Sympathy for the devil? Rolling Stones’ Cuba concert a business deal
with the Castros
Concert seemed to be a sign of ‘historic change’ in Cuba. It wasn’t.
But it was a great way to enrich the ‘Castro Family crime syndicate’
Cubans continue to flee the repressive island
BY HUMBERTO FONTOVA
You probably read about the item, but under a different headline over
the weekend: the “Historic— even “Epochal!” — Rolling Stones concert in
Havana Friday night.
Hyperventilating reporters followed up by mentioning “historic changes”
and “reforms” in Cuba, as proven by the very concert.
But the only historic changes in Cuba involve the Castro regime’s
sources of income. When that income flowed from the Soviet Union, rock
music was a potentially disruptive foreign influence that required no
tolerance from the Stalinist authorities. In fact, these authorities
felt obliged to round up and jail Cuban rock fans en masse.
Before last week, this tragic disconnect was not something Cuban
authorities were keen to publicize. After all, it exposed Che T-shirt
wearers as blithering and useful idiots.
For some reason, all the reporters who (after thorough vetting by
Castro’s secret police) were granted “journalist” visas by the regime
were likewise unenthusiastic — and for several decades — about exposing
this fascinating fact.
But things indeed have changed: The Castro regime briefly hooked up with
the Rolling Stones for the simple expedient of filling its coffers with
millions more in tourist money. Yes, it was billed as a “free concert,”
like Woodstock and Altamonte. In fact, the AP estimated that half the
fans in the front sections were foreigners.
In the meantime, Castro’s subjects — while allowed to boogie a bit —
essentially remain the impoverished and oppressed subjects of a
Indeed, repression has actually cranked up steadily in direct proportion
to the Stalinist regime’s enrichment through tourism, especially owing
to President Obama’s policies that recently swamped Cuba with more than
half a million visitors last year from the United States and contributed
an estimated $5.6 billion in remittances and travel expenditures to the
As a direct result, desperate Cubans are risking their lives to flee
Cuba at a rate unseen in decades.
This Easter weekend, for instance, while the mainstream media dutifully
promoted the Rolling Stones concert — or, rather, the
Castro-regime/Rolling Stones business partnership — Cuban dissidents
suffered a wave of arrests and beatings. Needless to add, this
repression was dutifully ignored by the mainstream media.
But don’t take all this stuff from me. After all, I don’t live in Cuba.
Take it from 25-year-old Cuban dissident Rosa Maria Payá, whose father
was murdered by the regime’s KGB-trained secret police three years ago:
The Rolling Stones “should be aware that their performance is being used
by a totalitarian regime as a symbol of an opening that isn’t really
Cuba’s entire economic infrastructure is owned almost lock, stock and
barrel—not only by the regime’s military and secret police sectors — the
only people in Cuba with guns, in case you’d forgotten — but, more
specifically, by the Castro family itself.
In a presentation a few years ago at a hearing by the House Foreign
Affairs Committee debating travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, Lt. Col.
Christopher Simmons, a recently retired Defense Intelligence Agency Cuba
specialist, explained the issue in detail. He showed how through a
corporation named GAESA, Raúl Castro’s military owns virtually every
corporation involved in Cuba’s tourism industry, among the Stalinist
regime’s top money-makers lately.
And as GAESA’s chief executive officer we find none other than Raú
Castro’s son-in-law Maj. Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas.
So when it comes to news from Cuba, keep your eye on the ball. In a
nutshell that ball, income and power for the Castro Family crime
syndicate — which means cash from whatever source. Submit everything you
read and hear from the media about Cuba to that test — Will it further
enrich and empower the Castro Family crime syndicate while keeping the
bulk of the Cuban people poor, stupid, powerless and distracted?
Do this and everything in Cuba will make perfect sense.
HUMBERTO FONTOVA IS A CUBAN-AMERICAN AUTHOR, BLOGGER AND POLITICAL
Source: Sympathy for the devil? Rolling Stones’ Cuba concert a business
deal with the Castros | Miami Herald –