Musician Arturo O’Farrill criticizes the embargo and says he did not see anti-government demonstrations in Cuba

Cuban-born musician Arturo O’Farrill criticized the United States embargo on Cuba and said that he did not see demonstrations against the government on the island.

O’Farrill, a renowned jazz player based in the United States, was invited to Havana to participate in a tribute to his father, the remembered Cuban musician Chico O’Farrill, and assures that he did not see police brutality or racist shootings, as occurs in his country .

“Cubadisco invited me to perform and celebrate the centenary of my father, Chico O’Farrill. I did not see massive anti-government demonstrations, police brutality, racist mass shootings, macabre corporate greed, cultural indifference, or many of the characteristics of everyday life in the United States,” he said on his Facebook wall.

O’Farrill affirms that in Cuba he saw cultural pride, corporate dignity and the absence of weapons, and although he admitted that there is a “brutally exacerbated poverty”, he blamed it on the “US embargo”.

“…The crime of starving an already impoverished people in order to court political favor with the powerful politicians of South Florida, is one of the most heinous stains on an already ugly history of American involvement in sovereignty from another nation,” he concluded.

Arturo O’Farrill, 61, was born in Mexico, but has lived in New York since he was five years old, where he studied and trained as a pianist. He is the son of the remembered Chico O’Farrill, jazz trumpeter and composer born in Havana, who shared the stage with stars like Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Machito and Celia Cruz.

O’Farrill has been traveling to Cuba for two decades, so he should have enough knowledge to know that the US embargo is nothing more than a pretext for the Castro government to justify its inefficiency and terrible economic management, and to secure itself in power.

His attitude contrasts with that of his government, which has been very active in condemning the repression unleashed by the regime against the participants in the July 11 protests.

The US government is demanding the release of several minors who have been sentenced in Cuba to long prison sentences on charges of sedition or attack.

In April, the US embassy spoke out against the conviction of political prisoner Walnier Luis Aguilar who, despite having an intellectual disability, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for protesting in Havana.

In February, the diplomatic representation accused the regime of trying to make believe that the July 11 demonstrations were violentand assured that, on the contrary, it was representatives of the government who perpetrated violent actions.

“The regime in Cuba is painting the 9/11 demonstrations as very violent. We all know from the live videos they report, the numerous photographs, and the reporters that these protests were overwhelmingly peaceful. In general, the violence perpetrated during the 9/11 protests came at the hands of Cuban state actors. We again urge the government of Cuba to stop jailing its citizens for exercising freedom of expression,” the tweet stressed.

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