09/15/13 - Billboard - Robertico Carcassés Sanctioned in Cuba Over Critical Song Lyrics: Report
The Cuban pianist and bandleader Robertico Carcassés improvised lyrics
calling for "direct presidential elections," "freedom of information" and
"the end of the embargo and the auto-embargo" during a televised concert in
front of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana on Thursday (Sept. 12)
marking the anniversary of the arrest in Miami of the Cuban intelligence
agents known as the Cuban Five.
Cuban officials Friday suspended Carcassés from performing on the island
"indefinitely," according to a report in the exile website Diario de Cuba.
René Gonzalez, the one member of the Cuban Five who has been released from
prison, attended the event, at which many of Cubas most popular musicians
performed, including leading dance band Los Van Van, which closed the
concert. Thousands attended the event, according to the Cuban newspaper
While performing the song "Cubanos por el mundo," dedicated to Cubans "here
and there," Carcassés, 41, took to the microphone. He improvised lyrics
calling for the release of the four prisoners, "and a lot more," including
presidential elections by direct vote, equal rights for all Cubans on the
island regardless of their political opinions, and an end to the U.S.
embargo and "[Cubas] auto-embargo."
According to Diario de Cuba, Interactivos Facebook page published a
message Friday saying that Carcassés and his bandmates were called to the
Cuban Music Institute and told that Carcassés would not be allowed to
perform on the island for an indefinite period of time. The group announced
that two upcoming shows were canceled "due to a decision by authorities."
That message was later erased from Facebook, the website reported.
According to Diario de Cuba, Carcassés declined to comment when reached by
telephone, but said he would be publishing a letter addressing the
Several articles about the concert in the Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde
did not mention Carcassés impromptu lyrics or any subsequent sanctions
against the musician.
CUBA-L FAIR USE NOTICE
This server contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of Cuba's political, economic, human rights, international, cultural, educational, scientific, sports and historical issues, among others. We distribute the materials on the basis of a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. The material is distributed without profit. The material should be used for information, research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/ uscode/17/107.shtml.