The government of Cuba organized an event to mark the 15th anniversary of the arrest in the United States of the Cuban Five at the Tribuna Anti-imperalista on the 12th of September. The popular Funk/Timba band Interactivo was invited as the closing act. It is a huge stage, opposite of the Special Interest Section, an official American building, and among thousands of people, the family members of the five imprisoned Cubans were present. Frontman, Roberto Carcassés took this opportunity to criticize the Cuban authorities. Now it seems that he and Interactivo are suspended to perform at any state facility in Cuba, which practically means that they are “separated from the industry” for an indefinite time period (Havana Times).
What did Carcassés sing to get in this position?
“free access to information so I can have my own opinion…”, “I want to elect the president by direct vote and not some other way,” “Neither militants nor dissidents, (we are) all Cubans with the same rights.” “And an end to the blockade,” he added, in reference to Washington’s 51-year-old economic embargo against Cuba, “and to the self-blockade,” which critisizes what many consider unnecessary roadblocks the system has put on itself. Then, more in line with the theme of the event, Carcasses gestured at the US Interests Section behind the stage and exclaimed, “Free the Five Heroes!” (Havana Times)
Despite the fact that there has been some changes in the Cuban society, there still is obvious a lack of freedom of speech.
Here is a video clip of Interactivo from 2010.