Open Letter to Pablo Milanés / Rebeca Monzo

Dear Pablo,

So your CD is titled, and it is, indeed, very beautiful, and so I want to start my missive.

Since I met you many years ago, at your home, when I visited your then wife, Zoe, I appreciated you because I found in you a good human being, simple, a great friend and father, even with children who were not your own, but you took them in and loved them as such. I admired you for your songs and also for the life you led.

Later we met in Spain, and with your usual modesty, called me to help you in the shops, as you did not like shopping. You told me you didn’t feel like it because when you went to the Corte Ingles, they would put on your music as if they were waiting to see you come in to do it.You didn’t want to believe that this music, yours, was constantly playing, because they liked it so much, it was the fad. That amused me, because you looked like a surprised child.

A long time has passed. You left the neighborhood, we have run into each other casually rarely. I also met and became friends with Yolanda, a great woman to whom you gave an international dimension with the wonderful hymn to the love she inspired in you and that bears her name.

I followed your steps, from a distance. I never liked to harass celebrities. I keep my distance, not to confuse the true feeling with fanaticism or opportunism, both of which I avoid as unpleasant.

Your previous statements, like much of your actions, have made me see the sensitive and intelligent, but above all the honest man that you are. But these latest, Pablo, I do not understand. How it is possible that, after courageously dismissing men who are over seventy-five-years-old as capable of running a country, you come to say that these same figures that you dismiss as incompetent, you now ask them to make arrangements before they die, and what’s worse to name a successor.

Do you think this is healthy, for them to found a dynasty? Don’t you think that if these characters haven’t managed, in fifty-one years, to accomplish anything, that they will achieve it now in the little time they have left. Tell me sincerely, Pablo, don’t you also dream of a free country? Democratic? Where we can express ourselves without fear of reprisals, and have the same opportunities and that everyone with their knowledge and skills can find their corresponding place in society?

I trust in your rationality and intelligence and I hope that your statements will be more in accord with the times and the century in which we are living.

September 25, 2010