The dream of all those who ingeniously believed that Colombian pop-star Juanes was a non-ideological, well-intentioned, torch-bearer for Cuban freedom has been shattered.
His concert in Havana last year only served the Castro regime's purpose of driving a temporary wedge in the Cuban-American community, while everything on the island -- including the artists -- remained perfectly manipulated.
Fortunately, that wedge was closed months later. Unfortunately, it was only pursuant to the tragic death and sacrifice -- from and 85-day hunger strike -- of Cuban political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo.
Yet curiously -- to this day -- Juanes has remained silent about Zapata's death. No statements or commentary.
But yesterday, he was proudly vocal in signing a letter to President Obama asking for the release of the "Cuban Five" -- the five spies convicted by a U.S. federal court for being illegal agents of the Castro regime.
The letter, signed by Juanes and other artists that performed with him in Havana, states that the "Cuban Five have committed no crime against the United States nor posed any threat to this country's national security," that they simply "monitored the activities of violent groups of Cuban exiles in Miami."
Yet, the FBI report on the case describes how they were spying on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, the Naval Air Station at Boca Chica outside Key West, and the Southern Command headquarters in Miami. None of these U.S. military facilities are hubs for Cuban exile organizations.
Furthermore, the leader of the "Cuban Five" was convicted of plotting with the Cuban military to kill three American citizens and a permanent resident in the February 1996 shootdown of two civilian planes over international waters by Castro's jet fighters.
As a result, the Obama Administration has made it abundantly clear that the "Cuban Five" are not subject to release or a prisoner exchange of any kind.
According to a State Department spokesman this past summer:
"The five Cubans imprisoned in the United States were convicted in federal court of serious felonies and are serving their sentences. Absolutely no consideration is being given to any such exchange."
Kudos to the Obama Administration for this.
As for Juanes, let's hope no one is ever foolish enough to fall for his nonsense again.
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