CUBA UNITES US
Danny Rivera finances book on the Five
by Mireya Castañeda
“HERE is Nos une Cuba (Cuba Unites Us) by young writer Reynier Carvajal, a book of life, of the soul, with a poetic thread and letters exchanged with the five Cuban heroes cruelly imprisoned in the United States,” affirmed the great Puerto Rican singer Danny Rivera, thanks to whom the book has been published.
The interpreter of memorable songs (who can fail to be moved by his “Madrigal”?) expressly traveled to Havana for the launch of the book (Editorial Makarios) and, during a beautiful event in the Villena Room of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) headquarters, recalled how he came to meet Reynier. “The first time I saw him come into my office (at the International Faculty for Music and Art which has its headquarters here), I looked into his eyes and saw a special light that shone with greatness and timidity.”
“Of all the texts that I read,” he affirmed, “my attention was fixed on the lengthy correspondence that young Reynier had maintained with the Cuban heroes imprisoned in the United States, who have been handed down long sentences. Sentences that are unjust and implausible in a country that is said to boast the most just and perfect democracy on the planet and that is threatening to destroy to thousand-year old codes of art and well-being and transform the humane planet into a new jail system on a worldwide level.”
Danny Rivera described these letters, verses, postcards and commentaries that Reynier had organized into book form, and that took him back to a similar experience, “when I was imprisoned over the issue of Vieques (the tiny island used for more than 60 years by the U.S. Navy as a firing range and which it was finally forced to vacate) for civil disobedience,” he told this journalist at the end of the event.
A singer and songwriter first and foremost, he performed the song “Para las madres” (For Mothers), accompanied by young musicians trained at the Faculty. Danny Rivera told the press that he had composed it “about a year ago, not for me, but for everyone, especially the mothers who have sacrificed everything for their children, those who have been jailed for political reasons, injustice. There are those from the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, those of the Five, and the list goes on. There are many mothers working for the release of their sons and daughters.”
“Para las madres” is a simple song, but with tremendous strength in the music (which has an Andalusian ring to it) and the lyrics (“I know how to fly to meet you” and for the chorus “I wait all my life/because with her we’ll win/the impossible”).
With his magnificent voice, Danny Rivera sang before the mothers of Tony Guerrero and Fernando González, the eldest daughter of Ramón Labañino, and relatives of René González and Gerardo Hernández.
Also present at the event were Parliamentary President Ricardo Alarcón, Culture Minister Abel Prieto and UNEAC President Carlos Martí.
The launch was led by poet Alex Pausides, who affirmed: “The case of the five Cubans subjected to outrageous sentences in the United States has been gaining strength in the consciousness of the world. A feeling of warm solidarity has led to the creation of a movement that sooner rather than later will return them to freedom. There is also their own work, undertaken in the most absolute solitude and the letters exchanged with children and young people.”
And he took Reynier Carvajal’s book from the hand of Danny Rivera. “His writing,” explained Pausides, “comes from emotion, from the truth. This book is an ark of vocation. In it we find the testimony of lives that the empire has been unable to crush, because there is no jail that can prevent love from being exercised. Cuba nos une makes us think of those who aren’t there, those who are deep inside our hearts.”
For young Reynier, this is his first book and he says in the prologue: “I have tried with humility and sincerity for each poem, song, text, and received or sent letter that I display, to offer the purest sentiment which awaits like a reward for the return (of the Five) to their homeland.”
Reynier shares with readers his letters from Tony Guerrero. In one of them, he tells him: “Your poems demonstrate your human sensibility, your intelligence, your revolutionary convictions and your profound feelings towards the just cause of our liberation.”
But they also exchange poems. “Firme y romántico” (Strong and Romantic) was written by Tony “in total isolation in a cell in the so-called “hole” at the Florecen penitentiary in Colorado” and he adds that “thoughts can never be locked up.”
“Madre que ya no estás” (Mother, now that you’re not here) is by Ramón Labañino and he sent it to Reynier because “I believe that you should respond to a poem with a poem,” and Gerardo, artist and humorist, also wrote to him: “For our brother poet¼.with thanks for your beautiful inspirations, and the solidarity that has always accompanied us in this fight for truth and justice.”
Danny Rivera commented at the launch for Nos une Cuba he that he is hoping that poetry will be the thread of solidarity with respect to the Five.
Danny Rivera auspicia libro sobre Los Cinco antiterroristas cubanos
22 de enero de 2007
LA HABANA, 21 enero — El popular cantautor puertorriqueño, Danny Rivera, manifestó su solidaridad con los Cinco antiterroristas cubanos presos injustamente en Estados Unidos y se integró a la publicación de un libro que aboga por su libertad.
El artista boricua interpretó una canción dedicada a estos patriotas de la Isla, durante la presentación del libro Nos une Cuba, del escritor Reynier Carvajal.
Los cubanos Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Gerrado Hernández, René y Fernando González están encarcelados desde hace más de ocho años en el país norteño por infiltrar grupos terroristas anticubanos para evitar sus acciones violentas contra la Isla.
Carvajal elogió la conducta íntegra y digna de esos patriotas cubanos e instó a leer no solo estas misivas, sino además las cartas de Guerrero a su madre y sus sonetos al amor, los poemas de Labañino a sus hijas y el humor criollo de Hernández.
También los consejos de René González a sus hijas Irma e Ivette, las declaraciones constantes de amor de Fernando González a su esposa.
Una vez más saldrán convencidos de que personas que emanan tanta ternura, son incapaces de atentar contra ningún país o gobierno, afirmó Carvajal en la sede la Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba.
El poeta Alex Pausides aseveró que ese texto está escrito en nombre del regreso a Cuba de cinco personas cuyos corazones laten en aras del mejoramiento mundial, pensamiento que compartió Rivera, quién dijo ser amante de la paz y la hermandad entre los pueblos.