Cuba

Cuban musician lambasts Fidel while U.S. publication defends him

Manuel González Hernández known as Manolín, El Médico de la Salsa
Manuel González Hernández known as Manolín, El Médico de la Salsa

Cuban singer Manuel González Hernández known as Manolín, El Médico de la Salsa caused a social media frenzy with an outburst posted on Facebook lambasting Fidel Castro’s criticism of President Barack Obama’s address to the Cuban nation during his recent visit to Havana.

The singer’s post was in response to an essay published in the state-controlled Granma newspaper and other Cuban media outlets following Obama’s trip to Cuba last week. During a speech broadcast on Cuban television, Obama spoke about the need for letting go of the past and work toward reconciliation. He also called on the Cuban government not to be afraid of change.

In his post written in Spanish and directed at the elder Castro, Manolín tells the former Cuban leader that, he, too, is to blame for many Cuban deaths, makes clear that patriotism is something held deep within Cubans, not a virtue that he instilled with his revolution and reiterated Obama’s message of letting go of the past, arguing that what islanders want is reconciliation and good relations with the United States, reported Diario de Cuba.

History is history and it is important (...) but much more important than the past is the present

Manolín, El Médico de la Salsa

“History is history and it is important (...) but much more important than the past is the present," wrote the musician, who fled the island in 2001, returned in 2013 and is currently in Miami. In the past, Manolín also has defended the revolution.

Meanwhile, Salon.com on Wednesday published an article defending parts of Fidel Castro’s published essay.

“In your letter 'Brother Obama', you talked about all the past, and it is logical, because that is you, the past, and every day you will be more of the past. Nothing personal, that is life," he adds.

“I prefer to talk about the present and the future, but since you spoke of war and death, first let me remind you of something. The dead are human beings who lost their lives no matter what side they were on, and you also killed Cubans," Manolín writes.

He goes on to say that it is clear that Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl Castro, who is now serving as president of Cuba and is a little more ‘modern’ and ‘moderate,’ are both outdated.

“Your Cuba will never be a happy Cuba, because in your Cuba not all Cubans are welcome, because your Cuba discriminates, that’s why we need another Cuba, a Cuba of reconciliation, a Cuba for all. That Cuba will be much better (...) getting along well with our neighbors to the north, without an embargo and much exchange," the musician states, adding that what the population needs is "a Cuba where human rights are respected, a Cuba that does not imprison, beat, banish, or discriminate against women and men from our nation for thinking differently"; in which “power to the people is returned, in which the population freely elects its leaders and pursues their destiny, not the whims imposed by the so-called 'enlightened'.”

Meanwhile, Salon.com on Wednesday published an article defending parts of Fidel Castro’s published essay.

“Pundits portrayed Castro’s comments as a sign of supposed ill will and ingratitude. But an objective look at the history shows that his response was not only wholly justified; it was frankly quite mild,” the Salon article states, adding that “the U.S. has repeatedly and continuously committed against its sovereign neighbor over the past five decades” then listing specific events including the Bay of Pigs invasion; hundreds of assassination attempts and covert operations and “the unilateral imposition of a suffocating embargo.”

Read the full article at Salon.com.

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