Thursday, August 13, 2009
Olga Tanon's open letter in regards concert in Cuba.
August 12, 11:45 PMLA Latin Events ExaminerDena Burroughs
The controversy keeps on heating up in regards to Juanes “Peace without Borders” concert, to be held in Havana, Cuba on September 20th. It is now radiating to those artists who have confirmed participation in the concert, including Puerto Rican singer Olga Tanon.
A group of exiled Cubans, particularly in Miami, are opposing the concert, asserting that it translates into the artists becoming accomplices of the Cuban government, which most of the Cuban community in the US despises.
On Thursday, August 13th, the Bonnet Media Group released an open letter (in Spanish) from Olga Tanon. Its translation follows. (Translation done by this reviewer.)
Orlando, FloridaAugust 13, 2009
I have decided to write this public communication due to the exposure and the reach that our humanitarian endeavor, good will, and art , have originated. The experiences lived by us during the last few weeks have been unique from several perspectives, positive and negative.
It all began with a genuine desire for love and human generosity, without any further agenda than to achieve a neutral reach beyond our political, religious and personal positions, through a gift given to us by God, and in the same way that thousands of Cubans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and others’ love and generosity moves them to send letters of love, money, food, soap, clothing, and shoes daily to family, friends, and even strangers, in Cuba. We just want to extend our gift in a special day of love and music.
Juanes and I, as many other artists, have shared the gift of our voice and our music throughout all the countries that have invited us. Our commitment has always been with the people, not with the ideologies or the systems that rule them. Our commitment has been to share our talent and never exclude a group of people who opens their arms to us. Cuba cannot be the exception.
It is sad that a handful of people have judged us, who happen to have a momentary power over the ink, the microphone and the cameras, when in my own case I had not even made a public expression about this matter.
As a professional, a woman, and a mother, I assure you that I have the capacity to tolerate accusations and stands different than mine. What is categorically unforgivable is to accept those comments based on lies and those full of rancor and hate, just because we don’t share the same vision. I won’t, likewise, accept them in regards to the honest intention of Juanes, who intended to realize a loving and compassionate gesture through what we know how to do from the heart, MUSIC.
I understand that the political subject about Cuba has been, throughout history, one extremely delicate, complex, full of emotion and of different visions. That is why I have always respected it and never have involved myself in it. And for that same respect I supported my friend Juanes in this courageous attempt. My purpose has not been and will never be to interfere in this subject, but rather to share with the Cuban people through music.
MUSIC is what weaves the human souls and we the artists are only the instruments.