Sunday, September 20, 2009
Juanes In Cuba.
Juanes, from Colombia to Cuba.
Cubans flock to iconic plaza for 'peace concert'
By PAUL HAVEN (AP)
HAVANA — Hundreds of thousands of Cubans flocked to sprawling Revolution Plaza on Sunday for an open-air "peace concert" headlined by Colombian rocker Juanes, an event criticized by some Cuban-Americans who say the performers are lending support to the island's communist government simply by showing up.
Organizers say they expect as many as half a million people to attend the four-hour concert under a broiling Havana sun, making the Colombian heartthrob's visit the biggest by an outsider since Pope John Paul II's 1998 tour.
Hundreds of public buses ferried young and old to the concert site, and the government laid on even more transportation, hoping for a large turnout.
Most concertgoers wore white — to symbolize peace — and some held up signs reading "Peace on Earth" and "We Love You Juanes."
Even before the concert began, colorful umbrellas sprouted like flowers across the wide square as revelers tried to shade themselves from the unrelenting sun. An ambulance set up behind the stage was already treating those who had succumbed to the heat.
"We are going to stay as long as we have the strength," said Cristina Rodriguez, a 43-year-old nurse accompanied by her teenage son, Felix. They and thousands of others had arrived hours before the concert to get a good spot, ignoring government warnings not to turn up until noon.
"We've been here since three in the morning waiting for everyone, waiting for Juanes and for (Puerto Rican singer) Olga Tanon," said Luisa Maria Canales, an 18-year-old engineering student. "I'm a little tired, but I am more excited."
That excitement does not extend to some across the Florida Straits, where Juanes has endured death threats, CD smashing protests and boycotts since his decision to hold the "Peace Without Borders" concert in Havana.
Complete article here.
Watch the "Peace Without Borders" concert in Cuba LIVE.