I just finished reading Manuel Ramy’s blog note in Spanish, “State Department playing daisies.” You know the story, she loves me, she loves me not… In it he mentions Cuban mega star Silvio Rodriguez and his intentions of flying to New York City from Europe to celebrate Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday. Sadly, it appears this will not be happening. The U.S. has yet to issue Rodriguez’ entry visa to the U.S. Too bad. And we thought the U.S. and Cuba were getting along better…
I don’t understand why keep out Silvio (as most every Cuban knows him). The most danger the known around the world songster and poet might cause in this country is to belt out a song during Seeger’s celebration. Speaking of Pete Seeger, we are running a reprint of an article that appears in The Nation celebrating this most-American individual in this Thursday’s Progreso Weekly and Semanal.
Alvaro F. Fernandez
I also wanted to share Silvio’s message to his sister in Havana regarding this visa fiasco:
Today is May 1 an d it is 8:40pm in Paris. I just connected online to the United States Embassy site in France, where information is published regarding visa solicitations. My visa application is listed as being in process, the same status that it has maintained since I made the application. Today being the day that I was to fly to New York, and given that the visa has still not appeared, tomorrow I will leave instead for Havana.
You can pass this message to Pete’s grandson Tao, and to Bill the attorney, along with my gratitude for their efforts as well as my sorrow resulting from the lack of respect shown by the State Department to them for having invited me to celebrate the 90th birthday of our dear friend Pete Seeger, living legend of North American song.
I believe that the attitude of the State Department is very contradictory, given the desire expressed by President Obama to bring the United States closer to Cuba. As a Cuban cultural worker, I continue to feel blockaded and discriminated against by other governments. Hopefully this will truly change someday.
Thanks for your help.