Fabiola Santiago

Fabiola Santiago: Let Fidel flunkies sing in Miami-Dade

The giant invasive snails — so deft at travel that they’ve made it from southern Miami-Dade to Davie without a passport or a helicopter or having to pay tolls — worry me.

They’re a major threat to South Florida’s ecosystem.

Buena Fe, the controversial musical duo from Cuba — in Miami for a Thursday concert — hadn’t even registered on my radar until I came across a tweet from an island blogger who’s a well-known front-man for the Cuban government.

“The bulldozers are ready in Miami,” he tweeted, linking to a story in the Spanish-language daily Diario Las Americas. “Read this. There will be a before and an after Buena Fe in [Miami].”

Buena Fe who?

The news story quoted Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado saying he would join planned protests against the duo. And the mayor noted that if the concert, slated for the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, were being held in a city-run venue, he’d do all he could to ban it. I immediately thought back to the Ultra Music Festival, and oh, no, I thought we had already settled this issue. Politicians in this country don’t get to dictate taste in music.

But how had I almost missed such an allegedly momentous happening as a concert that, according to a Cuban government mouthpiece, would make history in my town?

Well … ’tis a lot of hot air. They’re baiting us, that’s all.

For starters, Buena Fe, which means good faith, is a misnomer. The musicians are a pair of crass, opportunistic souls who have some swing, but nothing out of the ordinary in a country where musicality is built into the collective DNA.

In August, they were singing “Happy Birthday” to the geriatric comandante in Havana — and now in September, they have a date with the dollar.

What Israel Rojas and Joel Martínez also have is an official government platform, thanks to the hefty dose of babosería — brown-nosing — for the regime that comes with their brand of dated trova music.

In 2011, the two held a concert “against the invasion of Lybia” and celebrated with a tour across the island marking the 50th anniversary of the Communist Pioneers Organization. Two years later, the eager beavers sang their goodbyes before the corpse of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

Back in Cuba, in their most despicable display yet, the duo used a musical platform to insult the brave women who peacefully march for human rights across the island, the Ladies in White.

They attacked las damas using some of the most vulgar expressions in the Cuban lexicon.

There’s not an ounce of good faith in their bones.

I wouldn’t pay a dime to see them in concert. I wouldn’t even see them for free — but let them sing in Miami.

This is a free country, and even jerks are protected by the First Amendment.

The exiles who want to show how they feel about the duo’s politics also have First Amendment rights. They want to stage a demonstration near the concert site — something dissidents wouldn’t be allowed to do in Cuba — and we should respect that, too.

These days, it’s not unusual for an opportunist to come from the island to challenge the fact that this is the capital of free Cubans.

Fat chance. Cuba may be a lost cause, but Miami is not — invasive species not withstanding.

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