I think they have realized after 50-something years that they have oppressed not only human rights but also freedom of expression and our music and our culture. That’s what a communist regime does. I’m guessing that there’s a new generation that has been able to see that what Fidel brought was nothing good, so they’re trying to make some changes that in some way can send a ray of light to the people of Cuba, saying that they can expect other things to happen. Music is important but more important are movements like Las Damas de Blanco who keep on fighting for human rights.
Emilio Estefan, on freedom of expression after learning that Cuba finally lifted a radio ban on anti-Castro musicians. Quote is from an interview he gave to Univision reporters Angie Romero and Amaris Castillo.
Background: Although the blacklist of banned musicians was never officially published, it certainly included most of the ‘dissident’ artists who abandoned the island and spoke out against the Revolution. Among such artists were salsa queen Celia Cruz, saxophonist Paquito d’Rivera, singer Willy Chirino, jazz pianist Bebo Valdés, and Emilio Estefan himself.
Caveat: Not so fast. Restrictions will be softened in a case-by-case basis (in Spanish).