Director of Los Van Van Says US Embargo Affects Music

Juan Formell y los Van Van - En el Malecón de La Habana
Juan Formell y los Van Van – En el Malecón de La Habana
(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – The director of the salsa band Los Van Van, Juan Formell, said that music is one of the sectors most affected by the US-imposed 42-year-old economic embargo on Cuba. The Cuban musician pointed out that Los Van Van, the orchestra he created 34 years ago, is well known all over the world “by force, thanks to live performances“. “However,” he added, “we have not been able to sell millions of records due to the blockade (embargo) restrictions. We have been blockaded so much that we have not been able to conquer any market.””A song from Cuba cannot become a hit there (in the United States),” said Formell. He noted that “the record and video worlds, which are fundamental to reach greatness, are dominated by US companies, which in many cases have Cuban-American executives“, that is, Cuban exiles.

The orchestra, one of the most popular bands in Cuba, won a Latin Grammy Award for the record En el Malecón de La Habana. They have just returned from Key West (Florida), where they gave several concerts.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.