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Letter to a South American musician

July 13, 2009

In 1978 people began to sing “Sólo le pido a Dios” in the streets, against the military dictatorship. In Palestine we cherish those precious voices that dare to scream this human truth in the face of the power of our occupiers. You are an artist whose career has been defined by your courage to speak truth to power; how can you ignore that role now?’

The opening refrain to this remarkable song*—something of a hemispheric anthem, and sung in a skin-prickling fervor by Mercedes Sosa—reads, ‘Sólo le pido a Dios / que el dolor no me sea indiferente’ (I only ask of God / that I may not be indifferent to suffering). Before accepting an invitation to festivities by an unequal state leveraging the most unequal occupation, it would do Len Gieco well to heed his own words.

*Here with English subtitles.

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