Carlos Varela, Cimafunk & Dayme Arocena Open Doors in Havana


Carlos Varela, referred to as the “Poet of Havana,” the “Bob Dylan of Cuba,” the “Voice of his Generation” and much more, has long argued that some people “build walls while others build doors.” The location? None other than Havana House, a new gallery and artistic space located in El Morro. Varela once again played his part in building doors, bringing together an intimate group of visiting Americans with Cuban friends for a night of beautiful music and an opportunity to explore ways to open doors between the US and Cuba.

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 “Musicians have been able to do what politicians have failed to do for over 60 years,” said Varela. “We have the power to bring our people together.”

At the event put on by CET and HabanaLive, Varela performed many of his classic hits, such as Guillermo Tell, Como Los Peces and Como Un Angel, where he invited musicians Dayme Arocena and Cimafunk, the next generation of Cuban stars, to join him on stage for a powerful display of Cuba’s musical talent.

As Cubans and Americans in the crowd shared thoughts on how to continue to grow links between our two countries and move towards a more normal relationship, Varela highlighted the power of travel. “It’s so important to be able to see each other face to face, to reach out and touch each other,” said the folk star. “You can’t get the truth from newspapers or social media. Visiting each other is the only way to really understand.”

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Varela’s words and the beautiful music left those in attendance feeling positive about a better future between our two countries. As Cubans and Americans continue to get to know each other and build doors, our proximity, shared values and admiration for each other will allow us to overcome the walls others attempt to build.

Varela, Cimafunk and Dayme are powerful voices of the present and the future, and we look forward to them continuing to open many doors for Cubans and Americans.

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Collin Laverty