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A Cuban “Peña Cultural in Berlin”

The Embassy of Cuban invites Cuban artists for an evening of music and protest

August 14th, 2019
Simon Thibaud, News from Berlin
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On August 7th, the Embassy of Cuba in Berlin welcomed a “peña cultural,” known in Spain and most Latin American countries as a popular grouping of musicians. The Embassy’s “peña cultural” took place in their gardens, and included most prominently celebrated Cuban pop-rock singer Luis Franco.

The Consul Dacheri López introduced the event as a night of music and celebration of Cuban culture, but also as a space of expression against the United States embargo against Cuba. A participant in “Tamara Bunke,” an exchange program between Germany and the Universidad Tecnológica de La Habana José Antonio Echeverría (CUJAE), recited a poem denouncing the blockade.

Known in Cuba as “el bloqueo,” the United States embargo was imposed on Cuba in 1958, and has come to include almost all exports to Cuba. Progressively, the embargo was reinforced through different acts, including the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, a United States federal law that extended the territorial application of the embargo to foreign companies trading with Cuba.

Given the importance of the American embargo on Cuban society at large, the artists also used the event as a platform to sensitize guests to the Cuban cause. Conjointly with the performances, the Embassy organized a symbolic petition signing against the blockade in solidarity with the people of Cuba. Hence, the event was before all a celebration of Cuban music and culture, but also, and perhaps inevitably, a politically engaged evening against an issue that has impacted Cuban society for now more than 60 years.

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News from Berlin