Cuban Government Censors Reggaeton and "Sexually Explicit" Songs

"I will never foget that Holguin, my native province, is home to the Hermanos Aviles Orchestra, the oldest active orchestra for popular dancing music in Latin America," Benitez writes. "But such a credential does not help the orchestra to gain any money or popularity, so under government mandate, all municipal governments in Holguin, are forced to hire this orchestra to play at their yearly festivals."

The Cuban American youth group Raices de Esperanza-Roots of Hope, said in a statement that the new regulations against reggeaton and sexually explicit songs were "erratic" and "disproportionate."

Raices argued that such severe measures, suggest that the Cuban government sees reggaeton performers as a "subversive," element in society, even if their music talks about sex, and not about politics.

"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," Raices wrote. "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."

Orlando Vistel, from the Cuban Music Institute, said that the government is currently formulating new laws to regulate what sort of music can be played in public spaces.

"Obviously, people can listen to whatever music they want in private," Vistel told Granma. "But that liberty does not include the right to reproduce (certain types of music) in restaurants, state run or privately owned cafeterias, buses and public spaces in general."

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