Silvio Rodríguez asked for an amnesty for those detained in Cuba and opened an unexpected space for dialogue

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Marcelo  Izquierdo

The Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, creator of the “new Cuban trova”, requested this Wednesday an amnesty for all “non-violent” detainees who participated in the July 11 protest demonstrations on the island and opened a unexpected dialogue with dissident intellectuals to generate a space for debate.

The amnesty request was made on their website Second date in the comments of an article written by Ernesto Padrón about the situation on the island. There, in the middle of an exchange of ideas with his followers, the author of If only he recalled a similar request made years ago that enabled the release of 70 dissidents. Shortly after, he uploaded it to his Facebook account.

“They asked me to call someone and ask for amnesty for all the prisoners. I remember the last time I asked for an amnesty. It was at the Anti-imperialist Tribune (in Havana, in front of the United States embassy). A second before uploading an authority he told me not to say it. ‘If I don’t say that, I don’t say anything,’ I replied. And I was able to get to the microphone. And among many other things I asked for the freedom of those people with whom I did not agree. And a couple of weeks later (not my fault) 70 lives were set free. I don’t know how many prisoners there will be now, they say hundreds. I ask the same for those who were not violent and I keep my word. They have nothing to do with me because I asked for nothing. I hope they never sit outside again, ”he wrote.

In this way, he fulfilled the commitment he made during a meeting with opposition playwright Yunior García Aguilera, with whom he met this Wednesday in Havana.

“We were together for 70 minutes. It was part of what we agreed on. He said he was going to ask for the release of the prisoners“, Said the playwright in a telephone dialogue with

García Aguilera, 38, was one of the Cubans arrested during the protests against the Miguel Díaz-Canel government on July 11. His arrest took place in front of the headquarters of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT), where he demanded a 15-minute reply to the official speech on the mobilizations on the island.

In an open letter published on his social networks, he invited Silvio Rodríguez to talk about the protests in Cuba and the reasons that moved a sector of the population to take to the streets throughout the country. Y the singer-songwriter accepted the treat.

“We have coincidences and we have some points on which we do not agree. We agreed to fight for those who are imprisoned, ”said García Aguilera.

In addition, he announced that both undertook to prepare “a future project to open a broad and diverse debate and with respect for differences and thus reach solutions through non-violent means“To the crisis that the island is going through, he said.

And he added: “I am going to write the project. We want it to be a broad project that includes more people and generates a debate. We agree that Cuba needs real, concrete changes, with rights and inclusion and do not separate any Cuban by the way he thinks”.

In his open letter to the creator of My Blue Unicorn, García Aguilera had stated: “If I still have, after July 11, a minimal hope of dialogue, I want it to be with you. I can’t imagine you throwing us into a garbage truck or defending stores with a stick in your hand. I can’t imagine you kicking a 22-year-old socialist in a police station or supporting the convictions of those to whom you have given so many concerts in their neighborhoods. I invite you. Give us those 15 minutes that they denied us at the ICRT (Cuban Institute of Radio and Television). No need for cameras or microphones. Just us and our fragments of truth, ”he wrote.

And he said: “I don’t know if those 15 minutes will make you get your unicorn back. But maybe you will help us not to lose ours definitively. I wish”.

What did Silvio Rodríguez say

In an extensive post published on your site Second date and later uploaded to Facebook, Silvio Rodríguez alluded to the meeting he had with Yunior García Aguilera.

“The meeting with Yunior and Dayana (Prieto) was good, I am not exaggerating if I say fraternal; there was dialogue, exchange, we listened to each other with attention and respect. The most painful thing for me was hearing that they, as a generation, no longer felt part of the Cuban process but something else, “he wrote.

And he added: “They explained their arguments, their frustrations to me. I tried to make them understand that at my age, too, everything was much slower than we expected it to be. Guilt of what, of whom? And we talk about misunderstandings between different ages, between different interests and understandings. Too painful for me that they plead out; I can not accept that failure even in the name of pain for misunderstandings”.

At that point, he recalled his own experience. “I suffered them too and I never felt out of it. But I think that my generation was the immediate one to the insurrectional one and that we inherited the motives of our parents and later, growing up, we suffered with them how much it has cost to be sovereign and also socialist ”.

There must be more bridges, there must be more dialogue, there must be less prejudice; less desire to hit and more desire to resolve the mountain of pending economic and political issues; less habit of listening to those who speak the same with the same words, decade after decade, as if generations did not also come with their own words and illusions”, He questioned.

He immediately requested amnesty for those detained during the protests and recalled a similar request made a few years ago. “I ask the same for those who were not violent and I keep my word,” he said.

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