Singer Highlights Flawed Cuba-Policy

by Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, May 6 — Business between the US and Cuba continues as usual with Washington continuing to block cultural exchange between the two nations and prohibiting ordinary US citizens from visiting Cuba.

On the same week that retired 94-year-old Portland, Oregon physician Charles Grossman had to break the US travel ban law to visit a friend in Cuba, in the other direction, the island’s leading folk singer, Silvio Rodriguez, was denied an entry visa blocking his Madison Square Garden performance at Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday tribute. reported that “Dozens of stars and musician friends played alongside Seeger at the May 3 concert, including Bruce Springsteen and Joan Baez.” Silvio, as he is called in Cuba and Latin America, wrote an open letter decrying the continuing blacklisting of Cuban artists.

“I think the Department of State’s attitude is very contradictory with the wish expressed by President Obama for a rapprochement with Cuba,” wrote Rodríguez. The folksinger said he felt as discriminated against by the Obama administration “as by other US governments.”

The US has maintained an economic blockade on Cuba for nearly 50 years as well as a travel ban on its own citizens from visiting the island. Several bills are currently working their way through the US Congress that would drop the travel ban and eat away at the blockade.

Rodriguez is a Latin Grammy award winner (2007) and plays before packed stadiums or theaters wherever he travels in Latin America and other latitudes.

Meanwhile, Dr. Grossman will be returning to the US from Cuba via Vancouver over the weekend or early next week and will then find out if the US government wants to persecute him for his announced illegal visit to the island. For more on Dr. Grossman’s challenge to the travel ban see:

Despite talk of wanting a new relationship with Cuba and Latin America, the Obama administration has yet to accept the unconditioned dialogue offered on several occasions by Cuban President Raul Castro to try and mend a steadfast fence between the two neighboring countries.

Numerous Latin American leaders including Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Mexico’s Felipe Calderon have encouraged Obama to scrap the blockade on Cuba.

2 thoughts on “Singer Highlights Flawed Cuba-Policy

  • Despite talk of wanting a new relationship with Cuba and Latin America, the Obama administration has yet to accept the unconditioned dialogue offered on several occasions by Cuban President Raul Castro to try and mend a steadfast fence between the two neighboring countries.

    To all who know that i do not back down
    let me say this.Obama is not our friend he could care a hill of beans about what goes on here in Cuba. He has never lived a day without his rights even though he is a black man. This man has had a golden spoon his his mouth for 48 yrs and there are no signs that he would trade it in.

    Obama, i believe thinks that he can scare the Castro adm, and i believe that he is about to be rudely awakened. As i have said above Fidel and Raul will not cave in to flattery, threats ni nada.. But rarther what they respect is courage, truth, and the ability to accept that they have kept successfully Cuba from US domination for more than 50 yrs. Yes, the US could have come here and took over maybe..but what would that have gained.??.Another black eye..

    America only wants to come here to steal and plunder and leave disease as has been the case in places it has been in for ever.
    When Hugo Chavez gave Obama the book by Galeano he was telling him…READ BRO! read about how the US intervention in the affairs of others has broken many latin amer countries, nearly strrangling the life out of thier people to say nothing of what has been done by some of the allies to African countries

    Who wants to leave Cuba, with all of the beauty and op here? . Yes! we need transformation..vs change.. but as i have said..we do not want disease, mafia, thugs lying nor any more people without skills who cannot share in helping to build iMi Cuba! up.

    The US has far too many issues of its own for it to be constantly meddling. I have lived in the US for most of my life however, as i have become more educ i have seen the manner in which the US operates. It goes in under the guise of helping and within 20 yrs one can see the disaster..Nicauragua, Guatemala, Puerto Rico,Columubia, and all of Africa.

    I am not impressed..The US should mind its biz and get those drug dealers out of there, feed the people, cease with the illegal immigant crap..clothe the children and allow Cuba to handle its own affairs.. Now having said this.., america is afraid, it is not the best place to live, and now that we have the internet people are finding out that its all about the $$$$ to heck with the people,…Barak Obama is as guilty as if he had been in office for 20 yrs. He has forgotten who he is..and has no willingness to return to ethics, morailty et/a/ Why? because he just an american president..

  • As a the family member of AfroCubans of matanza, y los munequitos de matanzas i side with Sr Rodriquez and all artists welcome home


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