Photos and Text by Caridad
HAVANA TIMES, June 19 – I’d already heard that the Cuban duo was well-liked by the public in this country of tangled mountains and great rivers. But as I approached the Teresa Carreño Theater recently, it was confirmed by me that a wide section of Venezuelan music lovers avidly follows the songs of the two Guantanamo natives.
A young woman who was hugging her boyfriend looked at me smiling when I asked her why she had come to see these folk musicians. She replied, “I’m a follower of the “canción protesta” (the protest song genre), and Cubans know a lot about that.”
Her boyfriend, who stopped hugging her because of my curiosity, added, “I don’t like singers that only praise revolution, because that does no good for any social movement, or for the public that listens to them.”
One woman, who looked more than sixty, wanted to give me her opinion, “because those guys know how to touch people’s hearts; plus their music is lively, so people don’t fall asleep while listening to them.”
Near the entrance was a group of youths who were protesting because they hadn’t gotten any of the tickets that had been given out free. Nonetheless, they still wanted to hear the Cubans, as well as the Dame Pa Matala (a group that I’ll speak about next time). “Those singers don’t mince their words,” one of the youth told me, “but what they sing they do with poetry, with sincerity, and that’s appreciated a lot in these times of reggaeton and demagogic propaganda.”
Several children were running through the theater’s enormous corridor, but when the concert began, they were directed to their seats like everyone else. However, they didn’t sit down, because the emotion of listening to songs like Catalejo, Déjame Entrar and No juegues con mi soledad compelled them to remain standing and to chant with the same emotion as the Cuban duo, song after song, as if these had been composed in Venezuela.
Conclusively, the Venezuelans continued reaffirming to me that we’re remarkably similar peoples and that we both like lyrics that say something that makes us think, that speak of love and respect, and that are not afraid of censorship.
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