Political Prisioners in Cuba Back Juanes Concert
"We believe this concert ... is a great opportunity to advance reconciliation between all Cubans and to leave behind the hatreds that for many years has poisoned our homeland," they said in a public statement.
Juanes, a top Latin music star who lives in Miami, has said he will perform his "Peace Without Borders" concert with the aim of helping improve U.S.-Cuba relations.
But the concert has been criticized in Miami, the center of the Cuban exile community, where many say it will only help the communist-led Cuban government.
A counter concert is planned for the same day in Miami.
The Cuban prisoners, who are serving sentences as long as 28 years, said that "today more than ever ... we must unite, leaving behind the wrongs of the past and failed ideologies."
The prisoners are among 75 dissidents who were jailed in a March 2003 crackdown that came to be known as Cuba's "Black Spring." So far, 21 have been released, mostly for health reasons. Human rights groups estimate that Cuba has about 200 political prisoners in total.
The government, led by President Raul Castro since 83-year-old Fidel Castro resigned last year, views dissidents as mercenaries working for its arch-foe, the United States.
U.S. President Barack Obama has taken steps toward improving U.S.-Cuba relations, but has said the longstanding U.S. trade embargo against the island will continue until Cuba improves it human rights and releases political prisoners.