Pablo Milanés has died at the age of 79 in Madrid, where he had been an intern since last November 13.
“With great pain and sadness we regret to inform that the teacher Pablo Milanés has passed away this morning of November 22 in Madrid,” says a statement from his office.
“We deeply appreciate all the expressions of affection and support, to all his family and friends, in these difficult times,” he says.
«May he rest in the love and peace that he has always transmitted. It will remain forever in our memory,” they said through the Facebook account.
The Cuban regime had targeted him, who had become the critical conscience of Cuban society and what led to the Cuban Revolution, to which he sang.
Undetermined sources -although many suspect a despicable character named Ana Hurtado, a Spaniard and friend of Díaz Canel- released the fake news a few days ago that Pablo had died.
Milanés was receiving treatment for the oncohematological disease that he had suffered for several years, which has worsened recently.
Precisely, this disease required him to settle in Madrid at the end of 2017 to receive a “non-existent” treatment in Cuba, his office recalled when he reported his admission. For this reason, the concerts planned on his “Días de luz” tour were cancelled.
According to the Cuban Ministry of Culture, the troubadour, born in Bayamo in 1943, studied music at the Municipal Conservatory of Havana, and recorded his first album in 1965, titled My 22 Years, considered the bridge between Feeling and the New Trova.
He has more than 40 albums with emblematic songs such as “El breve espacio”, “Yolanda”, “Amo esta Isla” and “Comienzo y final de una verde mañana”, among others, as well as collaborations with numerous Cuban musicians.
The last presentation of Pablo Milanés in Cuba was at the Ciudad Deportiva de La Habana, on June 21, 2022. The concert, held under a surveillance operation to avoid public demonstrations of discontent of the attendees, It took place surrounded by controversyafter the regime tried to fill the National Theater with his acolytessomething that independent civil society opposed.
A few days ago his concert in Santo Domingo was definitively cancelled.
Also a few days ago his wife wrote to this newspaper «Dear Alfonso. Pablo is still in the hospital recovering. Today there was an unpleasant situation in the networks for some heartless man or woman who only seeks a second of attention or even harm. I increasingly hope that people know how to find out and go to the official networks of public personnel and ignore the ads that, even with misspellings, play with the privacy and health of people. But hey… thanks for your concern and I leave you a hug. 🤗».
It is unknown if he will be buried in Havana.
Pablo Milanés in the beginning
In his beginnings he was greatly influenced by traditional Cuban music and by the feeling (‘feeling’, in English). The feeling It is a musical style that began in Cuba in the 1940s and represented a new way of approaching the song, where the feeling defined the interpretation and was influenced by the American currents of romantic song and jazz. The feeling it was accompanied by a guitar, in the style of the old troubadours but enriched by jazz harmonizations. This is how this new form of communication or “feeling” with the public was established.
In 1964 he joined the Los Bucaneros quartet as an interpreter, with whom he collaborated on his first works. He also tried his luck as an occasional soloist, thus diversifying his experiences that would later lead him to solo work. In 1965 he published my 22 yearsconsidered by many to be the link between the feeling and the Nueva Trova Cubana, including new musical and vocal elements that would be precursors of the Cuban music that would come later.
Around 1966 he was sent by the authorities to a forced labor camp of the Production Aid Military Unit (UMAP) in the area of Camaguey, in the center of the island. After fleeing to Havana to denounce the injustices committed in what in 2015 he called “a Stalinist concentration camp.” He was then sent to a punishment camp until the dissolution of the disastrous UMAP, at the end of 1967.
Pablo Milanés has died without receiving a request for forgiveness from the Cuban government for what he suffered at that time.
Pablo Milanés on the situation in Cuba
WORDS OF PABLO MILANÉS WHEN SIGNING THE “MANIFESTO OF THE CUBAN CIVIL SOCIETY” AND ADDRESSED TO ALL THOSE WHO FIGHT FOR FREEDOM AND SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CHANGES IN CUBA
«I agree to give my signature to what is essentially required by this Manifest to the Cuban government, because I think that, as I have been expressing in my last public statements, their approaches meet the presuppositions of what could be a Front without parties, without tendencies, without old and new quarrels, which only lead to disunity and incoherence of future achievements that will only be achieved with the unity of all Cubans.
I urge all those who have not read the manifesto, and those who have read it with reluctance, to read it in depth and appreciate only the essential idea that our country needs – with the unity of all – to give way to new voices and new ways of thinking, that demand new laws, new freedoms, new active participation within the current society, which would lead us to a dialogue of peace and an achievable future given the terrible conditions in which it finds itself, with no apparent way out, this village.
In this sense, I reiterate my support for this or another Manifesto that promotes changes within a spirit of sovereignty, inclusion and respect for human beings, their dignity and most basic aspirations. Whether from Miami, Paris, Havana, etc., without prejudices and without political-ideological conditioning of any kind to achieve what we are all seeking through different paths.
August 31, 2022″.