Cuba Doesn’t Need More Political Persecution
HAVANA TIMES – It was recently announced that several concerts of the Cuban duo Buena Fe’s tour have been canceled. These cancellations come after two activists who oppose the Cuban Government were beaten by audience members during the show in Madrid on May 12th, because they had shouted slogans in favor of releasing political prisoners on the island.
Ever since then, members of the opposition and related media have blamed the musicians for the attacks and stressed their affiliation to the Cuban Government as arguments to defend the canceled concerts. Up until now, shows in Barcelona, Salamanca and Tenerife have been canceled.
The above-mentioned acts of violence are totally condemnable; however, the band isn’t responsible for the behavior of people in the audience. Also, their political stance or opinions shouldn’t be a reason to censor their art, even more so in countries that are accepted as advocates of freedom of speech and creation.
In a statement posted on the band’s official Facebook page, the duo announced that “Under the pretext of defending democracy, harassment and Fascist threats have been made to venue owners and this has been more powerful than our songs.” The canceled shows were celebrated by different opposition-led media and activists, but they were also condemned by other public figures such as singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez.
Buena Fe hasn’t been the only music group affected by the political stance of its members. Recently, there has been pressure to stop a Los Van Van concert in Florida, which was also canceled “because of logistical problems.”
In past articles, La Joven Cuba’s Observatory on Extremism and Polarization has analyzed, alongside the Cuban Government’s own acts of censorship, increasingly frequent pressure from opposition activists and groups, who are defending freedom of speech, but are choosing to cancel celebrities because of their alleged political stance in favor of the Cuban Government, refusing to criticize the Cuban political system or avoiding referring to it using the term “dictatorship”.
A movement should never turn into what it is criticizing or use the methods it condemns to reach its objectives. No artist or band should be censored because of their political stance, or forced to say something they don’t believe in order to prevent their shows from being canceled. La Joven Cuba stands in solidarity with Buena Fe, just like it has with artists censored on the island, on other occasions.