Miami-Dade County will not cancel the upcoming concert of the controversial Cuban musical group Buena Fe, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Tuesday.
The mayor said that although he doesn’t support or condone the “inflammatory statements” made by the duo, he’s following guidance from County Attorney Robert Cuevas.
Miami-Dade can’t cancel the event due to a contract signed with its organizers as well as “the tenets of the First Amendment,” Gimenez said. The mayor encouraged people who have criticized the event to not attend it and said citizens have the right to demonstrate “peacefully.”
“While we may disagree with the content of the speech or expression, allowing it to go forward shows our true character as Americans, and further serves to contrast our freedoms against those of the same regimes who deny these basic liberties to their people,” the mayor said in a statement.
Buena Fe, a popular group on the island, generated criticism because of its participation in Fidel Castro’s birthday party earlier this year as well as its performance at Hugo Chavez’s funeral.
Buena Fe also made unfavorable comments about the Cuban women’s dissident group known as the Ladies in White.
Various exile groups say they are coordinating a rally against the event, to be held Thursday at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.
Blue Night Entertainment, the company producing the concert, sent a statement to El Nuevo Herald saying: “We respect the opinion of all those people who dislike the Buena Fe duo and we support any act of peaceful protest or demonstration within the corresponding civic norms.”