Cuban singer-songwriter, Pablo Milanés, known for leading the revolution with Fidel Castro, Raúl, and his successors, died at age 79 on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in Spain. His songs along with Silvio Rodríguez have accompanied several generations of Latinos and Spaniards for centuries.
Milanés, as he mentioned in one of his greatest songs, loved “this island, I’m from the Caribbean.” His devotion to Cuba led him on a world tour alongside Castro, initiating the “Nueva Trova” movement in the late ‘60s. Being the cultural ambassador for the revolution, the singer found out all the dirty secrets of the Cuban dictator, whom he has reproached until the end of his days.
“The revolution has always pampered its heroes, it has rewarded them with gifts and advantages so that they do not detach themselves from the official discourse, even encouraging small criticisms to reform and improve the communist structure,” explained Milanés.
The Latin Grammy-winning legend lost his battle with blood cancer. He died in Madrid in place of Havana, to which he said goodbye in June with an unforgettable concert and the song, “Días de gloria” that ironically summed up his last days, “I live with ghosts that feed dreams and false promises.”
Unfortunately, Pablo Milanés passed away without seeing his dream come true. That dream in which he expressed in the verses of one of his hymns, “I will step on the streets again”: from the bloody streets of Santiago (de Chile) to the liberated streets of Santiago (de Cuba) and the entire island.”