Juanes Tried to Cry His Way Out of Cuba Concert

Juanes almost canceled Cuban concert just hours before showtime

By Todd Wright
|  Friday, Sep 25, 2009  |  Updated 5:01 AM PDT
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Cubans Clash Over Juanes Concert

AP

Colombian musician Juanes performs during the "Peace Without Borders" concert at the Revolution square in Havana on Sept. 20.

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The Cuban concert for peace that turned Miami streets into a generational grudge match last weekend almost never happened, thanks to headliner Juanes' reaction to the Cuban police state.

The Colombian rocker who made the most ruckus about bringing the historical "Peace Without Borders" concert to Havana almost backed out after he thought the Cuban government had spies following his every move.

From breakfast to backstage, Juanes apparently saw government spies everywhere in the hours leading up to the concert.

In an exchange recorded by journalists at the Hotel Nacional in Havana on Sunday morning, Juanes pointed to an individual apparently from Cuban state security. You can see the exchange on YouTube here.

"I just realized a little while ago that since yesterday, the guy who's bringing me breakfast, the guy who is accompanying me, then I see him in the concert, and now I see him sending messages," Juanes shouted in Spanish.

Juanes was also upset about the Cuban police stopping people from coming into the concert venue because they didn’t have on the white t-shirt encouraged by promoters to symbolize peace. "We are very upset, very upset," he Juanes yelled. "We are here for the youth of Cuba ... for the future of Cuba."

Maybe the stress of being a new dad and promoting a controversial concert in Fidel’s backyard was getting to weepy Juanes. During different points, he refused to go on stage or go back to his hotel room.

Eventually, Juanes and his buddies did the concert in front of an estimated 1 million fans who had no clue the thing almost didn’t happen.

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