Gloria Estefan Dreams of Performing in a Free Cuba, Can She Go Home?

by Raphael Chestang 7:28 PM PST, December 18, 2014
Playing Gloria Estefan Dreams of Performing in a Free Cuba, Can She Go Home?

Gloria Estefan sings about her native country, Cuba, in songs like "Cuba Libre" and "Mi Tierra," but will she ever be able to sing them while on Cuban soil?

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Gloria escaped from Cuba with her family when she was only 2 years old and has been outspoken against the Castro regime, but she can't help but dream of the day she can perform in a free Cuba.

"That would be a dream, because Cuba is still in my heart and you can hear it in my music," Gloria told ET's Kevin Frazier. "That Cuban music is what allowed me to have a success with Conga and things like that, because we really are a blend of those two worlds, and my mom kept that world really alive for me."

Gloria's family was connected to the pre-Castro regime of President Batista, as Gloria's father Jose was reportedly a police officer who protected the Batista family. Her grandfather was reportedly a commander in the army.

"I know that change is going to come for them, because the only one sure thing is change," Gloria said. "I would love to be there to celebrate with them in the future -- whatever they choose, whatever they want to go forward as ... But freedom ... The freedom to choose. And for me to be there and sing 'Mi Tierra' is going to be tough. I'll probably have a knot in my throat."

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The GRAMMY winner has been a passionate advocate of freeing the Cuban people. She even led 100,000 people during a march in Miami in 2010. In 1993, Gloria explained to ET the meaning behind her Cuba-inspired album Mi Tierra.

"'Mi Tierra' means 'My Homeland,'" Gloria said at the time. "I would like them to be able to see where part of me comes from, because really I feel very Cuban American. This is just an offering to show them a very legitimate and traditional side of music on my Hispanic side."

President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that the U.S. will restore diplomatic relations with Cuba after half a century of estrangement with the Communist nation. Obama also plans to ease restrictions on travel to Cuba, but Gloria has remained silent over the new U.S. policy with Cuba.

"I just hope the best for them, because I still feel very much a part of Cuba," Gloria said. "It's in my heart and always will be."