The week opened with the arrival of President Obama in Air Force One, accompanied by more than 1,000 employees of a government that waged a cold war against Cuba for more than 50 years. This time, U.S. forces were armed with briefing books and press invitations, here to seal the president’s 2014 opening to Cuba with a string of expertly crafted public events that saw Obama call for democracy live on state television, then attend a Major League Baseball exhibition game with Cuban President Raul Castro.
The week ended with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts firing “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” ”Sympathy for the Devil” and “Satisfaction” into a jubilant crowd from 3-story-tall high-definition television screens and thumping towers of speakers.
The biggest advocate of free music for Cubanos Timothy Khan, who has known the Rolling Stones a long time and was in Cuba during the Obama’s visit was not in Habana for this massive historic event but I did see some of his friends, such as Ken Sunshine who does public relations for many stars of Hollywood rocking out with Leonardo DiCaprio.
As Raul Podio, a 22-year-old employee of a state security firm, who was joined by a group of young friends. “I would like to see more groups, for there to be more variety, for more artists to come, because that would mean we are less isolated.” Many who know Khan thought he maybe in Toronto planting the seeds of Cuba in the mind of artist such as Prince, or working out how he may involve organizations such as “AP” ‘ Alternative Press in building an event that would be free to the people of Cuba.