Paz Sin Fronteras

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Paz Sin Fronteras (English: Peace Without Borders) was a benefit concert on March 16, 2008, on the Simón Bolívar Bridge, which borders Colombia and Venezuela, to celebrate the end of the Andean diplomatic crisis a week earlier at the Rio Group summit.[1] Approximately 300,000 people attended the concert.

Paz Sin Fronteras II was a benefit concert headlined by Juanes on September 20, 2009, in Plaza de la Revolución, Havana, Cuba.[2] More than 1.15 million people attended the all-star concert made up of many of the top Latin pop, rock and salsa stars from Latin America, Europe, Puerto Rico and Cuba.[3]

Paz Sin Fronteras[edit]

Paz Sin Fronteras
(Peace Without Borders)
GenrePop, rock music
DatesMarch 16, 2008
Location(s)Simón Bolívar Bridge (Colombia-Venezuela border)
Years active2008
Founded byFernán Martínez, Juanes



The concert was broadcast live on several television networks throughout the Americas. It was broadcast on Caracol and RCN in Colombia and on Venevisión, RCTV Internacional and Globovisión in Venezuela. It was also broadcast on A&E in Latin America and on Univisión in the United States.[4]

Cancelled attendances[edit]

Colombian president Álvaro Uribe cancelled his attendance at the concert by request of Fernán Martínez, Juanes' manager, who communicated to his office that the concert was intended to have a neutral agenda instead of a political one.[5]

Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira was invited to perform at the concert, but she could not attend because of a busy schedule. However, she stated a press release saying that she would wear white on March 16 as a form to demonstrate her sympathy for Paz Sin Fronteras.[6]

Paz Sin Fronteras II[edit]

Paz Sin Fronteras II
(Peace Without Borders)
GenrePop, Latin music
DatesSeptember 20, 2009
Location(s)Plaza de la Revolución, Havana, Cuba
Years active2009
Founded byFernán Martínez, Juanes


The message of the concert, according to U.S. representative Jim McGovern, was to circumvent politicians, and using the medium of music, speak directly to young people and encourage them to think in fresh ways — to change their way of thinking — and leave behind the old politics, the old hatreds, prejudices and national enmities that have locked too many people into patterns of conflict, violence, poverty and despair, dividing them from one another. It was an attempt to break down barriers and ask people to join in common purpose.[7]



The concert was transmitted live on the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN)[8] and was also acknowledged by U.S. representative Jim McGovern in the House of Representatives during morning-hour debate on September 22, 2009 which was broadcast on C-SPAN.[9][7]


"We are here for the music and it is a message of peace and unity, not only for Cuba, but for the entire region."

— Juanes,[10]

Many of the 1.5 million patrons wore white to symbolize peace.[10] The BBC's Michael Voss, who was at the five-and-a-half hour concert, said there was a mood of excitement as many residents of the isolated, music-loving island had never seen anything like it before.[10]

U.S. reactions[edit]

"My understanding is that he's a terrific musician. He puts on a very good concert. I certainly don't think it hurts U.S.-Cuban relations, these kinds of cultural exchanges."

— U.S. President Barack Obama, September 20, 2009[11]

Both the United States and Cuban governments helped facilitate the concert, including providing Juanes and his company of 15 international and Cuban artists full control over message and staging. The Departments of State, Treasury and Commerce, and especially Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, provided various licenses and authorities required for U.S. musicians, technicians, musical and production equipment to travel to Cuba.[7]


A small vocal group of Cuban exiles in Miami protested the concert charging that it would service the PR campaign of the Communistic Castro government. The location of the Havana concert was also seen as possibly symbolic by Cuban exiles, as Revolution Square features the headquarters of the Cuban Communist Party along with a giant metal sculpture of Che Guevara's face.[10] Various demonstrations were staged in South Florida, where some destroyed CDs from Juanes publicly by running them over with a steam roller.[10] Juanes also received death threats from Miami-based critics of the Cuban regime.[10]

Before and after the performance, Juanes stated that his "Peace Without Borders" concert is not about politics but reconciliation.[12] According to William Booth from the Washington Post, whose following commentary is now part of the Congressional Record, "Tanon shouted that she brought greetings from Miami — home of many Cuban exiles who live in opposition to the Cuban government — and no one in the crowd booed, but instead whistled and cheered".[7]

The concert was used by Hugo Chávez during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly of September 24, 2009 to criticize the Cuban exiles in Miami for destroying Juanes' CDs in protest.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]