|Celia Cruz: The Queen of Salsa|
"A dazzling performer of many genres of Afro-Caribbean music, Celia Cruz (1925-2003) had a powerful contralto voice and a joyful, charismatic personality that endeared her to fans from different nationalities and across generations. Settling in the United States following the Cuban revolution, the “Queen of Salsa” performed for more than five decades and recorded more than 50 albums."However in Cuba the Castro regime continues to ban the music of Celia Cruz from the radio airwaves. She is not alone. There are other banned Cuban musicians of great importance. According to Shoot the singer!: music censorship today, a book edited by Marie Korpe states that there is increasing concern within the international music community that post-revolution generations are growing up without knowing or hearing these censored musicians and that this could lead to a loss of Cuban identity in future generations.The phrase cultural genocide is used to describe the "cultural revolution" of the 1960s and 1970s that blacklisted and censored scores of Cuban musicians and artists.
The above censorship is widely known, but not as well known is that when the mother of Celia Cruz was dying the Cuban musical icon was blocked by Fidel Castro from returning to Cuba to say goodbye to her mom or attend her funeral afterwards. This practice still goes on today with Cuban dissidents in the diaspora barred arbitrarily from seeing their loved ones by the Castro regime.
Cuba under the Castros remains a totalitarian regime that has maintained a level of inflexibility that even 12 years after her death in 2003 and with relations "normalized" with the United States continues to censor the music of Celia Cruz. Women who think and speak freely in Cuba still suffer horrible consequences.
Hopefully that will soon change. In the meantime Celia's music and her legacy live on in Cuba on cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, and USBs circulating in the Cuban underground.