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Rolling Stones to Play Free Concert in Cuba

  • VOA News

FILE - Ronnie Wood, left, Keith Richard, center, and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones perform in concert at the TD Garden arena in Boston, June 12, 2013.

FILE - Ronnie Wood, left, Keith Richard, center, and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones perform in concert at the TD Garden arena in Boston, June 12, 2013.

Legendary British rock band The Rolling Stones will play a free concert in Cuba on March 25, a milestone event in a country where the communist government once banned the group's music as an "ideological deviation."

The band added the Concert for Amity show - likely to be the biggest rock concert ever staged in Cuba - to a Latin American tour that had been due to end on March 17 in Mexico City.

"We have performed in many special places during our long career but this show in Havana is going to be a landmark event for us, and, we hope, for all our friends in Cuba too." the band said in a statement Tuesday.

After the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro, Raul's brother, to power the Caribbean nation censured the group formed in London in 1962, as well as the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

On Tuesday, tour guide Julio Garcia reacted with joy to the news of the Stones' visit, which was filtering out slowly on the island.

"Los Rolling in Cuba? Wow!" he said. "We have been waiting for them here for many years."

The concert will take place days after U.S. President Barack Obama will become the first sitting American president to visit the communist island in nearly 90 years.

In December 2014, Obama announced the U.S. would re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and begin the process of normalizing relations more than 50 years after they severed ties.

Diplomatic ties were formally restored on July 20, 2015.

Some information for this report from Reuters.

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