Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Chimera in the Sky


Of course, it was no surprise to us. We had been informed two days earlier of their plans and it was hardly a secret since it was all that the demonstrators talked about at their vigil in front of Versailles Restaurant, which was not attended by Val, who was busy with the preparations. But I am a reactor not a detonator. Let them have their moment. Perhaps Cuba might also benefit thereby.

The only two questions I have are:

Did The Police react to their streamer (which is certainly a step up from the stickers)?

Did the crowd react?

That is how the stunt should be judged.

And what will the BUCLERs do if The Police ignore their pleas, or, worse, praise the Castro regime?

Will Val & Henry refute their idols of clay? Will their obsequiousness turn into condemnation?

I think, honestly, that it would be harder for Henry to attack Sting than it would be for Sting to attack Castro.

I don't think either is going to happen.

21 comments:

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel, I think that it was positive for them to fly the streamer....
I just talked to a person who was in the Stadium and I was told that the crowd pointed fingers towards the sky, and that the band at least saw it.
We have also convey them (the band) another kind of information, after we were told by reliable sources in Cuba that they actually despise kasstro: they now know who to see and where to go for a concert on a rooftop in Havana.
As per the food, I don't think that Andy Summers liked the food that much in the Versailles. He was very fond though of some humble Cuban food he ate at the house of a very accomplished Cuban musician.... (Sting ate at the same house, I was told)
I was also told that there's no invitation for them to perform in Cuba. The idea came from Cuban musicians who told him that they were inmensely popular in Cuba, and that they would love to have them play in Cuba.... immediately, they realized that it would have been done without the permission of the government, because.... they would say what they want, and that would not necessarily good things!
One of my friends in Cuba just wrote thanking you for the comment on the Cuban environment on KillCastro. He is translating a report written by a Cuban enviromental scientist from Spanish to English and he will be sending copies around the world very soon. One goes to Sting, who was appalled by the conditions under which Cubans live. I suggested my friend to send one copy of the report to apologists such as to Michael Moore, Robert Redford, and Al Gore.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

Whatever good Sting and The Police can do for Cuba must be done publicly. Silent empathy is useless and even cowardly. They are immune to any negative publicity and would lose nothing by condemning Castro. Since they are not going to Cuba, the concert in Miami would have been the ideal place to do it. They did not. I wonder if Pinochet's or Botha's supporters had to get on their knees before they acted. Lesser entertainers whose careers could have been affected (and may have been affected) have said the word. Why hasn't Sting? There comes a point when excuses run out and we must ask ourselves whether our idols have feet of clay.

I know nothing about Sting and The Police's artistic lives but I presume they have been around at least 30 years. So has Castro. Why have they never done anything before? Why are they doing nothing now?

Charlie Bravo said...

Actually Manuel, I am kind of disappointed that after Andy Summers saw the protest and they saw the streamer, they didn't step up to the plate and say "Viva Cuba Libre". That's all they had to say.
On the other side, I hope they do go to Cuba and then they say it there. It goes beyond the political prisoners and the Ladies in White, it's all about almost 12 million imprisoned souls. The whole island is a jail, and that's the way we (KC & CB) are conveying our message to them.
As per them not saying anything publicly, but privately, I think that it's because they would love to actually perform in Cuba and they don't want to be barred from entry before such a concert (in a public or a private venue) can happen. I think the concert will happen in a private venue, if the government of Cuba allows them to re-enter the island.
KillCastro sort of knows them better than any of us, since he was there during their first performance in the USA, back in the seventies, at the now defunct CBGB (that's why he calls me exclusively CB) and believe me, they talked about politics. You can talk about Renaissance paintings, black orchideas, and aboriginal music and ritual tattoos from New Zealand with KillCastro and he will always bring those themes of conversation as an example of why there are not any freedoms in Cuba!
At this point, all we can to do is to wait to see if they are allowed to enter Cuba even as tourists. Then a few things will unfold, for sure....
The only thing Sting and the Police have to loose is the chance of performing for a large crowd of Cubans in the Island if they are barred from entering it. I know they don't mind being barred after performing there, as I've been told so. They could have performed in Pinochet's Chile, and in Botha's South Africa because those regimes didn't have any legal way to bar their entry to them. That's the difference.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

Yes, a simple "¡Viva Cuba Libre! or even ¡Viva Cuba! would have been enough and would not have closed any official doors to them in Cuba. But they said nothing where the least word would have meant everything to their Cuban fans here and on the island.

But don't be disheartened. Those "saints" John Paul II and Mother Theresa never said a word against Castro and many words in his praise. In fact, John Paul even praised "Che" Guevara in Cuba.

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel, a reference by John Paul II to che huevera would really be the most disheartening thing. Will look it up, anyways.

Vana said...

It trully is a disappointment that they didn't at least utter a !Viva Cuba Libre! during their concert in Miami, it's almost the same as saying it in Cuba, Andy had the opportunity right there at the Versailles Restaurant, yet he chose to ignore every thing going on there, as Henry said they only spoke for 90 seconds, that shows me they probably are not interested in doing or saying anything, here's hoping I'm wrong, hopefully Charlie and KC can get through to them.

