Monday, July 9, 2007

El Grito de "Versailles"

"Vigil Recap: Synchronicity." First of all, what the hell does that mean? Synchronicity? Does it mean that they all got there at the appointed time? Some demonstration it would have been otherwise! I guess Henry just wanted to use a big word. No chance of topping "bizarreries," though.

Still, today Henry proved something which I had long suspected: he is one of the elect. He has been given an extraordinary gift denied to other mortals. It is not a unique gift but a very customized gift; a gift previously reserved only for stalkers and the paparazzi. What does this gift consist of? The ability to smell subconsciously and ferret out controversial musicians in or about the vicinity of restaurants who have recently become connected in some way with the Cuban cause (usually as antagonists). Yes, all of that. The restaurant part is important. Because previously Henry had run into "Che"-acolyte Carlos Santana outside an L.A. restaurant and now he runs into the guitarist from The Police waiting for a table at the very restaurant where — and at the very time when — BUCL's "Campaign for the Invisible Ones" was being launched. Would one chance in a billion cover it? Yes, for one such coincidence. But for two? Does lightning really strike twice in the same place or over the same head? Well, it happened. There are pictures. There are always pictures. And more pictures are coming.

Henry spoke to Police guitarist Andy Summers for exactly 90 seconds. One minute and a half. He packed a lot into those 90 seconds, though, and must have thrown the Briton for a loop:

I politely approached him in the foyer before he was seated. I told him we were having a candlelight vigil outside, precisely because he and The Police are in town. He listened patiently as I explained that Amnesty International recognizes 69 prisoners of conscience in Cuba and that in our Miami community there are close to 1 million Cubans who fled the human rights abuses in that country. He told me that the Cuba concert is not a certainty. I told him that we weren't protesting the concert but appealing to them to stand up for human rights in Cuba like they had in the past for other countries. I asked him to share the message with his band mates and he said he would. The entire exchange took no more than 90 seconds while he waited for his table.

Certainly, Summers had never been inopportuned in that way before. It must have made an impression on him. Not enough for Summers to invite Henry to dine with him so that Henry could expand on those 90 seconds, for, apparently, Henry was not that persuasive nor Summers that great-hearted. He did patiently sign an autograph for Henry's niece and was probably relieved to do so. First he goes to a restaurant where he is not recognized or ushered into the VIP area and immediately given a table. And then someone does recognize him and accosts him with more than he ever knew or perhaps wanted to know about Cuba.

Did Summers accompany Sting on his month-long vacation in Cuba earlier this year, where Sting had the opportunity to witness first-hand the suffering and repression which Cubans have endured for 48 years? If it all escaped him, then his non-official contacts must have pointed it out to him. But Sting uttered not a word of criticism. If seeing their suffering day in and day out for 30 days did not move him, what makes Henry think he can be moved at all?

How hard was it, really, to criticize Pinochet's Chile or Botha's South Africa? Even Pope John Paul II was in favor of a global embargo on South Africa while opposing the U.S. embargo on Cuba. And you know what? Castro was around when apartheid was around in South Africa and Pinochet in Chile. So why didn't Sting criticize Castro at the same he was criticizing Pinochet or Botha? Maybe because he sympathized with Castro? But he couldn't have, after all, Sting "loves freedom." Yes, everywhere, apparently, but on our forsaken island. Wake up, children. Smell the coffee.

Something like what happened tonight at Versailles would have been worthy of a tactician like Bismarck if this coincidence had been part of an elaborately wrought plan of action. But we know Henry is not Bismarck. So we have no choice but to ascribe such a monumental coincidence to God's infinite grace for fools, also known as "beginner's luck." And if beginner's luck is all that is required to pull off such a stunt then Henry is sure always to be so blessed; for he will remain an amateur all his life in this and everything he undertakes.

Of course, if Henry had run into the 300 Cuban political prisoners at Versailles it would have been much better and just as likely. Obviously, however, this protesting thing is working for Henry and he should keep it up. Maybe next time he'll run into King Juan Carlos I.


Agustin Farinas said...

for the sake of accuracy I must point out that Henry's casual meeting with Santana took place in the town of Sausalito in the San Francisco Bay area (where Santana resides or has a house) and not in L.A. and there was a picture posted with the rocker and Che lover inside the restaurant visible. But it was indeed an extraordinary coincidence (if it did happen) that one of the Police members was in the area where Cuban patrons are in the majority. Who knows there might be some pictures of the encounter. We will have to wait for those to appear.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


San Francisco sounds even better.

