|Admired and beloved Maestro Pete Seeger:In these moments the tribute concert that dozens of singers are justly offering you is being celebrated. Passing through my mind are some of the times that I have had the privilege of enjoying your talent, which has seduced multitudes.I remember you in Havana, singing in solidarity along with the Sound Experimentation Group; I remember you in that tour that was dedicated to Victor Jara, through several cities in Italy; and I am also reliving that frosty night in February 1980 in which, responding to your call, we traveled from New York to Poughkeepsie and we listened to your “Snow, Snow,” the masterwork of someone asking questions of a winter landscape.
I tried to come back to be with you today, but, as you well know, I was not allowed to get there by those who do not want the US and Cuba to get together, to sing to each other, to talk to each other, to understand each other. They are the ones who think that the world is divided into the powerful and the weak; the ones who only appreciate those who are rich and strong. They are the ones who do not forgive us for the fact that, even though we are small, we have decided to live standing up on our feet. Reality cries out that these brutes must be getting fewer and fewer in number, but somehow that minority still rules and gives the orders. Some of them saw danger in the idea that we would meet and that a simple act of brotherhood would symbolize two neighbor peoples who can agree in song and in affection.
But not just me, dear Pete: all my worthy and no doubt improvable people admire you, respect you, and celebrate your honorable nine decades defending social justice, peace, and culture. Here no one sees you as a danger, but as an extraordinary friend whom we are not allowed to embrace as freely as we would like. That is why not just I, but all of this Cuba that loves you, blockaded still by the abusers, is at your side now singing your prophetic ‘We Shall Overcome’ and the ‘Guantanamera’ of our Martí.
A kiss for Toshi and a big hug for you from
Silvio Rodriguez Dominguez
Letter written by Silvio Rodriguez to Pete Seeger