Monday, July 9, 2007

rocking for the free world.

Time ago, I interviewed Emilio, who saw Audioslave in Havana for KillCastro, in the days where the Black Sheep of Exile was only the two mischievous guys who run KillCastro, and not yet a younger brother blog to it.
Shortly after that, we learnt that Chris Cornell had left Audioslave for good, and we started receiving a lot of letters from Cubans fans in Cuba saying how happy they were for him, and also, word from rockers like Gorki who despise the symbolism of the site where the concert was held but who went to see it anyway because it was an important happening in the rock scene in Havana.
The most important thing was that the government had to provide an open space for the band to play, and their own tangled web of propaganda prevented them from any repression. It was in front of the United States Interest Section and about 60 000 young Cubans fans got together there and gave the government a run for their money without being jailed.
Of course, being the majority of Audioslave former members of Rage Against the Machine -of a very red political color- there was no chance that a scream of Cuba Libre! would rose from the stage, but by the same token, the message of the Cuban people was received by the band, when they saw that Cubans were relegated to a second tier in the concert grounds and that their Cuban fans had to push, kick, and punch their way to the front row.
After the Cuban concert, Chris Cornell -who was the more affable towards the Cuban fans- cited irreconcilable differences with the bands and left, we suspect that with a new found sympathy for the real Cuban people, the young people he saw dancing after an urban battle against the plain clothes Palestinian Police and Venezuelan "students". They could not afford to repress these youngsters in front of an American band and the American diplomatic representation because their propaganda house of cards would have been blown away in a three-way fashion:
Cubans opposing the police, openly.
American government representatives filming everything,
and a band from the liberal Left Coast would have been the witness of the actions of the most repressive system in the Western Hemisphere.
That's why we think that a Police concert in Havana is very important.
Everyone of this events erode the government control, and liberates people a little bit.
It creates a controversial situation for the tyranny, logistic problems, it puts the tyranny under the international magnifying glass, and gets the typically liberal reporters of the music magazines to get in contact with Cuban rockers and the Cuban people and to see repression with their own eyes.
We have not received yet any confirmation that The Police has any plan in written to go to Havana, unless they do it outside their corporate structure and on their own.
Let's see what's good on that regards:
A huge gathering of young (and not so young) fans will happen somewhere in Havana.
The Palestinian police would be put between a rock and a hard place on sight of international tv cameras, and the dictatorship will have to walk on eggs the whole time.
The attention of the world would turn to Cuba for at least a day, and we will have the opportunity to convey a message to them, from outside and from within Cuba.
And the concert will bring a glimpse of what happens in the outside world to the Cuban youth.
To us, that's a positive and desirable balance.
Didn't it happen with the Berlin Wall?
Yeah, but we weren't busy tossing Germans back to communism over the wall.
Instead we have the BiCoastal Guard caging Cubans in the high seas and returning them to whomever is in charge in Cuba. Besides, as KillCastro says, why would anyone want to deny the Cuban youth a chance to be themselves?
I will let you witness what happened in Havana during the Audioslave concert.....

The rest of the concert can be found in