Womadelaide 8th March 2009 found us cooking with two members from the Cuban band Ska Cubano who were performing right throughout the festval.
A closely knit setting with seating for around thirty, the fine smell of traditional Cuban cooking overtook us at a rapid pace, but the most interesting aspect of the session for me was the conversations between the audience and the band members. Having a great interest in the country of Cuba and its history, there were questions I wanted to ask these guys, political questions about Cuba and Che Guevara, however I restrained knowing well that it was only a matter of time before someone in the audience would start the conversation for me.
Sure enough Che was the first subject touched upon and the response interested me greatly. I was quite surprised to hear a Cuban relate to the way the western world sees Che as an icon for freedom, as I don’t believe westerners (or most at least) see him that way, but instead use his image as a trend more than a symbol of revolution and the struggle to set the poor free.
The most interesting moment of the whole Q&A for me was his analogy of politics in general. When asked what his views on Cubas future were in relation to Raul taking over from Fidel he answered as follows;
I don’t want to answer that because I don’t like politics, but I will say this. (he holds up a wooden spoon, grasping it in the middle between two fingers). Pointing to the top he says, You can put Capatalism here, (then pointing to the bottom), and Communism here, and the poor will always remain here (he points to the middle). Then turning the spoon upside down, If you turn it around and Communism is here (points to the top), and Capatalism is here (the bottom), The poor are still in the middle…
Ska Cubano’s music can be found through iTunes or your favorite music store.