The issue of the arts within Cuba is a polarizing one. And you'd be hard pressed to find a more politically charged art form out of the island than Nueva Trova, which was more than just a genre following the revolution that put Castro in power in 1959.
It was a movement, and a mode of expression meant to convey certain ideas and impressions of the political change by these artists. Which is to say, it has long been associated with the communist regime. Castro's government strongly backed the movement throughout the '60s and '70s.
But it would also be an oversimplification leading to the false conclusion that Nueva Trova is nothing more than propaganda.
A fusion making use of the pop and rock of the time as well as the rich influence of Cuba's musical legacy, Nueva Trova is Cuba's folk music. And Pablo Milanes has long been heralded as the country's Bob Dylan.
It remains to be seen if promoters will encounter opposition for his recently announced August 25 show. But while we watch for the backlash, why not enjoy five examples of the man's gifted songwriting?