Cuba, a safe haven for hard times

Cuba, a safe haven for hard times

At exceptional periods, Cuba and the humanitarian nature of its people, become a safe haven, a valuable guarantee.

The capacity of Cuban people to take strength from rough times is admirable, besides offering a shoulder to hold even strangers, with a smile at hard situations.

Music and a sense of humor have always been resourceful tools at difficult times. If you do not believe this, just remember the verses of troubadour Sindo Garay with his song La Tarde (The evening): Las penas que me maltratan/ son tantas que se atropellan/ y como de matarme tratan/ se agolpan unas a otras/ y por eso no me matan (Hardships suffocate me / they are so many that stumble upon each other/ and as they try to crush me / they run over each other and cannot kill me!)

Cuba and its music are saviors. Just like the Cuban hospitality, friendliness and kindness shelter you, so will the Cubans share the best of them at any time. Much better if there is music in between!

There have been plenty of initiatives from Cuban musicians to lift the spirits at these days of home isolation. From abroad, artists such as jazz musician Chucho Valdés or troubadour Pablo Milanés have performed online concerts for their compatriots and followers all over the world. But it has been at the main island, where musicians have made alliances and worked together on concerts and even festivals, on the Internet.

La música anima, entretiene, salva… (Music cheers you up, entertains and saves us…) Such is the philosophy behind the festival Tunturuntu Pa’Tu Casa (Bye bye, go home!), one of the platforms available to cope with isolation at the same time that tries to emphasizes on the importance of social distancing. The list of participant musicians and music genres is extensive.

Exquisite concert pianists such as Ernán López-Nussa, singer Luna Manzanares or the renowned diva from Buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portuondo, as well as troubadours, pop groups such as Nube Roja or rock bands like Moneda Dura, salsa singer and musician Haila and Alexander Abreu and his band Habana de Primera, are just a few of the ones who have selflessly collaborated.

The overall spirit of this project was expressed by Abreu: “I am joining in because it is a way to offer something positive to what is happening in our planet. Music is a peace refuge. We have the power to convince many people with our art and also ask them to do what is right at this moment. At the current state of things, it is better to make and watch a concert from home. It is the best to do.

Every weekend, social media present the artists, their schedule and platforms where they will perform. Sometimes it is the slamming of a door or a child´s voice that interrupts a tune. It does not matter: Tunturuntu Pa’Tu Casa is here to stay, just like the so many solidarity initiatives from these days.

Some artists have played the sax or trumpet from their balconies for their neighbors at 9 o´clock, la hora del Cañonazo (gunshot time) and the hour of the day when in Cuba, people publicly applaud the efforts of health workers.

If Sindo Garay is in heavens singing that of “Hardships suffocate me / they are so many that stumble upon each other”, on Earth and Cuba, solidarity will not stop!

La tierra está llorando is the name of a recently composed and recorded song by a group of renowned Cuban artists that include salsa player Isaac Delgado, Laritza Bacallao and Yomil y El Dany. The song says: “el mundo se está volviendo loco/ la tierra está llorando/ y si no nos juntamos, a esto le queda poco” (the world is going crazy/ the Earth is crying/ and if we do not come together/ there is little time left for all). After these trying times, those who learn from this experience will emerge as better persons. With music, sense of humor and solidarity, Cuba runs first to reach the finish line.