Tony Avila in Miami, Artistic freedom in United States?

Tony Avila in Miami, Artistic freedom in United States?
Fecha de publicación: 
1 July 2014
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This was reported by El Nuevo Herald in Miami last Friday and sent to the owners of “Yerba Buena” Restaurant, where the artist would perform on Thursday.

They are Gina Gonzalez and Caridad Perez, who said they made the decision after learning “serious accusations” against the Cuban artist.

As expected, Rep. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen interfered in the subject.

She wrote to Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson immediately to reject his presence.

Argument? Quoting a nebulous source, she accused the singer-songwriter of having mistreated the so-called “Damas de Blanco” (Ladies in White).

These women are employees of Washington’s Interests Office in Havana who also operate in the hometown of the musician, Cardenas, Matanzas.

Two accomplices, Mario Díaz-Balart and Albio Sires, joined doubly little Ileana, urging the revocation of Tony Avila’s tourist visa.

They remarked: “It’s an outrage that the Administration continues to allow that those responsible for human rights abuses in Cuba” enjoy the freedoms of the United States”.

But nobody has been able to assure that Ileana and her men have received more evidences supporting the accusation against Avila.

However, the co-owner of “Yerba Buena” Restaurant, Gina Gonzalez, said that Ros-Lehtinen would only act that way if she has the evidence.

One of the women who incriminated the artist, Leticia Ramos Herrera, said that Avila promoted “paramilitary mobs” against them in Cardenas.

Ramos told El Nuevo Herald that last year Avila participated in acts of repudiation on July 14 and 21, along with culture, sports and female officials.

But a new and very uncomfortable contradiction appeared here.

According to Leticia Ramos Herrera, the musician beat her on her face that July 14 and that’s why she sent a photo to the media, which was released with a different date: April 29, 2013.

Tony Avila wrote and circulated a statement on social networks that reads:

“I have two big hands that never were or will be raised to beat anyone and much less a lady….”

In the face of his failed performance in Puerto Rico, Avila had to show up in an area of Miami (The Place) just give his concert.

He couldn’t, because right-wing Cuban groups bothered him fiercely until reducing his scope.

Now the Tony Avila case reminds, among other issues, that on July 17, 2010 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen proclaimed her right to carry out repudiation rallies in Miami.

In those days an angry mob took its avenues to shout insults against the performance of Cuba’s Buena Fe duet.

“We’re against cultural exchange. They come to provoke the exile”, pointed out Jose Varona, 69.

Dagoberto Aviles, 75, managed to call on Washington “to ban” the performances by musicians from the island.

As the shameful Tony Avila case suggests, where there was fire, ashes remain.

A species on the path to extinction, Miami’s Cuban extreme right, continues showing its credentials of true enemy of art and common sense.

Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff


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