11 October 2015

refugees and peacemaking

Today's New York Times has an article about refugees stuck in a "grinding U.S. process" as they await permission to come to the land of the free. We've increased the turmoil with our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our adventures in Syria, Israel, and Palestine. We've helped make it well nigh impossible to peacefully survive in a wide swath of the Middle East and South Asia.

The Global War on Terror has been about as successful in bringing justice, liberty, and peace to the world as the War on Drugs. Perhaps the problem is the WAR part of both of these efforts.

Facing the article on the refugees is one about a concert in the Cathedral Plaza in Havana. There, Lang Lang played a Steinway while Cuban music superstar Chucho Valdés played another piano and the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra (conducted by American Marin Alsop) played Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, and works by Valdés and other Cuban composers. Steinway is contributing the piano to the Cuban Institute of Music.

I know it's not black-or-white, or just war-or-peace, and that it's been fifty years of embargo and distrust between Cuba and the United States. Cuban refugees have been mostly successfully absorbed into life in Florida and I wish more international relations and interactions could be on the music side.

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