Support for Cuba and its citizens took center stage at the 18th annual Premios Juventud on Thursday night (July 22), where Pitbull, Camila Cabello and Emilio Estefan delivered a message of hope and solidarity.
“Let me tell you that the biggest freedom we have is music,” Pitbull said. “Thanks to music, we have this movement called ‘Patria y Vida.’ I want to thank Gente de Zona and Yotuel and everyone who is part of that song and part of this very real revolution. Freedom isn’t free but it’s priceless. More than anything, we’re here for the people of Cuba and to support them and to tell the White House to wake up because we need them right now to support liberty.”
A powerful performance by Joncien, Lena, Malena Burke and Yailenys Pérez followed Pitbull and Estefan’s impassioned speech, where they too called for freedom. Then, Gente de Zona and Yotuel took the stage to perform “Patria Y Vida,” an anthem that is fueling the Cuban revolution.
Camila Cabello also made a special appearance where she talked about her Cuban pride. “I feel even more proud of our youth in Cuba who have taken to the streets to lead change despite repression, despite fear. All fighting for freedom,” she said. “Let’s unite our voices with theirs. Patria y vida.”
The powerful moment onstage comes after thousands of Cubans took to the streets July 11 to protest power outages and food and medicine shortages as COVID-19 cases are on the rise. The demonstrations were in part set off by Cuba’s deteriorating economic situation that was intensified by the pandemic that’s cut off tourism dollars and left people unable to work because of the COVID-imposed lockdown.
The 2021 Premios Juventud took place Thursday live from the Watsco Center in Miami featuring performances by Karol G, Grupo Firme, Becky G, CNCO and many others.