The exclusion of the Gente de Zona duo from a concert in Miami today marks the end of a year of escalation of US hostility towards Cuba, during which there were numerous attacks on cultural exchanges.
Media from the southern state of Florida reported earlier this week that the Cuban duo were removed from the program of an end-of-year event in that city at the request of local politicians, including Mayor Francis Suarez.
The news follows the cancellation last month of a concert by another Cuban artist, singer Haila Maria Mompie, whom Suarez himself named ‘persona non grata’.
Such steps, in the midst of an increase in the measures adopted by the Trump administration against the island, are not a surprise, especially if one considers that in June, the Miami City Commission passed a resolution to ask the US Congress to veto the hiring of Cuban artists.
That measure, sponsored by the mayor and Commissioner Manolo Reyes, urged the federal legislature to enact a law that allows states and local governments to prohibit the hiring of performers and artists who do business with Cuba or are financed by the Caribbean country.
The resolution questions the importance of the existing cultural exchange between both nations, which is defended by numerous figures on both sides, and appeals to the pretext of alleged human rights violations to reject such relations.