The Rolling Stones have arrived in Cuba on the eve of the their historic free concert – in a country where their music was once silenced.
After the band’s private plane arrived at Jose Marti airport in Havana with the four veteran rockers, family members and about 60 technical workers, Sir Mick Jagger offered a brief greeting in Spanish and said he was happy to be on the island.
Friday night’s concert at Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva arena comes three days after US president Barack Obama ended a visit to the communist-run island during which he declared an end to the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas.
“We have performed in many special places during our long career but this show in Havana will be a milestone for us, and, we hope, for all our friends in Cuba, too,” the band said in a statement before their arrival.
In the heat of Cuba’s revolution from the 1960s to the 1980s, foreign bands like The Rolling Stones were considered subversive and blocked from the radio. Cubans listened to their music in secret, passing records from hand to hand.
Main image: AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa