|Let Celia Cruz's music be heard in Cuba|
Celia Cruz was and remains a nonperson in Cuba. Celia Cobo of Billboard Magazine once said "Cruz is indisputably the best known and most influential female figure in the history of Cuban music." The impact of the Castro regime on music in Cuba goes beyond jailing musicians and includes systematic censorship that threatens the island's musical legacy as has been the case with the Queen of Salsa.
According to the 2004 book Shoot the singer!: music censorship today edited by Marie Korpe there is increasing concern that post-revolution generations in Cuba are growing up without knowing or hearing censored musicians such as Celia Cruz and Olga Guillot and that this could lead to a loss of Cuban identity in future generations. This process has been described as a Cuban cultural genocide that is depriving generations of Cubans of their heritage.
|Olga Guillot's music is also still banned on Cuba radio|
"While the death of salsa singer Celia Cruz was reported prominently in newspapers across the world, the news got scant and somewhat bitter treatment Thursday in the official media of her homeland. The Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma reported Cruz’s death in a tiny, two-paragraph story published low on page 6 of the eight-page edition."
"All those who had allied with the enemy, who acted against our families, like Celia Cruz, who went to sing at the Guantanamo Base, the ICRT arrogated to itself the right, quite properly, not to disseminate them on Cuban radio "This e-mail refers to Celia Cruz playing at the Guantanamo Naval Base in 1990. Because she had decided to continue to play her music, as a free woman, outside of Cuba the Castro brothers barred Celia from returning to Cuba in 1962 to bury her mother who had just died. When she went to the Guantanamo Naval Base three decades later she picked up some Cuban soil, a piece of home, to take back with her into exile.
|Celia Cruz picks up some Cuban soil to take a piece of home back to exile|
|Google Doodle of Celia Cruz from 2013|
"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."Sadly, it is not only in Cuba, Freemuse is working to bring attention to the "very violent and direct restrictions women musicians face in countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan," and censorship elsewhere. Here in America we witnessed an ugly episode of censorship with the Dixie Chicks in 2003, but at least it was not government sponsored but Clear Channel played a sinister role in keeping their music out of their airwaves. However they are back on the airwaves and touring across the country. Something that Celia Cruz and other banned Cuban musicians were never able to do, not even posthumously in the island where they were born: have their music played on the radio. This is part of the terrible legacy of Castroism. The music of Celia and Olga will return to Cuba's radio airwaves one day and that will be cause for celebration. Azucar!