Details are sketchy but a small group of Cuban exiles in Miami apparently held a protest against pop singer Ricky Martin for daring to take the role of "Che" in the new Broadway version of the play "Evita".
Once feared for instigating boycotts against any music band that dared to perform in Cuba or had any allegiances to Cuban-based artists, Vigilia Mambisa, as the group calls itself, has become a shadow of its former glory and has lost favor with newer Cuban-American generations who see them as out of touch with political realities.
Images captured at the event, which was held on Friday, November 11th, in the parking lot outside the Miami's American Airlines Arena, show a woman holding a sing that reads "Ricky Martin: Undesirable, not worthy of appreciation - Boycott". Signs on the steamroller read "Boycott Ricky Martin's music" and "Vigilia Mambisa - Freedom".
The same group has mounted similar protest against a number of music bands including Miguel Bosé, Juanes and Los Van Van. This is not even the first fictionalized "Che" they have boycotted. In 2008, they riled against the Steven Soderbergh movie about the life of Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
Ironically, according to Wikipedia, the character of "Che" in "Evita" was originally not even based on the Argentinean-born left wing revolutionary leader who helped Fidel Castro take over Cuba. Apparently it was later that Harold Prince suggested that actors play the character as such when he joined production at a later stage in the play's development.
It's also not the only protest mounted against Ricky Martin in Miami in the last twelve months. On December 18th of last year, a group led by a Hispanic evangelical church stood outside Miami's Univision studios claiming that an interview with the pop idol that aired on November 2nd had been pornographic, indecent and obscene (it had been none of those things) and, of course, promoted the gay lifestyle.
Other than their target, the two protests apparently had something in common: Neither seemed to attract much attention or press.
Previews for "Evita" with Ricky Martin, Elena Roger and Michael Cerveris begin on Broadway on March 12th.