Half of Cuba’s Entrevoces Choir Stays in Spain

Half of Cuba’s Entrevoces Choir Stays in Spain

HAVANA, May 10th   At least eight members of the Entrevoces chamber choir, belonging to the National Choir of Cuba, stayed in Spain, where they were touring Tenerife. According to sources from 14ymedio, five of them stayed on the Canary Island and three in Madrid, without further details of their flight being known so far.

The choir, founded in 1981, is directed by Digna Guerra, deputy of the National Assembly of People’s Power.

Their trip to Tenerife, on the occasion of a tour that began last year to celebrate their 40th anniversary, was being covered by the local press, which defined the group as “a mixed vocal formation that stands out for its excellent interpretation of music from all eras and styles, from Spanish, English and Italian Renaissance polyphony to contemporary music, black spirituals, Latin American folklore and Cuban music in general.”

On April 25, the choir was received at the Arona town hall, in the south of the island, where the mayor highlighted the ties that unite Canarians and Cubans. “Today we are not politicians sitting in this room, but blood brothers and sisters together, thanking you for this opportunity, excellent ambassadors of Cuban music,” said the mayor, who has family in Camagüey.

In that institutional act, Entrevoces performed a choral version of Chan Chan, by Compay Segundo, and, after a tour of the municipality with the councilor for culture, received several books published in Arona about Havana.

The group had two other concerts scheduled, one at the Leal Theater in La Laguna and its last performance, on Friday night, at the Auditorium of the University of La Laguna.

The official Cuban press had echoed the performances and acts carried out by the choir in the Canary Islands, but nothing has been said so far about the fact that almost half of its 18 members have decided to stay in Spain and never return to the Island.

Champion Wrestler also abandons ship

On May 3rd, the Greco-Roman wrestler Ismael Borrero, 30, left the wrestling delegation that competes starting this Wednesday at the Pan American in Acapulco, Mexico.

The information was confirmed by Francys Romero, a Cuban reporter specializing in baseball and residing in the US, which has become one of the largest sources of escapes of athletes from the Island at sporting events. Among the mounting cases of defections, was the departure of half of Cuba’s baseball team that played in Mexico’s under-23 tournament last year.

Borrero was an Olympic champion in Rio 2016, in 59 kg, and twice World champion. In the last game, Tokyo 2020, he finished 11th with a weight of 67 kg. His departure has been disclosed by the official press, in the weekly Jit, which reported that “the arrival [of the team to Acapulco] was marked by the abandonment of the delegation by the Greco-Roman wrestler from Santiago Ismael Borrero, Olympic champion and twice at the world level.

Borrero’s decision constitutes serious indiscipline within the Cuban sports system and sets aside the objectives of his team in this competition and in the four-year period leading up to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.”

Two other members of the wrestling squad, Leonardo Herrera y Amanda Hernández, also abandoned the ship.

Romero, accustomed to recounting more and more athletes leaving the Island, is the first to be amazed at the alarming increase in recent months. “The exodus of Cubans transcends any sport and category at this time,” he said on his Facebook profile.

There was more irony in the conversation with the source from the world of song who confirmed to 14ymedio the ’escape’ of the choir: “This Revolution is great, how it exports talent.”