canada held by a Vietnamese friend of my son in his garden, he was married to a caucasian and so was his brother – a policeman. I cautiously watched his mother quietly standing beside the garden gate viewing her children’s friends enjoying themselves and could almost read her thoughts. She and her husband with those two boys had risked their lives fleeing from the communists in Vietnam, and now she was able to see them as successful adults in a free society – literally a dream come true!

  • Ah! but the majority of VIPs in Cuba are the cohorts of the Castros – and love being fawned upon as demonstrated by Gordon Robinson when he writes of Machado Ventura and how fortunate his children are in being subjected to his guidance and instruction upon the benefits of power and control. Hence their reported ambition to become President and Minister of Finance.
    Glad we agree about Tefilo!

  • Overreact much? LOL.

  • Exactly. What do you expect her to do? She’s on holiday. Leave her alone.

  • Typical Canadian leftist hypocrisy! You complain about the US embargo, and call for it to be lifted. Yet now that the process of ending the embargo has begun, you complain about Americans showing up in Havana. You treat Cubans like exotic creatures in a tropical socialist zoo, as if they exist only for your amusement.

    You disgust me!

  • I knew Tefilo intimately for over 20 years, he was on the Board of Directors for my company in Havana and he was indeed a great man, but totally the exception in terms of being humble and approachable compared to the majority of Cuban VIPs.

  • Absolutely incorrect.

    Their schedule was controlled to the minute. The film production recording the concert and their time in Cuba was an enormously complicated affair. Every public moment was carefully choreographed. They were working ALL the time in Cuba.

  • The few contributions the regime has made post 1958 have come at a horrible cost to future generations. As Chief Seattle said “a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage, not because he is duty-bound, but because he loves the world and loves his children ” What would Cuba look like today has Castro never happened?. I suspect a country that looks like modern day Uruguay or Chile with all the promise and problems that means. Cuba’s future is tied to the United States. The same can be said about the Caribbean in general. These nations are too small to survive on their own and provide a decent life to their peoples. The anti American bigots who have been looting the country for years are known and disliked by the Cuban people.

  • I met lots of people who knew him as well and everyone agreed with you. He was the exception however. Which, of course, added to his greatness.

  • For the most part, Carlyle is right. But not all Canadians think the same. From time to time there have been expressions of hostility to immigrants.
    But I have to say that I am often heartened by the reaction to immigrants. Right now I am dealing with a Syrian family in a nearby city. They are among a number of Syrian families in a public housing project.
    Their next door neighbours, who don’t fit my image of left wing or liberal, have been wonderfully welcoming.
    My partner teaches English to recent immigrants to Canada, Cubans among them. She hasn’t heard any stories that suggest that Canadians do not welcome Cubans.

  • hmmm. You think Cuba is a Disneyland? You think anything post 1958 has made no contribution to the Cuba of today? You think that only Americans can bring prosperity to the island? opinions like these help to create anti-American ‘bigots’. Reap what you sow, Clipper…

  • In my experience, Cuban celebrities (musicians and dancers) both in Cuba and in the uk do not have over inflated egos and are happy to mingle with their fellow non-celebrity compatriots. Also, Anyone, anywhere wealthier than others are usually ‘not nice people’ imho. Madge could have handled it better by greeting her fans (It would have acknowledged the fact that Cuban fans are unlike any others, unable to get to one of her gigs) and then asking for some privacy but the way I see it, if you want the benefits of celebrity (and Madonna certainly enjoys her celebrity status) then you have to deal with the downsides also.

  • The concert was free and they ventured through the downtown area.
    They also handed out special seating tickets to the average working Cubans. Since they were not allowed to sell merchandise, special T-shirts were made up and thrown to these areas.
    The concert as awesome!

  • They were there to perform one concert. The rest of the time they weren’t working….

  • I have never experienced Canadians regarding immigrants as “dirty immigrants”. With the exception of the native people, all Canadians are either immigrants or descended from immigrants.
    I have met numerous Cubans who have immigrated to Canada and not one of them has spoken of the antagonisms you imply.
    Under the previous Conservative government, over 300,000 people were immigrating to Canada per year and there is at the moment no reason to expect that annual number to decrease, although the father of the new Liberal Prime Minister, when Prime Minister, limited immigration to 86,000 per year.

