Well the long-awaited statement from the Estefans about their collaboration with Che-idolater Carlos Santana is out. Val has posted it in his update at Babalublog. Here is a translation of the statement.
StatementFor the record here's the actual entire statement made by Santana's management on his official site.
For the last 32 years of our career, our anti-Castro position has been made extremely clear to presidents, the royalty of various countries, Pope John Paul, the international press and any person who has brought up the subject of Cuba with us. Even when it would have been easier to be quiet we have expressed our discord with the dictatorship in Cuba and we have tried to communicate the pain of the Cuban people to the world.
We have never collaborated nor will we collaborate with any person that supports Fidel Castro's regime nor Che Guevara. This should be completely clear upon observing the trajectory of our actions.
Carlos Santana expressed these words through his representative after his performance at the 2005 Oscar Awards:4/18/2005. The image was not intended to project a single note of the hatred, anger or revolutionary ruthlessness displayed when Che Guevara was a revolutionary leader in Cuba. It was worn to honor the soulful young man portrayed in the movie, who awoke to the struggle of the disenfranchised and who had a profound political epiphany during a journey across South America. The image was not meant to be an endorsement about a man who helped to establish the Castro dictatorship in Cuba.Perhaps some people saw his performance and his wardrobe and not what he expressed afterwards with respect to the matter. Mr. Santana spoke decisively during the interviews that were conducted for the documentary that will accompany our new project "90 Millas" and he expressed his desire to perform in a free Cuba.
Gloria y Emilio Estefan
4/18/2005, At this year's Academy Awards, Carlos Santana was invited to perform, along with Antonio Banderas, the winner of Best Original Song: "Al Otro Lado Del Dio" from The Motorcycle Diaries, a movie based on a nonfiction novel, the "Motorcycle Diaries" by Ernesto Guevara de la Serna and "Traveling With Che Guevara" by Alberto Granado. For that occasion, Carlos Santana wore a shirt with a Che Guevara image from a famous graphic poster underneath his suit. The image was not intended to project a single note of the hatred, anger or revolutionary ruthlessness displayed when Che Guevara was a revolutionary leader in Cuba. It was worn to honor the soulful young man portrayed in the movie, who awoke to the struggle of the disenfranchised and who had a profound political epiphany during a journey across South America. The image was not meant to be an endorsement about a man who helped to establish the Castro dictatorship in Cuba.This is what I call a non-apology apology.
Carlos Santana has always preached non-violence and spiritual awakening to promote a consciousness evolution, not revolution. The film and book portrayed Che as a person who cared about the poor and the needy. Santana Management hopes that those people who were offended by the image will understand the intention in which Carlos displayed it.
First of all it's a statement from Santana's management not from Santana himself and does not even include a quote from Santana.
Secondly the words "regret" or "sorry" are conspicuously absent, you see it's our interpretation of what wearing the T-shirt means that's wrong, not the wearing of the t-shirt.
Thirdly, on February 11, 2006, (almost full year after this statement was made) I had the opportunity to chat with Santana about Guevara and he was far from apologetic. When he saw my "Che's Dead" T-shirt he said, "He may be dead but he's alive in my heart."
Now as far as the Estefans go, nobody here or at Babalu has accused them of being communist or pro-Fidel but the statement that they would never collaborate with someone that is pro-Guevara is blatantly false in light of what I have just written.
The Estefans fucked up, plain and simple. When they admit that they made a mistake inviting that Che-loving marijuanero to play on Gloria's album, then I will forgive them. But until then it's all just damage control and spin.
They are losing my respect by the minute.