Juanes’ Cuban Show Boasting All-Star Lineup

Colombian artist Juanes’ Havana gig has attracted a stellar list of artists and bands scheduled to appear at the controversial concert Sunday.

The concert, scheduled for Sept. 20 at Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution, will be Juanes’ second “Peace Without Borders” show.

The first such event, which took place on the border separating Venezuela and Colombia, happened when tensions between the two countries were extremely high due to a controversial Colombian commando raid into Ecuador that killed a leading rebel commander.

Photo: AP Photo
Madison Square Garden, NYC

Juanes has been receiving flak from anti-Castro groups in South Florida that see the Havana show as endorsing Castro’s tyrannical communist regime, although the singer has said it’s about music, not politics.

But that didn’t satisfy critics of the show, some of whom have called for a boycott of Juanes’ music. For example, an anti-Castro group known as Vigilia Mambisa has called for a CD-smashing protest to take place the same day as the concert.

Juanes has also received death threats on his Twitter page, causing Key Biscayne police to keep an eye on the performer’s home as well as the abode of his manager.

And people aren’t just upset that Juanes is performing in Cuba. Some folks are also protesting the event because of the location within the communist country – Plaza of the Revolution – where Castro has given many of his marathon speeches.

And if that isn’t enough to bug anti-Castro groups, the plaza also features a giant overhead painting of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and houses the offices belonging to Fidel Castro and his brother Raul.

Aside from Juanes, who else is performing on this controversial gig? The lineup literally drips with talent and sports a list of artists that would make for a pretty good touring package if someone could get everybody to commit to a coast-to-coast run in the States.

As of Sept. 18 the lineup includes Miguel Bosé, Olga Tañón, Danny Rivera, Luis Eduardo Aute, Juan Fernando Velasco, Amaury Perez, Cucu Diamantes & Yerba Buena, Jovanotti, Orishas, Silvio Rodríguez, Van, Van, Carlos Varela, Víctor Manuel and X-Alfonso, with the possibility that more artists might sign on to appear between now and showtime on Sunday.

Photo: AP Photo
A police officer walks past the site that will host the upcoming "Peace Without Borders" concert in Havana.

Plus, you don’t have to be in Cuba to enjoy the show. Yahoo! En Espanol has created a special site that will feature live video of the concert, Juanes blogging about the experience and a Flickr page devoted to the event. Just click here.

Despite the death threats aimed at Juanes and protests against the show, what do the folks living in Cuba think about the concert? Evidently they’re pretty excited about it, but then, it’s not like Havana is a must-play for major tours.

Or, as 37-year-old Cuban truck driver Alexis Rosales told Associated Press: “Everybody in Cuba will be here.”