Cuba's 'Woodstock' gets 'hijacked' by government
Organizers of the Rotilla concert series planned for September say the
event has been taken over by the government.
Organizers of an independent Cuban mega-music festival, Rotilla, say
Cuban government has hijacked this year's concert series, dubbed the
"Cuban Woodstock", according to the Cuban-American youth group, Raices
de Esperanza (Roots of Hope). Roots of Hope say they received a
statement from Rotilla organizers Michel Matos and Matraka Productions
condemning the Cuban authorities for "kidnapping, stealing" the popular
festival, which was originally scheduled to take place August 5-7. "We
denounce the excessive and stubborn censorship that is being exerted
against any cultural activity that does not originate in the so-called
(Cuban) institutions," said Matos in an official statement. According to
CNN, "the Rotilla Festival, a hugely popular three-day rave on a beach
outside Havana, was launched in 1998 by Matos and a handful of friends."
Matos stated that Cuban authorities—including Vice President Esteban
Lazo and Cultural Vice-Minister Fernando Rojas—told the independent
organizers that the Cuban government would be taking over the festival.
Roots of Hope condemned the Cuban government's censorship and hijacking
of Rotilla, and insisted that independent organizers be allowed to
produce the concert without repression.