Colombian rock star Juanes is defending his decision to play a “Peace Without Borders” concert in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución. The concert, which is currently scheduled for September 20, has drawn criticism from some elements of the Cuban-American community in South Florida who contend that “apolitical concerts do not exist.”
Juanes has responded to the criticisms through traditional media channels as well as by his account on the website Twitter, asking “Why are the promotion of unity between peoples and the dismantling of borders bothersome?” Juanes’ spokesman, Fernán Martínez, has also weighed in saying, “this is an event of peace, of harmony, of relations. It’s a white concert for the civil society of Cuba.”
Concert organizers are currently waiting for the Cuban government to grant permission to use the plaza, which could accommodate more than 100 thousand fans. Up to 12 other musicians would accompany Juanes’ performance—potentially even from the United States. Last week, Juanes reported that he had met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about granting U.S. bands permission to play. The September 20 date is significant, as it coincides with the United Nations International Peace Day.