The following is a message from the seven Grammy-nominated Cuban artists who were denied visas by the Bush administration and therefore could not attend the awards ceremony. The message was sent from Havana, Havana City, Sept. 23.
The Cuban artists who were nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards 2002 have seen with indignation the attitude of the United States government of denying visas for our delegation to travel for the event.
This denial not only deprived us of attending the program – which we were entitled to participate in – but also kept us from delivering, free of charge, our art to the American people as we had planned.
The Cuban musicians are men and women of peace who represent a people that harbors no hatred at all against the American citizens, a people that respects, knows and feels as their own the culture and the noblest causes of Lincoln’s homeland.
Last year, when our delegation was already in the United States to participate in the 2001 Grammy’s ceremony, they witnessed the abominable Sept. 11 crime. The attitude of our colleagues was to donate their blood to help the victims. That is what we Cubans are like.
It is precisely because we believe in ideas, because we believe in the value of culture as a way to promote fraternity and communication among people, that we cannot accept being denied the possibility to contribute to that noble purpose.
We will continue to work so that the message of Cuban culture reaches you all, just as it spreads across the world today.
The day will come when these restrictions and this aggressive and unjust policy will cease to exist, when U.S. citizens will not be kept from traveling freely to our beautiful and hospitable island, and when the fruit of our talent – which is our art – will not be denied to you, who always receive it so gratefully.
Together, we will surmount those obstacles; together, we will make those dreams come true.
Grupo “Vocal Sampling”, Grupo “Síntesis”, X Alfonso,
Rey Guerra, Ana Lourdes Martínez, Lázaro Ross, Chucho Valdés