Cuba’s Buena Fe Faces Fascist Aggression but their Tour of Spain Prevails

By Alejandra Garcia on May 25, 2023 from Havana

Anyone who has listened to the Cuban duo Buena Fe’s songs know they are not complacent. Although they defend Cuba in any trench, they do not remain silent in the face of injustice or what can be changed, and they speak in broad truths in the most poetic way possible, using a guitar with their voices as their weapon.

They also magnify the good and the beauty of Cuba, and that is not forgiven by the haters. This week, Israel Rojas and Yoel Martinez, members of the duo, were attacked during a tour in Spain by a group of people who do not respect Cuba, its culture, or its people.

Buena Fe has never begged for public recognition in their more than 20 years of making music that is loved on the island. They have earned it through talent and have made it thanks to their convictions and unwavering ideology. Today, they are the soundtrack of the lives of thousands of Cubans, myself included, because they have been able to portray the Cuban reality in all its facets in the last two decades, with songs as sensitive as “Intimidad” and others as hard and reflective as “La Culpa” or “Catalejo.”

I still remember the tremendous pride I felt for them when they were banned from giving a group of concerts in Canada in 2021 because they had been immunized against COVID with Cuban vaccines. They were required to take foreign doses, and they did not accept it. “We aren’t going to betray our country for a couple of concerts. When the restrictions due to the pandemic are over, we will travel to any corner and sing for those who want to listen,” Israel Rojas, leader of the duo, said at that time.

This week, the island is upset with the news coming from Spain, that two of their concerts got canceled in Madrid because of terrorist threats to the owners of the venues. And in Barcelona yesterday another concert was interrupted by a handful of fascist haters who tried to attack Buena Fe but were repelled by those supporters of Cuba who formed a line of defense around the musicians.

“I am not a violent man. I am an apprentice composer. Today, they wanted to drag me and Yoel Martinez to violence. And they almost succeeded. We are fine now, but a comrade defending us received the blows that should have been for us. Today we have seen the face of fascism,” Rojas wrote on his Facebook profile after the incident on Wednesday.

Reactions took no time here. “It’s embarrassing. Those who started the provocation are the same ones who lined up and crowded to see them sing at the many concerts they gave on the steps of the University of Havana or the Cujae University, or those who played each new album from one USB memory to another. Those ’embarrassed’ hum Buena Fe’s songs when no one sees them. Hating Cuba has become a trend, and they are looking for a spotlight,” one Facebook user remarked.

Cuban Culture Minister Alpidio Alonso also took to his social networks to repudiate the incident: “This time they have even resorted to physical aggression in a public place, without the slightest modesty. I condemn the enemies of our homeland and its culture,” he added.

Other forms of support have come from a statement by the Network in Defense of Humanity, a petition signed by more than 1,500 people and today in Havana an event with intellectuals and artists organized by the Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC) who gathered to condemn such an act where hatred , violence and false democracy trying disguise fascism, tried to get in the way of the music.

Fortunately, Buena Fe has many people who long to see them sing once again and who are grateful that they bring a piece of Cuba with them in their songs. “Infinite thanks to those who called us to calm. Amid that fascist and irrational attack, a girl hugged me and told me, ‘No, please. You are an artist. And in her voice, I could hear all the women in my family. Music is our strength, and that is the most violent way I hit the one who offends me,” Israel concluded.

At this point the hostility against the popular group, representing Cuba, in all its reality, has backfired because it has just been announced that the concert in Madrid has been rescheduled for June 3 at the Marcelino Camacho Auditorium of Comisiones Obreras, the largest trade union in Spain.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English