Cuban Music Crisis
Over the weekend it was reported that Cuban music artists nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards this year are having problems securing a visa in time to be able to attend the ceremony. Some of the effected musicians include Ibrahim Ferrer, of Buena Vista Social Club, Afro-Cuban jazz star Chucho Valdez and the salsa band Los Van Van. Many Cuban-Americans have threatened to boycott the Latin Grammy's, and rightly so, if actions are not taken to speed the process of helping these artists obtain visa's to get the recognition they deserve.
A very unimaginative and stiff spokeswoman from the US State Department, who obviously sees everyone on this planet as yet another wad of paper in her wastebasket said, "We have not received any visa applications from Cuban citizen Grammy nominees in connection with the Latin Grammy Awards ceremony. Visa applications received from award nominees to attend the Latin Grammy Awards are adjudicated in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations governing the issuance of non-immigrant visas." Good God, I know burnt slices of whole wheat toast with more personality than this jaded automaton.
This is yet another ongoing problem I'm having with our establishment and society. What ever happened to 'Grace'? What ever happened to extending yourself to help another human being, regardless of their geographical location or race, in order to give someone the credit they deserve? What about the US record labels that raked in cool millions for the stellar performances of Ibrahim Ferrer and the other Cuban artits? What other countries muscians can we exploit next year and stockpile our bank accounts?
As much as this is a tragedy to music and art we only have ourselves to blame by letting these heartless dimwits into political office in the first place. It's not even the State Department spokeswoman's fault; She's simply doing what her stodgy elitist boss requires her to do and say so he can hit the golf course this morning and make more underhanded deals at the expense of the real inhabitants of this planet.
S. Remington - Editor
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