Martha Beatriz Rodríguez: a resonant voice in CMKS

And since then the audience has listened to the waves of the CMKS radio station, the fervent, spontaneous and controversial voice of Martha Beatriz, host of dissimilar radio spots, on the Solvision television channel, at the Casa de la Trova “Benito Hate “, all dedicated to culture and tradition, especially those of this land between valleys and mountains.

With the experiences of the Guamo Prize in 1998 – a recognition granted by the Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba (UNEAC) in the province for her outstanding role in the promotion of culture – the chapters of an autobiographical book could be edited, but I chose excerpts from the interview I was given through the social network of Facebook to, perhaps, understand why there was so much passion and eloquence through the microphone.

Q: Martha, do you always talk proudly about your peasant origin in Yateras, in which place you were born?

MBR: I was born in a remote place, called Piedra la Vela, which is now the main nucleus of Alejandro de Humboldt Park. My father had a farm on the banks of the River Toa, where he planted coffee, roots and vegetables, as well as a variety of barnyard animals. There I was very happy and my favourite was washing the clothes in the Toa, to bathe for hours in its transparent waters.

Although I lived in the middle of the mountain, at home we had the privilege of having a ZENIT brand radio, with which we listened to the episodes and musical programs. I never forget “From Cuba I bring a song”, that was transmitted by Radio Liberación, also “Tía Tata tells tales” and other.

In my Piedra Vela school when I enrolled in fourth grade, they recognized the educating role of my mother, who was my first teacher. There I recited my first compositions, and at the age of 15 we moved to the city of Guantanamo, so that I could continue my studies.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere. On my birthday changüi parties were organized, I attended the Altares de Cruz and I received a lot of affection from all who already predicted that Martica was a wide awake and communicative girl. I have never let go of that magnificent influence.

Q: How was your preparation during the student life?

MBR: I received a great influence from all my teachers, especially those from the Rubén Batista Rubio Pre University, it was a cloister of teachers that as time passes, I value more. How can I forget Isaac Puente, Alberto Pernas, Justo González, Inalvis Jeffers, Nuria Menéndez, Belkis González and many others that for reasons of space I cannot mention.

Carried by the example of my teacher Belkis González, I applied for the History course and left for Havana. The Enrique Jose Varona Higher Education Institute received the enthusiastic Guantanamera, and there I received many opportunities, especially as a fan of the arts. I sang, I did theater and during that period I met many artists; It is there that the need arose in me to highlight the values of culture, which, on my return, took the form of actions towards my students.

Q: You were a professor of Political Economy and you worked at the Higher Pedagogical Institute, nowadays Guantanamo University, how did you manage to perform in the classroom?

MBR: This centre allowed me to realize my dreams of influencing the development of culture and the arts in amateur students who already had a strong movement. I was appointed Director of the University Extension, from that responsibility I worked tirelessly to put the Jagüey Group on the highest places in university art, and with the help of many people I succeeded. They were years of creation of theater groups and highlights the ties with professional and amateur changui groups that helped the emergence of the first group of university changüí in Guantanamo and Cuba …

Q: There are a few projects that you have achieved so that you know the local identity and values. Could you mention some?

MBR: For my fortune I have participated in several projects with social repercussions, on the radio, television and in the community. I can mention in the community of San Justo, Barrio Barroco, through the same I could highlight the talents of that district to the east of the city of Guantanamo, and at the same time recognize the personalities that live there.

With the branch of the Agency for Musical and Literary Promotions (ARTEX), I performed “Entre Artistas”, at Patio Sandunga and “Onde está la Voz”, at the Casa de la Música La Guantanamera; This last one was a way to give opportunities to young singers, and several of them found spaces in professional groups, like El Coro Masculine and El Mariachi Sol Naciente, among others.

On the radio stand out the spaces of Madrugada; Even people remember that club of listeners, the exchange at those hours live with those who stopped sleeping to listen to the program. After four and a half years without much sleep, I ended up in the midst of the program. CD Record was another radial space, which allowed us to influence the information and formation of an aesthetic taste in all the generations of followers with whom we count.

Special memory for the television program La Cumbancha, with which I entered the television, despite many detractors who considered that my age and lack of beauty would not allow me to reach the necessary audience for this project. Those who thought that thought wrong, the art of communicating has nothing to do with the supposed patterns of beauty that some superficially defend.

I also had a fruitful experience with the Trova Mía project. For a year and a half we performed in La Casa de la Trova Benito Hate, and we managed to give a new musical life to that institution. The presentations on its portal captivated the passers-by, Guantanameros who stopped in the doorway of the enclosure every morning to enjoy a schedule that brought together all the generations of troubadours. We managed to organize singing contests, events, radio and television presentations, recordings and exchanges with Santiago’s troubadours. Thanks to this project, Guantánamo met the Septeto Santiaguero before it was recognized nationally and internationally.

Q: You received the Guamo prize awarded by UNEAC, how much did that moment mean to you?

MBR: I experienced three times an indescribable emotion, when my children were born, and that night of 1998, when in a beautiful ceremony at the Hotel Guantánamo, presenter Aurelio Cardosa announced that year the Guamo award was shared in an exceptional way, and he said the name of the painter Orlando Piedra and then mine; I thank my friends for holding me because, although I am very strong, that day my head went straight to the floor. My son’s prophecy had been fulfilled, and my little son told me, “the prize is for you, Mommy”; If it had not been so, how I justified having missed so much time at my house, working, working very hard. It started on the radio, so they took into account my work as a cultural promoter, it was also the first time I was received as a promoter.

Q: Sometimes you feel unsatisfied because you do not hesitate to express it through the microphone.

MBR: The promoter of the culture is sacrificed to the maximum to make known the artistic work, I have always respected those who are called natural promoters; You can find them in the most amazing places and their only aspiration is to help cultural growth. Our dissatisfaction starts with the attitude of some artists and creators who are forgetful and ungrateful, because when they achieve success and favourable changes in their social status, they ignore those who once offered their hand to make themselves known.

Yes, I have felt the affection, affection and respect of some, while others smile with greatness and even greet you marking a distance. It is painful because the promotion costs a lot in the world, they should understand that in Socialism, those who do it without any monetary interest, we deserve more respect, not only from them, but also from the institutions for which we work.

Q: What is your message for the new generation that is interested in the art of communicating?

MBR: I think that young people who choose communication as a profession should study, study and study. If they want to remain in the memory of someone, they should not be captivated by the praises that people without training let slip to their ears; This is a profession in which every day we must strive to be informed, to know a little and not forget that we are not predestined, but we are privileged by the life that puts us in front of a microphone to influence thousands of people.

Translated by ESTI


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