Raices de Esperanza strongly objects to The Cuban Ministry of Culture's announcement that it is banning the production and distribution of reggaeton music as part of a larger crackdown on “vulgar, banal, and mediocre” musical expression. Citing a desire to retain the authenticity and quality of Cuban music, the president of the Cuban Institute of Music (ICM) called out the elimination of sexual and explicit lyrics as the central motivation for these actions.
Given these erratic and disproportionate actions, we can only assume that the Cuban Ministry of Culture perceives the musicians’ success as subversive of their control. We call on the Cuban government to not censor Cuban artists and allow the Cuban people to exercise their inherent human right to freedom of expression.
Although reggaetton and hip-hop musicians are not a direct threat to the Cuban government, they have amassed a large following and audience across the island. Over recent years, the music scene in Cuba has become increasingly reflective of the diversity and interests of its population and has become an outlet for their observations and for communication among its citizenry. We hope that musicians in Cuba are not discouraged, but rather emboldened to continue making and sharing music that echoes their reality, reflects their aspirations, and shapes a new generation of Cuban artists.
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