Why Gloria Estefan Won't Perform In Cuba For Now
5/20/2016 by Leila Cobo
The Rolling Stones may play there. Vin Diesel May film there. The
Kardashians may strut there.
But beyond the giddy excitement and quaintness of Cuba's newfound
celebrity appeal lie many artists and taste makers who, out of
principle, will not perform on the island for the time being.
"I personally would find it very tough to go there," said Gloria
Estefan, during a video interview that will be part of the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame and Museum's exhibit on music and politics that opens today
The Cuban star couched her words carefully.
"Whatever makes life in any way better for the Cuban people living
there, I think we gotta try," she said, stressing that events like the
Rolling Stones concert and a new tourism wave are positive for those
still living in Cuba. "I think that people to people contact is
excellent," she added. "I know that the best way that they can survive
is actually getting dollars from tourists, because that takes the
government out of the equation […] So hopefully, it'll open that trickle
that will then burst the dam someday."
Estefan was born in Cuba but left the island as a child with her family
as a result of the Cuban revolution. Beyond being an exile, she
witnessed the Castro regime up close and personal when her father was
jailed for two years after fighting in the Bay of Pigs.
It's a life chapter that Estefan has touched upon frequently through the
years. Once her family fled to the U.S., her dad enlisted in the U.S.
army, fought in Vietnam and died at just 47 years old from the
after-effects of being exposed to Agent Orange. Her mother, a school
teacher, had her diplomas ripped up as she left Cuba.
Today, more than five decades later, not much has changed in her eyes.
"They are still taking repressive measures," Estefan says on the video.
"Even the day that President [Obama] landed in Cuba. The Ladies in
White, which are these ladies that protest every Sunday very peacefully,
walking silently with a flower, were beaten and jailed."
Until those sorts of actions cease, says Estefan, she won't perform on
"I can't get on a stage with a million Cubans in front of me and not say
something," she said.
"I don't want to look at Che Guevara watching me
while I sing 'Mi Tierra' or 'Cuba Libra,' which is a joke, and leave the
people in the same situation as they are. I don't wan to go to a
restaurant where the Cubans don't have the right to go and eat.
don't want to go and have a vacation in a place where the people that
live in that country can't enjoy the same things that I can as a Cuban
exile. It's very tough for me, and my father sacrificed a lot and I
really, I can't do it personally.
But I am great with anybody going
and really trying to push that a little further open."
Watch Estefan's full interview below:
Source: Why Gloria Estefan Won't Perform In Cuba For Now | Billboard -