Berkeley, California, USA – Cal Performances announced November 7 the cancellation of the concert by acclaimed Cuban lute master Barbarito Torres and his nine-member ensemble, scheduled for Thursday, March 24, 2005 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall.
Due to policy changes in State Department security clearances, Cuban artists touring to the United States are being denied visas at this time, effectively canceling Mr. Torres and his group’s entire three-week United States tour.
In a statement to his fans and audiences anticipating the ensemble’s spring tour, Barbarito Torres expresses his dismay and regrets that “it is impossible for us to enter the U.S. because of the irrational politics of the current American government. We had hoped to exchange our music and experiences with the American public, especially because the latest CD was nominated for a Grammy Award. This demonstrates the preference for our music in North America. We have always been well received by our fans.” He concludes by saying “We hope that sometime soon rationality will return to the disheveled political climate, and that we can share music and experiences that ennoble the human race, promote spirituality, and quality of life.”
Nearly all Cuban acts will be denied visas under INA Section 212(f) which gives the President of the United States the power to bar entry by individuals or groups whom he finds to be detrimental to U.S. interests.