Responding to the new opening towards Cuba, "Cuban-American singer Willy Chirino made an appeal to Cuban President Raúl Castro on Wednesday: Let my music and that of other Cuban Americans flow -- uninterrupted -- to the island. ''I call on you to stop being an impediment and allow Cubans on the island to freely enjoy the fruits of the Cuban artistic community,'' Chirino said . . . Chirino then challenged the Cuban government to broadcast his upcoming Miami concert in Havana, at a park along the famed seaside Malecón -- and even offered to pay all costs related to sending a satellite feed. The broadcast in Havana, he added, should be free and open to all islanders."
Of course, the songs of Chirino (who was smuggled out of Cuba as a child by the Catholic Church) "are officially banned on the island" (although "popular among salsa lovers"). The reason for the ban? Chirino's political songs, "such as Viva La Libertad (Long Live Freedom)".
The next time Obama is exchanging gifts with South American strong men, maybe he can give them a Willy Chirino CD.