I'm sure the Cuban dancers' skill and dynamism will ensure their success in the US and elsewhere. In Lyndsey's article, we learn:
"In Cuba, you can work a lot but you don't really see much money. Here you can work a lot and you see money," says Havana-born Janet Fuentes, 22, star of the ill-fated musical Murderous Intentions. Fuentes came to the UK four years ago and has chosen to stay, with no pressure from the authorities on either side.
To put the financial position in perspective, the CIA Factbook reports that the per capita GDPs are:
Cuba - $2,900
USA - $37,800
ie a ratio of 13:1.
In comparison, for Mexico, not facing a US trade embargo, the equivalent figure is $9,000.
Recently, in what appears to be a tightening of the embargo, the Nilas Martins Dance Company was refused permission by the U.S. Treasury Department to attend an international festival in Cuba. Further, my guess is that, as a result of this mass defection, the number of Cuban companies allowed to travel to the US by the Cuban authorities will decline from the current levels. So, unfortunately, there is likely to be even less artistic contact between the two countries.
Among the works the US is missing is "Tocorora", mentioned in Lyndsey's article, with around 20 Cuban performers and, of course, UK and Canadian tourists travel to Cuba regularly for the world class arts and culture. In the Observer newspaper's "Human Rights Index", constructed in 1999, Cuba came 35th (low numbers=worst human rights) and Mexico was worse, at 16th. So, I fail to see the rationale for the current, unilateral, US cultural embargo on Cuba.
<small>[ 17 November 2004, 11:31 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>