Cuban-American music producer and businessman Emilio Estefan is posting a video for the song “Libertad” in support of the island’s protesters who took to the streets in droves last week to demand freedom.
The song called “Libertad” or freedom was written, produced and performed by Estefan in collaboration with the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, a non-profit group. The video will be released at noon on Tuesday.
“This is the first time that the image is more important than the music,” Estefan, who won 19 Grammy Awards, told NBC News. “It’s really hard. I was born in Cuba even though we’re 90 miles away, it’s so far.
Estefan, who is married to Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan, said: “Gloria and I pray for Cuba every day.”
More than a week ago, Cuba saw the biggest protests since the 1959 revolution when thousands of people took to the streets across the island, many of them chanting “Libertad”, as the title of the song and calling for change.
The video was shot in Cuba two months ago. The Foundation had proposed to Estefan to write an article reflecting the conditions in Cuba, following a rare demonstration that took place in November 2020 with hundreds of young artists and activists in front of the Ministry of Culture.
The November demonstration in Cuba was the result of authorities dispersing members of an artists’ collective known as the San Isidro Movement who had gathered for days, with six members on hunger strike.
While the video was in production, the July 11 protests erupted, prompting Estefan to speed up the work.
“I think people need to know the truth about what happened in Cuba. For the first time, thanks to technology, they see the reality of what happened and the abuses, ”Estefan said.
The song talks about silence as “the enemy of freedom”, “it’s a shame that with force they want to silence you” and “every human being deserves freedom”.
Towards the middle of the song, voices chanting “libertad” are heard and at the end they name deceased activists. Two of them, Pedro Luis Boitel and Orlando Zapata Tamayo, died on hunger strike during their years in prison.
Estefan, who left Cuba at the age of 14, said that for him “it is not about politics, but about human rights”.
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