Rolling Stones and Cuba: that strange country where to censor rock they have 13 festivals each year

So listen this in the Spanish channel La Sexta, on its coverage of the recent Rolling Stones concert in Havana, is almost hallucinatory: "Cuba had vibrated by the son of 'Their Satanic Majesties´(…) teaching their charactheristic tongue for those 40 years of censorship of rock on the Island" (9).

Cuatro, another spanish channel, repeated the same disparate allegation. But now the alleged "censorship" was limited to the music of the British band: "because the Music of the legendary British rock band had been banned in Cuba until now" (10).

The same lie was repeated by Antena 3, another Spanish channel: The Rolling Stones "displayed their power in the same island where their chords were banned until recently". (11)

Other means would not reach so much; but repeated, with repetitious accuracy, a same message: not now, but for decades the Cuban Revolution "censured" (12) "discriminated" (13) or "banned" rock (14). "After the Revolution of 1959, rock bands like The Rolling Stones were considered subversive and their records were banned", the German channel Deutsche Welle said (15).

It is true that the English-language rock was not scheduled on the radio in the early years of the Revolution and up to half of the 70s (16). But it was never forbidden (17).

Since that time, had been past 40 years. Therefore, if a 45 years old person, as Cuban writer Wendy Guerra, in an article in El Pais tells us that "they had banned (the music of the Stones) for so long as their own career", is simply lying (18).

International media also repeated a second message: the concert was due to a supposed "transition", to an "open", even to a "spring" policy in Cuba. "A concert that marked the cultural openness of Cuba" (Deutsche Welle TV) (19).

"A historic event which shows that the opening of Cuba to the West, albeit slow, is unstoppable" (Four TV) (20). "It should be added (to this concert) the historical dimension, in a Cuba that seems to be in transition, with many changes" (Antena 3 TV) (21).

But if The Rolling Stones -and other big bands- did not act before on the island was not by obstacles from Cuba, that wasn´t economic ones. There were great free concerts in Havana, such as Manic Street Preachers in 2001 (22) and Audioslave in 2005 (23). All -now like the Stones- might have been borne by the artists (24). It is not Cuba that is making a cultural openness to the world. What has really changed is that the US government -and the media that accompany it- have relaxed its aggressive policy against Cuba. And now, for a band like The Rolling Stones make a performance on the Island is no longer a high risk of reprisals and smear campaigns (25). But rather, the opposite.

One final thought: in most news this great concert was associated with the absurdities and incomprehension towards the rock that occurred in the 60s in Cuba. In those same years, in the US, there were -for example- racial segregation laws that were abolished in 1965 and took even years to be applied throughout the country (26). Why the media do not mention this part of the story when reporting on the frequent deaths of black citizens on hands of police USA (27)? What journalism school teach apply this curious double standard?




























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