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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Culture transcends politics- "Stones" invaded Cuba

When my husband and I visited Central Europe last fall 2015, we learned how the tradition of attending "Christmas markets" was one of the strongest attactions for the people who celerated the fall of Communism, after the ending of the Cold War. 

Apparently, people clogged the highways and streets at the time, waiting to enter the European winter street markets, after the Cold War ended. In other words, culture transcended decades of Communist oppression of the population. Indeed, the people didn't forget how to celebrate Christmas, because thier generational culture transcended the politics of the Cold War.
Sir Michael Philip Jagger (born 26 July 1943) is an English singer, songwriter and actor, best known as the lead vocalist and a co-founder of the Rolling Stones

Leap to 2016, and now we see The Rolling Stones (aka the "Stones") performing in Havana Cuba.

Now, the Cuban-American Cold War has thawed with a performance of The Rolling Stones, in Cuba, after decades of having the rock group's music banned.
26 March 2016
Indeed, "the Stones" never lost popularity in Cuba, although their music was banned. Nevertheless, Cubans didn't need to be re-introduced to "the Stones", when t thousands showed up for the free international concert, to affirm how culture transcends politics.

BBCNews reports
Cuba: Rolling Stones rock Havana with landmark gig March 26, 2016

The Rolling Stones rocked Havana, playing to tens of thousands in the Cuban capital, where most foreign rock music was banned for several decades.

Many of those at the free concert were lifelong fans who, for years, kept quiet about their love of the Stones and other groups.

Mick Jagger welcomed fans in Spanish before opening the performance with the 1968 hit Jumpin' Jack Flash.

The concert comes days after a historic visit by US President Barack Obama. 'Time changes everything'

Tens of thousands of Cubans queued for hours to get into the grounds of Havana's huge 450,000-capacity Ciudad Deportiva venue.

"Hello, Havana! Good evening, my people of Cuba," said Jagger before beginning the eagerly awaited performance.

The band swept through 18 songs in a two-hour gig, including Sympathy for the Devil and Satisfaction.

In fact, the gig is seen as another sign of real change on the Cuban island. Until about 15 years ago, Cuba's communist government banned most Western rock and pop music, which was deemed decadent and subversive.

But, Cuba has changed significantly in recent years, particularly in the past 18 months, as the process of rapprochement with the United States has quickened, says the BBC's Will Grant in Havana.

Fans travelled from many parts of Cuba and other countries to witness what some described as a historic moment.

"It was forbidden. We couldn't have the Beatles or some singers from Latin America. Now we are allowed to hear what we want to hear," a fan told the BBC.

"The visit from Obama [earlier this week], and now the Rolling Stones. It's just unique and historic. So, yeah, nice to be here," said another one.

"After today I can die," Joaquin Ortiz, a 62-year-old night watchman, told the Associated Press. "This is like my last wish, seeing the Rolling Stones." 

The Rolling Stones released a short video saying their concert was a sign of change in Cuba.

"Time changes everything. So we're very pleased to be here," said Mick Jagger. "It would have been surprising for this to happen 10 years ago."

Cuban authorities said they expected at least half a million people to watch the British band's first concert in Cuba.

The "Stones" Concert - where culture transcended politics:
Jumpin' Jack Flash
It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)
Tumbling Dice
Out of Control
All Down the Line
Paint It Black
Honky Tonk Women
You Got the Silver
Before They Make Me Run
Midnight Rambler
Miss You
Gimme Shelter
Start Me Up
Sympathy for the Devil
Brown Sugar
Encores: You Can't Always Get What You Want. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

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