Silvio Rodriguez To The Rescue of Robertico Carcasses / Luis Cino Alvarez

Silvio Rodriguez

LA HAVANA, Cuba, September, – I must confess that after the episode of the North Korean freighter, Gan Chong Chon, it is increasingly difficult for me to imagine what might be behind each of the surprising happenings of the Raul regime. And if, in fact, Silvio Rodríguez is involved, everything becomes more convoluted.

The troubadour-in-chief, has just announced on his blog Segunda Cita, that he has invited Robertico Carcassés and the Interactive group to be his opening act at the concert that will take place on September 20 in Santiago de Las Vegas.

The invitation comes at a time when the hype over Robertico Carcassés’ slip is not yet over: at the Protestdrome concert on September 12th, in which “as a result of an alcoholic outburst” or otherwise, he could not contain himself, in his tongue-twisting improvisation he demanded, “Freedom for all Cubans.”  Boy, was Robertico out of line!

Did Robertico really think that Cuba would change with the Raul regime? That cracklings are pork meat and that mothers-in-law are really family? Was the outburst that big? Or did he just do it with an eye to his upcoming little jaunt to Miami?

Indeed I must confess that with so much yellow ribbon to demand the release of the four*, and so much drunkenness with the pachanga timbera and reggaeton, we didn’t know what was being celebrated: whether it was the dismantling of the Red Wasp Network*, the Day of Oshun, the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the coup that defeated Allende, or the bombing of Syria.

Rodriguez, who claims to have an appointment with the angels — flying angels and fallen angels — after the little-yellow-ribbon revelry went off-script, should know what he is weaving when he steps up to rescue Robertico Carcassés, just as we got a whiff of the smell of Bobby’s son burning.

And several questions occur to me:

Is Silvio’s intention for us to forget his ridiculous performance with the graying Amaury Perez and a musical accompaniment that could have been first class but was incoherent due to the haste of the recording by Abdala studios, of the little ditty about the yellow ribbons and the old oak tree?

Does the author of The Blue Unicorn want to put a patch on the burst seam Robertico provoked at the concert of “Cubans of all stripes” demanding the return of the four*?

Recently, Silvio invited Isaac Delgado to sing at his concert in Santos Suarez: Is Silvio now into indulging musicians who are in trouble with the regime? Could we expect him to invite Willy Chirino and join him in singing “Our Day is Coming”?  Is he planning to record a CD with the Interactive group, a rather odd CD, opportunistic, to please generación asere** and indulge the dissidence?

It occurs to me to ask Silvio whether, with this lifeline to Robertico Carcassés — taking into account his tour of the prisons, and the water tank that he resolved for the residents of the Lugardita neighborhood — he’s not aspiring to run for president, without having started the campaign for direct elections that Robertico asked for in his improvisations.

With Silvio everything is possible, especially in these times of miracles and reshufflings.  Didn’t he engage in an epistolary controversy with Carlos Alberto Montaner at the risk of losing his mind? Or did they already forget how he got involved in the mess with Obama, Elton John, Pied Piper of Hamelin and The Little Green Men?***

Ultimately, Silvio’s turnaround has been so wide, he’s even talking about taking the R out of the word Revolution***, for those “dead of his happiness,” the dead provided by all of us under circumstances just as bad or worse.

When I watch the father of “Nueva Trova” in his attempt to be on good terms with the angels and the demons of change, I feel sorry for him.

I cannot help but admire his songs, but in all honesty, not as much as I did then, say 30 years ago.  I have convinced myself that even if I’m condemned to listen to the music of the ’60s with nostalgia, I would never be a good dancer at his party.

I can not longer stand him and his songs, they lack freshness, clear accounts: How can I figure out what Silvio is up to now?

Translator’s notes:
*”The four” refers to the Cuban spies of the Red Wasp Network serving sentences in the United States; originally known is “The Cuban Five” and “The Five Heroes” in Cuba, one of the original five has been paroled and allowed to return to Cuba.
** “Generación asere” is a cultural reference to those — generally of the younger generation — who like the kind of music the regime calls vulgar, thuggish, cheesy and overly-sexed. “Asere” is a casual form of address that means roughly “bro.”
***In a response to Carlos Alberto Montaner, Silvio Rodriguez asked a number of rhetorical questions relating to the pied piper leaving with all of Cuba’s children, Elton John saying that Christ was gay, people of all colors including green, and so on. And in a new song, Silvio suggests “transcending” the “R” in “Revolution” in favor of “Evolution.”

By Luis Cino

From Cubanet

Translated by LYD 

17 September 2013