Cuba-USA Cultural Exchange Examined During LASA 2019

Cuba-USA Cultural Exchange Examined During LASA 2019

Boston, USA,  may 29 –  Several speakers today spoke on the cultural exchange between Cuba and the United States during the administrations of Barack Obama (2009-2017) and Donald Trump, as part of the congress of the Association of Studies Latin American (LASA).

The panel analyzed different areas of this interaction and highlighted its increase since December 2014, when the governments of both countries announced the beginning of a process of normalization of relations.

They also discussed how after the arrival of Trump in power in January 2017, that exchange suffered blows due to the measures promoted by the Republican against Cuba.

Two speakers were physically in the panel – Frank Padrón, of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry; and Alan West-Duran, from the Northeast University of Boston, Massachusetts, while four exhibited via videos sent from Cuba, because the United States did not grant them visas to travel to Boston, LASA 2019 headquarters.

Rafael Hernández, director of Temas magazine, said that cultural exchange is one of the cornerstones of the relationship between the Caribbean island and the United States, and has been present for more than 200 years.

For her part, Marisol Peraza, specialist of the Ministry of Culture of the Caribbean country, said that since the end of 2014 a new bilateral environment has begun, which has led to an increase in people-to-people contacts, as well as cultural and academic interactions.

He highlighted that in the following months there were significant milestones, such as the signing of an agreement between the Company of Recordings and Musical Editions (Egrem) and the multinational Sony Music.

They were joined by tours of renowned Cuban artists in the United States, visits to the Caribbean nation of North American exponents of arts and entertainment, and participation in events such as book fairs and ballet festivals.

However, Dianelys Lorenzo, Peraza’s colleague at the Ministry of Culture, pointed out that Trump administration measures such as the suspension of visa delivery in Havana and the issuance of travel alerts led to the cancellation of concerts, visits and programs.

Despite this, he said, there are American artists, businessmen and academics interested in promoting projects, and as proof of this he cited the Arts of Cuba festival held in 2018 in Washington DC, which ‘showed the high demand for Cuban art that exists in the American public. ‘

At the same time, Padrón referred specifically to the historical links that exist between the two nations in the field of music, and mentioned current examples of contacts in that area.

A flow of this kind is unstoppable, I believe that the positive measures taken during the Obama administration will at some point return, develop, and continue that bridge stretched by music from the mid-nineteenth century until today, he estimated.

West-Duran, meanwhile, referred to the interactions in the visual arts, and spoke specifically of exhibitions made in the last two years in the United States with the presence of works by Cuban creators.(Prensa Latina)

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