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Silvio, famous singer/song writer to perform in cuban prisons

Silvio Rodriguez, a famous Cuban singer and song writer, is going on an unusual tour: hes visiting Cuban prisons as part of an initiative to promote human values and virtues. His aim is to help transform Cuban penitentiaries into real schools of salvation, instead of warehouses that stockpile, punish and ultimately produce more proficient criminals and offenders.

In this way 'Silvio "after so many years we have stopped calling him by his last name" is just going back to an old unrealized dream from his early rebellious years. He is once again floodlighting the shadows of apathy and deafening the silence of comfort.

The gesture of going behind bars with his song cannot pass unnoticed. The fact is that Silvios visit will not need advertising, much less media campaigns or marathons. His artistic genius is great enough; his talent famous worldwide. What then is he pursuing this time?

In the same way people decipher their personal meanings of the parables and symbols hidden in his songs, today I am going to make my own interpretation of Silvios initiative, seeking the light that could illuminate the way through the challenges that still lie ahead for Cuba and its revolution in these complex times.

Perhaps the singer is warning us about the necessity of adding and multiplying, disregarding barriers and prejudices. The objective is to overcome internal and external obstacles, to emerge "as national poet Jose Marti once said" "with all and for the well being of all." Is this an excess of ecumenicalism?

At least I see it that way, when I see how much damage can be done to the unity of the Cuban people "so strategically important these days" by those who have specialized in subtracting and dividing, by those who enjoy labelling and stigmatizing. Those are the same ones who dont have the flexibility to embrace everyone in a manner like Fidel, ignoring differences or even flaws. Those extremists dont trust human diversity, and they see themselves as the alpha and omega, something that usually vanishes when they remove their disguise, revealing their lies, their exaggerated primping, and their keen instincts for self-preservation.

I side completely with Silvios democratic spirit. He is calling on Cuban artists and writers to burrow holes of trust through the prison walls to give light to the prisoners, to build bridges to those who "while maybe wrong" are not lost. He is calling on every Cuban to do so. It is extremely important to think that way, with a social perspective, in order to heal mistakes with our limited resources, and not just be satisfied with major accomplishments.

The transgressors and those who lost their way, the isolated and sceptical, the ones who mumble about their sorrows and discouragement... all of them cannot be conveniently excluded from our society. If we see them as our failure, as the bruised fruit of our effort, as parts poorly attached to our mechanism, we will be able to give them a hand and pull them back into the world where they can find happiness. We must examine our own mistakes, marked by subtracting and dividing sings. This island might be small, but there is space enough for all Cubans with such hearts.

Let Silvio sing, let his message go beyond the bars of the penitentiaries; let his message go beyond the mental bars holding back the Revolution, as a dream for all Cubans.

Source: By Jose Alejandro Rodriguez, Juventud Rebelde

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