Photo: Silvio Rodriguez
Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez complained that his Abdala recording studio, which he founded in Havana in 1998, is “dying” as a result of all the bureaucratic red tape and useless government officials, while directly blaming the island’s Culture Ministry.
“Abdala, which was a project approved and supervised by Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro, is being destroyed by the complacency of the many government officials aware of the situation but who do nothing,” Rodriguez wrote in the latest entry on his personal blog, Segunda Cita.
The founder of Cuba’s “Nueva Trova” musical movement said that some of those culture officials “never forgave the existence of Abdala,” a project carried out with financing by the Cuban government and by Rodriguez himself, and which became the leading studio on the island from the time it was inaugurated 16 years ago.
“Instead of seeing the studio as a cultural gem, they felt it was showing up their incompetence. People who think like that aren’t musicians, and if someone was a musician, he would quit thinking like that,” he said.
The studio - managed in recent years by the state-run Cimex corporation - is currently without electricity for not paying the bill, but it can’t pay its bills “because for the past eight months it’s been in the process of being transferred to the Culture Ministry, a process that never gets done for some unknown reason,” Rodriguez said.
“Several days ago a deputy culture minister said that he can’t pay Abdala’s electricity debt because companies must pay off their own debts,” he said.
The musician said the studio had to suspend its work despite having signed contracts “that could bring our country quite a few thousands.”
“Abdala won’t be able to start that work because of this situation. Nor can it pay its debts and, naturally, it will continue deteriorating as a company,” he said.
“It looks like ‘a plan of the enemy’ but it’s not the CIA,” he said.
Rodriguez noted that the Abdala matter “has gone through the hands of three Culture Ministries” and believes “there’s no willingness to do anything.”
“I’ve spent a lot of time knocking on doors that don’t open and talking to ears that don’t listen. Don’t think I don’t feel ashamed to confess this in public. But it will make me even more ashamed when I see the studio in ruins,” he said.