Critics Bash Juanes Cuba Concert

"Peace" show will pander to Communist regime: critics

By Hank Tester
|  Thursday, Aug 13, 2009  |  Updated 11:14 AM CDT
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Juanes Cuba Concert Controversy

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Colombian singer Juanes is taking plenty of heat for trying to take his show to Havana.

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Juanes Cuba Concert Controversy

Colombian singing sensation Juanes wants to play in Cuba, but the idea has Miamians all fired up.
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He's an international superstar singer who's played Miami and almost everywhere else, but his plans for bringing his act to the shores of Cuba are being met with objections.

Colombian rock star Juanes fires up passion with his music and his political activism, but he claims the Cuba gig is all about bringing peace and change to the Communist country.

Juanes, who lives in Miami, wants to put on a concert at the Plaza de Revolution in Havana, a stark venue used for government demonstrations and speeches.

Critics say the concert is simply a pandering gesture to the Cuban government for a unique P.R. opportunity.

"He's never really expressed what he wants as a goal," said Cuban-American Vanessa Lopez. "I think that lauding it as a concert for peace, it's a false impression, it's a platitude."

Not so says Juanes.

"Why are the promotion of unity between peoples and the dismantling of borders bothersome?" the singer wrote on his Twitter page.

Juanes has met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the hopes of adding American acts to his show, but some would like to see Cuban singers from Miami play, perhaps even some groups who have been outlawed from the island.

"Like, if the Cuban government would allow these people to play, maybe that would be an important bridge," said Lopez.

As for who will be allowed to attend the Juanes concert, critics doubt it will be open to the general public.

"The government is gonna take those kind of young people like they know that make a little problem for them, for the government, and keep [them] in their houses," said Giselle Recarey Delgado.

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