(AP) A well-known Cuban singer said Monday that he has been punished for going off message at a nationally televised concert last week, when he called for direct presidential elections and more freedom of information.
In a note published on the Facebook page of his jazz-fusion combo, Interactivo, Robertico Carcasses said he was summoned to the Culture Ministry the following day and told he would be barred indefinitely from performing at state-run music venues.
"That is, by being opportunistic I had hurt myself with my performance, given that I live and support my family mostly through shows in such places," Carcasses wrote.
Reached by phone earlier Monday, he declined to answer questions and said the upcoming Facebook post would contain everything he intended to say publically about the matter.
The offending performance came during a Thursday night concert organized to demand the return of the "Cuban Five" intelligence agents sentenced to long prison terms in the United States. Featuring an all-star lineup of Cuban musicians, held outside the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana and beamed to televisions across the island, it was a high-profile stage as much a national rally as a musical show.
Carcasses set tongues wagging in the capital with his improvised lyrics, in which he also suggested that different viewpoints from the likes of dissidents should be tolerated.
That he also sang about the Cuban Five and urged Washington to lift its 51-year-old economic and financial embargo apparently wasn't enough.
"I was also told I had betrayed the relatives who went there to mourn their children and fathers who are behind bars, that my ideas had nothing to do with the objective of that politico-cultural activity and my words only benefited the enemy," Carcasses wrote.