The Man in Front of the Microphone / Yoani Sanchez

Subtitles read:
Free access to information for me to have my own opinion.
I want to elect the president by direct vote, not by other means.
Neither militants nor dissidents, all Cubans with the same rights.
End the blockade… and the INTERNAL BLOCKADE.

The filters were useless. The many eyes watching the monitors of the “master switch,” with itchy fingers ready to cut the signal, turn off the audio, kill a camera and switch to another focused on the crowd… or even on the heavens…

The professionals were useless, even though they had been carefully trained in TV censorship to cut to a test pattern or superimpose a musical curtain, should any “spontaneous” thing be said that should not be broadcast live.

It was all useless because the man in front of the microphone made the decision of his life: he resolved to put honesty above his own artistic career.

Robertico Carcásses was at the right time and the right place. He couldn’t let the chance go by and so he let loose, on the main stage of the Cuban regime, what so many of us are thinking.

Thank you, Bobby, for your bravery, your originality and for seizing this great opportunity with your voice and your art. Thank you!

*Translator’s note: Carcásses was singing at a concert staged for the release of the “Cuban Five” (Cuban spies imprisoned in the United States) at the Anti-Imperialist Bandstand in Havana, Cuba.

15 September 2013