Staff Revista Niú
24 de enero 2019
Through what could be the most collaborate musical project in history, the Panamanian singer calls for a fight against corruption.
Ruben Blades. File photo: EFE
“Breathe, don’t be quiet!” This phrase, amid hectic, tired sighs, closes the latest number by Ruben Blades, a Panamanian singer and political figure. This latest song, which he recorded together with the US rock band Making Movies, urges the population not to remain silent in the face of corruption that “attacks and drowns us with its tricks.”
“Behind a treason / with no good reason / The country dies. / There are no heroes to applaud / or tracks that don’t defraud,” begins Blades’ lyrics.
The song “Don’t be quiet” aims to become one of the most collaborative musical projects in history. Through a movement based around the website notecalles.world, the musician invites citizens and performers to record their voices, to be used in a final and more dynamic version of the musical theme. The final track has already been officially announced as a collaboration between Ruben Blades, the group Making Money, and “the world”.
Against the tyrants
In a press release, the artist – who on repeated occasions has harshly criticized the repression of Daniel Ortega’s regime – affirmed: “We’re asking people to become active, to inform themselves about issues; not to be silent, not to accept the actual state of corruption in politics, the mediocrity, the indifference to truth, as something inevitable. It can be changed, if you participate.”
On April 23, five days after the civic rebellion began in Nicaragua, Blades questioned in a communique: “How is it that a genuine popular movement, conceived to overturn an abominable tyranny, was transformed little by little into a crude copy of the mediocrity, inefficiency and injustice that at one time it claimed to despise?” He was referring to the FSLN, now under the control of Daniel Ortega and his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo.
One day after the massacre that occurred during the massive Mothers’ Day march in solidarity with the April Mothers, a group of women who were demanding justice for the death of their family members in the protests against the regime, Blades once again demonstrated his ties to the country and condemned in his personal blog the crimes committed that afternoon by the snipers positioned in the “Dennis Martinez” National Stadium.
“The peaceful marches are attacked with a rage that ironically recalls those perpetrated by the dictatorship (of Anastasio Somoza). The man who today is president of Nicaragua (Daniel Ortega) once opposed those massacres gallantly, with the support of his compatriots,” wrote the salsa musician.
Blades, a Panamanian, has also been severely critical of Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela. Since then, he has shown his support for the Nicaraguan demonstrators who have been demanding since April that the presidential couple accept a civic solution to the crisis that has engulfed the country – a crisis that has left 375 dead, over 500 political prisoners and more than 30,000 exiled in Costa Rica.