From a Cuban who loves Cuba and wants the best for it, who says what she thinks, with a lot of good faith and is NOT being funded by anyone.
By Cristal Perez
HAVANA TIMES – The leader of the once extremely popular band Buena Fe, Israel Rojas, once said the following about how the group started out: “We wanted to make music, not to make a living from it, but to live for it,” and they managed to do this and so much more.
For many years, they showcased a flood of intelligent and daring lyrics, that helped them to win a crowd of followers for their music, and their songs reflected upon many issues, especially social ones, which gave life to many of our concerns, and transformed them into an unusually popular music band.
Over a decade after the group was created, the band’s leader said the following at the album launch of a CDin 2010:
“It’s an album that reflects the times; there are only lyrics that endear young people in Cuba who are holding up the Revolution, the one we love and the one we all need to hold onto, in the most sensible and positive way we can. Fidel conceptualizes this in his definition of Revolution and we young people are responsible for making it feasible, changing everything that needs to be changed, and I believe that it’s up to us young artists a little to make other Cubans contemplate the ways and means that we can make this a reality. It’s a matter of telling the truth at all times, and this album has our truth and a little of everybody’s truth.”
Therein lied the key to their success!
The accurate criticism that appeared in their songs, which many of us shared, made us not only channel our concerns, but also believe that peoples’ complaints, would be the compass that would lay the foundations for a better Cuba, which changes for the better. Strategies, decisions and even guidelines could have stemmed from their lyrics. They had a great knack for showing us our weaknesses, our divisions, the points in our national plan that can be tweaked, what threatens (both from abroad and internally) the wellbeing of Cuban society and even our strengths, which are listed in detail in Papel en blanco (White paper).
However, time has passed by and as they themselves warned in their song Fuera (Outside) from the album Catalejo (2008): “… in the long-run, privileges bring short-sightedness…” Maybe it works the other way too?
It appears that “their daring lyrics, was considered perverse” and they had to “mix up their commitment with bicarbonate”, and let censorship make the digestion process a little easier.
Today, many of their let-down fans are rejecting the group, its leader, and some of them have even gathered together to burn their albums, while others regret getting a tattoo of the logo of their musical idol. I on the other hand, don’t want to defend them nor hang them.
If their music today sometimes seems like it’s a compelled made-to-order, rather than from inspiration and spiritual need, only they will know the cost of living from their music and not for it. If this is the case, I can imagine the void within they must be feeling.
I read with utmost sadness that Cubans on social media are attacking each other, about this and other issues. We need to learn that RESPECT is essential… at every level, in every direction, in every sense. If so many Cubans both in and outside the country declare that they love this Homeland with all their hearts, where EVERYBODY MATTERS (or at least, that’s the way it should be).
We need to banish disrespect, hate, resentment, advantages, anxiety of being lynched… because nothing healthy will grow, nothing productive will happen, and we will not build a better country.
Israel, I guess you’ve learned to be a Sobreviviente (Survivor), “paying your comforts with your obedience”.I hope you live Sin arrepentimiento (Without regrets), and that maybe one day “… you’ll ask for forgiveness on every scale.”