There are no pictures of Henry's historic 90-second meeting with Police guitarist Summers; but plenty of pictures of everything else, including Henry sending his niece to Summer's table to get an autograph for him.

Vana said...

As you pointed out Manuel, what a coincidence! I couldn't help myself went to Babalu, to view the Babalusians, and saw the pics, there were only a handful of people there, I don't think Henry has reached many people with his de Bucl campaigns, we shall have to wait and see.

Fantomas said...

En memoria de Tocororo tratemos de enfocarnos en la meta final denunciar hasta mas no poder al regimen que nos oprime. Las diferencias de estilos y los ataques entre blogeros debe cesar por completo ya.

Fantomas said...

Manuel , Vana , Agustin

si quieren escuchar esta noche a las 9 pm el programa de radio relacionado con la campaña BUCL, tambien hablaremos de Toco, en fin un programa variado hoy a las 9 pm Jose y este servidor estaremos en el aire... estan invitados a escucharlo

Agustin Farinas said...

gracias por la informcion. Yo no soy mucho de quedarme hasta tan tarde conectado al Internet, pero quizas esta noche haga una excepcion para oirlo. Te digo mañana mi opinion respecto al programa. Espero que no se necesite un servico de banda ancha para oirlo pues no tengo ese servicio donde vivo. Recuerda que esto es el Tercer Mundo no Miami o Puerto Rico. Otra vez, gracias.

Fantomas said...

Fantomas said...

manuel cuidado no se te vire el cafe cuando veas este video...Miami dolphins stadium July 10, 2007 venue..the police concert

no quiero que se te arruine la guayabera

Fantomas said...

Ah y se me olvidaba por favor te lo pido me hagas beg you para que lo hagas, no me lo pidas por favor

necesito que me des el review del programa de radio que hice anoche con jose y varios notables cuban bloggers as well

demas esta decirte que hablamos de Tocororo en el show

Dale al review lo espero para mañana a las 10pm no mas tardar ( si estas disponible)

Gracias anticipadas....

I might have you on my next show as a guest

Fantomas said...

Agustin dijo
Te digo mañana mi opinion respecto al programa. Espero que no se necesite un servico de banda ancha para oirlo pues no tengo ese servicio donde vivo. Recuerda que esto es el Tercer Mundo no Miami o Puerto Rico. Otra vez, gracias.

Agustin Farinas said...

me pediste que te de mi opinión del programa de radio y aquí te paso mis comentarios.
Por que un programa bilingüe?
Si se esta buscando una audiencia cubana, por que no hacerlo en español? Es nuestro idioma, no?
Me sonó chocante tener que oír a José hablarte en ingles y después tu responderle en español. Si se pretendía llegar a los radio oyentes en ingles, entonces por que no hacerlo en ingles en su totalidad?
El segmento en que se hablo de Tocororo fue muy flojo. Solo se menciono su muerte y se acabo. Se quedaron dando vueltas entre Ziva José y tu pero nada en concreto sobre sus aportes a la blogesfera sobre asuntos cubanos.
En el segmento en que se discutió a Sting y The Police, no se explico que a Sting no le importa para nada nuestro problema porque el tipo es izquierdista y como alguien dijo la esposa de Andy Summers o de Sting son izquierdistas y socialistas fuertes, aunque su estilo de vida es bastante hipócrita y desmiente su carareado socialismo a voces. No tienen ningún interés en criticar ni hablar nada que dañe la imagen que tienen del tirano y su gobierno. Si esto fuera acerca del Chile de Pinochet, o Sudáfrica y Nelson Mandela, hablarían hasta por los codos en su contra, pero estamos hablando de castro, su ídolo y su icono. Pero nadie menciono esto y se quedo en la nada.

Me pareció flojo el programa y los participantes comentaristas todavía no tienen la maestría y no estaban cómodos hablando por este medio de la radio. Hubo demasiadas pausas y mucha repeticiones de “you know, you know” esto o lo otro. Le falto un poco de sustancia al programa pero como se que son los primeros programas que se hacen por este medio, hay la excusa de la inexperiencia, pero es algo para pensar para futuros programas.
Espero que las críticas sean tomadas en el espíritu constructivo en que las hice.
Me pediste mi opinión con respecto al programa y te la he dado.