Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés, one of the founders of the Nueva Trova Cubana movement, defines the Military Production Assistance Units (UMAP) that existed on the island between 1965 and 1968 as “concentration camps”.
Milanés is clear that the UMAPs are “a very dark matter in the history of revolutionary Cuba” where thousands of young people were sent to “re-educate” on the orders of Fidel Castro.
“It was to condemn thousands of young boys to concentration camps simply because they thought freely, not even because they thought otherwise, but because they were free thinkers and had opinions,” said one of the icons of Hispanic American music.
The UMAPs operated between 1965 and 1968 and Pablo Milanés was in one of those centers subjected to forced labor, but he managed to escape and fled to Havana, where he was later imprisoned for contempt.
“I always remember it, but nobody ever reflects it. I do many interviews in Cuba and when I talk about the UMAP it is as if I were talking about the devil, because it is a shame that is carried inside, they have not been able to correct it or apologize for what they did. “, said.
Pablo describes this period as “…a very, very dark issue in the history of revolutionary Cuba: there were concentration camps. There were 50,000 young people who were in the concentration camps, and among them me too,” he added.
Pablo describes himself as a revolutionary. And he brands the communist leadership as counterrevolutionaries.”
The musician with serious health problems hopes that the Cuban government will ask for forgiveness sometime. “I’ve said to apologize, but they haven’t,” he said.
The Cuban people who will attend his concert hope that Pablo will leave a strong message against the dictatorship and demand forgiveness for the atrocities committed.