The headlines are exuberant: “Rolling Stones make history with free concert in Cuba.” We’re told the concert was the result of months of diplomacy between the US & Cuba & that hundreds of thousands attended the free concert at a decrepit sports stadium.
Questions emerge which are not answered. Like why was the US government negotiating the terms of a rock & roll concert for the Rolling Stones who are British? And who paid for the free concert?
Maybe from the point of view of rock & roll this concert is cool. But from the point of view of politics, it’s a crying shame. In June 2014, the Rolling Stones contemptuously defied the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli apartheid & performed in Tel Aviv. Just one month later Israel launched the seven-week bombing siege over Gaza which directly targeted children.
Cuba has a compromised view about Israeli colonialism, clinging to the stinking corpse of a bantustate solution for Palestinians. But one would think they had enough respect for Palestinians, for solidarity, & for their own history that they would reject performers who flout justice. Does Cuba also then flout BDS?
There’s that old adage about laying down with dogs & getting up with fleas. Naomi Campbell–the serial abuser of women who just received an honorific for women from Shimon Peres–was in the VIP section at the Havana concert.
Shame on Cuba.
(Photo is ugly-assed Jagger performing Tel Aviv in June 2014)