HAVANA (Reuters) - The Rolling Stones are welcoming Cubans to their free concert on Friday with Mick Jagger speaking Spanish in a video on YouTube, though few are likely to see it, given Cuba’s scant Internet penetration.
"We have played in many incredible places but this concert in Havana is going to be a historic event for us," Jagger said in a voice over while the Stones' song, "Jumping' Jack Flash" plays to snippets of concert video. "We hope it will be for you, too." (here)
Less than one-third of Cubans have access to the Internet, with only 3.4 percent of homes connected to either the Internet or a local Cuban Intranet, according to U.N. data.
The Stones added Cuba to the end of a Latin American tour, becoming the first major international rock stars to play in the island nation.
The outdoor concert at a sports complex was postponed five days because of the 48-hour visit by U.S. President Barack Obama, who departed Cuba on Tuesday.
The band have brought in 61 shipping containers with an estimated 500 tonnes of equipment, such as a stage, speakers, lights and video screens, the production manager, Dale Skjerseth, told reporters on Sunday.
A crew of 140 Stones employees and at least 80 Cubans have set up on grounds including a football field and adjoining baseball fields with room for hundreds of thousands of spectators who are invited to arrive for free on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe