President Obama left Cuba yesterday with as many questions as answers in his wake. Among the unknowns: where does rapprochement go from here? Will Raúl stop arresting the dissidents? What happens to exile property claims? Gitmo? Posada? Gourriel? There’s enough lawyering ahead of both sides to backfill the Straits of Florida with affidavits and manila folders.
But that’s for others to worry about. For us, for now, for one night, we filled a stage with much purer human endeavor. Music, nearly five hours of it, from some of the great lights of modern Cuba. It was all part of the Sounds of Cuba showcase, the first all-Cuban concert in the history of SxSW. Roads & Kingdoms partnered with Havana’s Fábrica de Arte Cubano to bring five killer acts from the island: Telmary, Yissy Garcia y BandAncha, Daymé Arocena, X Alfonso y la Flota, and Kelvis Ochoa (“of whom there are not two on this earth”, as I told PRI).