47 percent of Cuban Americans oppose Juanes’ planned concert in Cuba
because they think it helps the communist Castro regime and ignores
Cuban realities such as human rights violation and lack of freedom.
The survey polled 400 Cuban Americans, mostly in Florida. It was conducted by Bendixen & Associates on Monday evening and commissioned by the Cuba Study Group, a Washington, D.C.-based organization of bussinesspeople who support cultural exchanges with the island, including Juanes’ Peace without Border concert.
The September 20 show, a sequel to the Colombian-Venezuelan border concert staged by Juanes at a moment of high tension between the two neighboring countries last year, will feature famous artists such as Miguel Bose form Spain, Olga Tañon from Puerto Rico, and Silvio Rodriguez and los Van Van from Cuba.
The survey numbers show the mixed degree of support and opposition the concert has in the Cuban American community. In an interview with the Miami Herald, pollster Sergio Bendixen said there is still a great deal of pain among the Cuban exiles. ‘They killed my brother. They took everything I had. They ruined my life’ were some of the comments pollsters heard in the phone calls.
Besides the almost fifty percent opposed to the concert, twenty-seven percent supported it, and twenty-six percent said they had no opinion or didn’t know. Sixty percent of the supporters said the show would bring needed happiness and music to the island.
The poll also shows the variations in support or opposition according to age, year of arrival, and country of birth. Those opposed to the concert tended to be older with early arrivals in the U.S. Supporters tended to be younger with recent arrivals or born in the USA.
There was though a strong point of unanimity. 74% of those surveyed said the protest by Vigilia Bambisa, a right wing organization whose members smashed and burned Juanes’ CDs on Little Havana Calle Ocho on august 14, had a negative effect on the Cuban Americans because it made them look too extreme.