10/22/2015

Buena Vista Social Club plays for Obama

On October 15, 2015, the Cuban band "Buena Vista Social Club" played for President Obama at the White House. The band included Omara Portuondo, seen in this photograph holding the microphone: 


As we know, President Obama has been quite proactive trying to establish a close relationship with the Castro family dictatorship. At first I thought he intended to establish diplomatic relations (which is fine, the USA has diplomatic relations with lots of fairly hostile nations which abuse human rights).  But Obama is going beyond having relations and is actively endorsing the Castro regime, and its past and continuous human rights abuses with a series of very poor moves. This includes decrees to gut economic sanctions, as well as very chummy photo ops with Raúl Castro: 

                                                Raul Castro  with Barack Obama 

I bring up the White House event because Portuondo happens to be one of the "high profile" individuals who signed an open letter supporting the Black Spring in Cuba (this refers to a wave of arrests carried out in 2003, while the world was distracted by the US blunder in Iraq). Portuondo is seen as a high profile defender of that garbage regime, there was no need whatsoever to put her up in the White House, period. Doing that on top of those chummy loving looks  amounts to a "f**k you" to the hundreds of thousands of people robbed, jailed, tortured, exiled, murdered, and destroyed by the dictatorship. 

Laura Pollan with the Ladies in White

References:

Article by Yoani Sanchez about Laura Pollan, the deceased leader of the Ladies in White (winners of the 2005 Sakharov Prize)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoani-sanchez/first-anniversary-of-the_b_1965824.html

Buena Vista Social Club visit
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/11935057/Buena-Vista-Social-Club-play-Cuban-music-at-White-House-for-first-time-in-50-years.html

The black spring
https://cpj.org/reports/2008/03/cuba-press-crackdown.php

The letter Portuondo signed
http://www.rebelion.org/hemeroteca/internacional/030419mensaje.htm

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