  • Natalia, Alina’s mother died in April, 2015.
    Fidel’s first wife Mirta Diaz-Balart who divorced Fidel for having affairs and then married Dr. Ernesto Nunez Blanco moved to Spain where she lived for 40 years, When Dr. Nunez Blanco died she too moved to the US from where she visited Cuba to see her son Fidel Angel Castro Diaz-Balart, the nuclear scientist who is known as ‘Fidelito’.
    A grandson Ramon, of Raul Castro also moved to the US from Italy where his mother Nilsa Raul’s daughter lived with her Italian husband – her other son Augustin moved to Madrid in Spain. Nilsa who was rebellious and a bit of a ‘problem’ child, following the death of her husband returned to Cuba where she had a common-law spouse Julio Cesar Diaz Garrandes who was imprisoned in 2011 on charges of corruption. Nilsa is now deceased.

  • Eden, I had the pleasure of meeting and conversing with a real Cuban celebrity – Tefilo Stevenson. He was a true Cuban who retained his Cuban culture and courtesy. Anywhere else in our Western World he would have required an entourage and have had the media reporting his every action, but at home in Cuba, none of the nonsense associated with so-called celebrities was necessary.
    So to answer your point, Tefilo as a Cuban was fully qualified in world terms, to be a celebrity.

  • “… The Cuban people are so much nicer than these celebrities!…”

    Why in the world are you comparing Cuban people to celebrities? What do the two have in common?

  • The Stones weren’t there on a private holiday, they were there to work.

    Different situation entirely.

  • Warhol, I can’t believe that you think Madonna owes you anything.

  • Absolutely false. Stupid gossip only. Grow up.

  • It seems that her makeup artist and hair stylist didn’t make it to her hotel on time . What was a diva to do. Why stay low of course.

  • Granddaughter . His daughter Alina lives in Coral Gables FL with her older sister and Aunt Juanita.



  • What does she owe you? She is on vacation. Leave the woman alone for heaven’s sake.

  • Glad the Rolling Stones didn’t feel the same way!

  • I agree but the Castro’s are still running the show.
    In fact, I saw a BBC article after the Chanel fashion show, calling Fidel’s daughter the “Monarch’s daughter”! Really?!

  • You are right. I have never met a Cuban celebrity. It’s a point of view I never considered. Thanks.
    Jeez, we are all weary of Justin Beiber! Lol

  • As a Canadian I am proud that we welcome people of all ethnicities to seek refuge in our country.
    We have no “dirty immigrants”. Are you sure you’re not quoting Donald Trump?!
    BTW, Newfoundland is beautiful! I have travelled from coast to coast of this beautiful country.

  • Knock Madonna and Raul but please don’t disparage J. Bieber! 🙂 Good info Moses!

  • I think celebrities should be left ALONE while they’re on vacation!!!!! Where is it written that just because Madonna is a celebrity that she should go out on her hotel balcony and wave to the people. She’s not in Cuba on a business trip, it’s a holiday. I don’t think celebrities owe their public anything when they’re on vacation.

  • Change the face of Cuba and make it prosperous? No longer a Disneyland for the anti American bigots of the world? Cuba today is the rotting remains of the Cuba of 1958 despite billions in Soviet money . The next generation will need all the help it can get paying the tab for Castro’s failed regime.

  • Yes, you love Cubans as long as Cubans remains in the island. If they start leaving for Canada they become dirty immigrants. Thanks for your love, but keep it to yourself, and Madonna as well. Try to go on holiday to new foundland. It is closer and nicer there.

  • I mean it sucks that fans wanted to see her, but maybe she just wanted some fun for her birthday without the need for feeling watched and closed in on. Must she always come out and say hello? Must she always meet and greet? Or is she allowed to sometimes wanna be private and just enjoy her birthday? If you are a fan, you remain a fan and not get mad over something like this. Seems kinda petty.

  • Normally I overlook these slights against “Americans”. But this one bugged me. It’s likely you have never met a CUBAN celebrity. I have. My wife had been the Cuban national morning news anchor for several years when we met so while we dated, I mingled in her social circle which included all kinds of people including the top reggueton y salsa singers and actors in Cuba. These Cuban “celebrities” were the biggest snobs I had ever met! I grew up in southern California so I was quite accustomed to seeing celebrities. Cubans, in general, who have a lot of money, if only by Cuban standards, are generally not “nice” people. I am generalizing of course. I happen to have met and know a handful of Cuban celebs who are super nice people. Heck, I married one of them. By the way, isn’t Justin Bieber a Canadian?

  • The Cuban people are so much nicer than these celebrities! I am a Canadian who loves Havana!
    Unfortunately now that the Americans are coming, and they will change the face of Cuba forever, I doubt that I will be back.

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