Carlos Varela Fans See an Act of Censorship in the Decision to Cancel Five Concerts

A quarter of a century after the success of ’Like the fish’, Carlos Varela launched his most recent album entitled ’El grito mudo’ on digital platforms. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 30 Novembe 2019 —  The singer-songwriter Carlos Varela has lamented on Facebook the suspension of five concerts he planned to do in Cuba before the end of the year. Cultural authorities informed the artist that “the country is not in a position to do this tour” and that he should postpone the presentations to 2020.

“It is not my fault that these shows will not take place on the announced dates. I was very excited to meet again with my audience in Cuba… I have been writing songs for 35 years, composing and recording them as I decide. Touring several cities in the country, I don’t decide.”

The artist explained that these presentations involve “a process of permits and coordination” that are not in his hands to achieve in the current situation. “I’m very sorry, this change of dates has never been my decision.”

Within a few hours, Varela’s publication on the social network received hundreds of comments, most of them followers of his work who lamented the postponement.

The Internet user Hector Alexis Bernal Suárez also believed the cancellation was an act of censorship against the troubadour. “The usual inquisition, trying to burn your forest, don’t give up. Cuba needs your music a lot, more than anywhere else in the world.”

Others, such as Ana Rosa Martínez questioned the alleged inability of the State to organize concerts. “How is it possible that a country cannot guarantee or authorize five places, theaters, cinemas, squares, ball stadiums, barren lots, houses of culture, five stages to give a concert?” The Internet user adds that “if they had let their fans organize the concerts, they would surely have found all five places.”

Recently Varela reported that they cut fragments of his song Habáname that was sung by an actress during the gala of the 500th anniversary of the foundation of Havana. “They manipulated my verses and took away the true meaning.” They stripped the song of all “the weight contained in the phrase that they omitted and that caused me to write this song,” he added.

After a quarter of a century of the success of Como los peces (Like the fishes), Carlos Varela launched his most recent album entitled El grito mudo (The mute scream) on digital platforms and, at the end of November, its launch on the Island is planned. In an interview published by Vistar magazine the artist said that the song Why not?, with which the album begins, is “a super high theme with a philosophical discourse that is shouting all the time for a change.”

In these years the artist has had to deal on several occasions with the animosity and the cancelling of cultural institutions. In another interview, he said that in Cuba he has been “censored several times.”

“Theaters like the Karl Marx have completely blocked me like in the year 2000 where they left 5,000 people with their tickets without being able to pass through the wide police cordons on Fifth Avenue, but nobody told us that the theater was already completely full of uniformed students who arrived in 200 yellow buses,” he said in an interview.


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