As per the food at Versailles , and Andy maybe not liking it, does not surprise me for the food there is terrible, and I would claim not very typical, I would call it Americanised-Cuban food, but their desserts are awsome

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
I don't have high hopes that these Rock group will say anything against the regime currently opressing us in Cuba. Why? Most of them are leftists and for these types, Castro is an untouchable icon. If we were Chileans asking for a comdemnation of the Pinochet regime they will jump at the idea in a heartbeat and may even give a concert for free to raise funds. If it was about the old South Africa they will do just as quick also. These were easy targets and unpopular also. But for some mysterious reasoning whose twisted logic still escapes me, Castro remains popular with these types of people and for them it would be anathema to issue a word of comdemnantion of his regime. I will not hold my breath waiting for a single word from the Police or any other rock group from outside Cuba, be that the Police or Bono's U2. Their causes are the causes of the left and we are not one of them. Is that simple. It does not matter how much suffering or abuses we Cubans may endure, or no matter how terrible our plight may be, we will not be able to penetrate their hard ideological shell. They are impervious to our cries of help.

Fantomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

From the Osservatore Romano, Spanish edition, 30 January 1998, p. 6:

"Otra periodista le preguntó [al papa], también en castellano, por su pensamiento sobre Che Guevara, un protagonista de la historia reciente de Cuba, a lo que su Santidad contestó: 'Ahora se halla ante el Tribunal de Dios. Dejemos a nuestro Señor el juicio sobre sus méritos. Ciertamente, estoy convencido que quería servir a los pobres.'"

"A journalist asked [the pope], also in Spanish, his thoughts on Che Guevara, a protagonist in recent Cuban history, to which His Holiness replied: 'He is now before God's Tribunal. Let's let our Lord judge his merits. I am certain that he wanted to serve the poor.'"

http://www.nacub.org/nacub/ossrom5/dati/005s06.pdf

Charlie Bravo said...

The Lord will have a lot to judge on many people. I certainly think that the affirmation that "he wanted to serve the poor" is a dark spot that can even blind the sun. That affirmation alone merits for a swift judgement.

Agustin Farinas said...

Charlie and Manuel,
those words of praise for a lifelong committed communist and stalinist like Che Guevara, from one who did so much to bring about the end of Communism in his native Poland and Eastern Europe, are indeed strange. Maybe what is good for Poland and Eastern Europe is not good enough for Cubans. Again the double standard we see so much in the world when it comes to the plight of Cubans. If is true that God has judged that leftist icon whose picture adorns so many tee shirts and whose many murders were on his conscience (if he had any,something highly doubtful) then I am sure is pretty hot in his current place of residency.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

John Paul II should have stopped with his first two sentences: "He is now before's God's Tribunal. Let's let our Lord judge his merits." That answer would have been diplomatic if not exactly true, since God passed his judgment on Guevara a long time ago. Then he derailed. Although the pope advised us not to pass judgment on Guevara, he proceeds to do so himself, preempting the Lord's judgment: "I am certain that he wanted to serve the poor." Like Jesus?

Charlie Bravo said...

The right anwer would had been: "He had his turn at God's tribunal". Not a word more. But well....
As Agustin says, apparently what's good for the rest of the world is too good for us, as the double standard goes.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

We are not even deserving of a homegrown saint. Although it is customary for the pope to canonize a local saint in every country he visits, this did not happen in Cuba. Our sage Father Varela, the first to fight for human rights everywhere in the world, was obviously deemed not good enough for Catholic sainthood. But this Polish pope canonized hundreds of Poles, so many, in fact, that Poles now rank second only to Italians in the number of saints.

If one more Pole is created a saint, I am leaving the Church.

Charlie Bravo said...

Varela will always be a Saint, even without a Papal bule proclaiming His Sainthood.
I did my own pilgrimage to his (historical) grave in Saint Augustine, years after touching his resting niche in the Aula Magna.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

The papal fiat is even more eloquent as rendered in English: a papal bull.

Vana said...

Yes Manuel you are right, we are not even deserving of a home grown Saint, to me father Felix Varela, deserves to be called a Saint, he most certainly was a Cuban Hero, and a very wise man, who suffered so for our cause, as for the poor people he helped here in the States.
That was most certainly a slip of the tongue coming from the Pope, calling that murderer che a man of the poor who tried to help them, please, and this coming from a man that hated what happened in his own land, a man they want to make a Saint? but we are deserving of nothing, we are nothing, no one cares about our plight, every one turns a deaf ear, where we are concerned, what are we not human?

Charlie Bravo said...

I used the French bule instead of the Latin fiat or the English bull for obvious reasons....
Papal bull(shit)
Papal Fiat (as in Fix It Again Tony)

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,
I think the only reason he did not make Wojciech Jaruzelski a saint was because he wore sunglasess even in the daylight and so far as I know there are no saints depicted with sunglasses in our Church. After all Jaruzelski was raised a Catholic during the 1930's in Poland before embracing marxist philosophy. I guess he qualified for sainthood with that little item on his curriculum vitae.

Vana said...

Lmao Agustin, you are becoming as funny as Manuel, because he wore sunglasses...LOL

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