Monday, July 9, 2007

Vigil Recap: Synchronicity - UPDATED

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Tonight we held a candlelight vigil at the landmark Cuban restaurant, Versailles, in Miami. We had over 100 people join us in the vigil along with 3 TV stations covering it. Below are some preliminary images.

While we were in the middle of reading the names of the 300 political prisoners, one of my best buddies approaches me and says, "Andy Summers is here." Andy Summers is the guitarist of The Police. It turns out that he was simply there to have dinner at Miami's most famous Cuban restaurant.

I politely approached him in the foyer before he was seated. I told him we were having a candlelight vigil outside, precisely because he and The Police are in town. He listened patiently as I explained that Amnesty International recognizes 69 prisoners of conscience in Cuba and that in our Miami community there are close to 1 million Cubans who fled the human rights abuses in that country. He told me that the Cuba concert is not a certainty. I told him that we weren't protesting the concert but appealing to them to stand up for human rights in Cuba like they had in the past for other countries. I asked him to share the message with his band mates and he said he would. The entire exchange took no more than 90 seconds while he waited for his table.

Later after the event was over, we went inside to have dinner and they sat us about 3 tables away from him. My niece approached him and asked if she could have a picture with him. He was very much a gentleman and took the picture with her, he also took a picture of her taking a picture of him. Those pictures are below as well. We will post more pics, video and news clips as they become available.

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UPDATE:

Another picture courtesy of Artie from Cubanazos.com

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm duplicating this a couple places, to make it particularly visible:
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I'd point you to this link to the Police's site:

http://www.thepolice.com/help/faqForm.php?catID=7

Create a Yahoo ID (if you don't want to give them your "real" e-mail) and ask them how they can take issue with those in South Africa and Chile but ignore the plight of those in Cuba?

My US$.02 ... and worth every penny.

It may not be read by anyone that matters but if enough people do this they'll notice.

theCardinal said...

I hope Sting does go to Cuba, but then name checks all the political prisoners. That would be more embarassing to the regime than The Police not going.

As for the silence from rock stars not surprising...I remember Peter Gabriel closing his set in Miami with the human rights anthem "Biko." He managed to namecheck every oppressed group and skipping Cubans.

U2 was worse. During "Bullet the Blue Sky" I remember Bono whining about the situation in El Salvador and the abusive gov't...he seemed surprised by the silence.

Anonymous said...

I am in Tampa tonight - I will speak up for my BROTHERS -

The Sanity Inspector said...

Thank you for giving Summers credit for not asking you to sod off while he was trying to eat; that was very gracious of him. And yes, shame on The Police for letting El Jefe schmooze them into playing Cuba.

Henry Gomez said...

I didn't bother him during his dinner. I spoke to him while he was waiting for a table. My niece did ask him for a picture while he was seated at the table and he indulged her in the pictures you see posted here.