Mr. Obama, tear down that wall!
In her news broadcast last night, MSNBC commentator/anchorwoman Rachel Maddow gave a righteous shout-out to the Cuban-expatriate (really “exile’ is the proper expression up till now) classical dancers who grace our major ballet companies — and oh yes, for good measure Maddow also notes sports figures!
Featured dance companies include: Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Classical Ballet of Miami, Cincinnati Ballet, and Miami City Ballet. The latter was an American pioneer in the hiring of exceptional dancers trained in Central and South America.
A name mention went, as well, to our great Cuban-born ballerina, the former New York City Ballet principal dancer and artistic director of Miami City Ballet, Lourdes Lopez, a friend of arts·meme. This is the kind of television news we love to see!
Lourdes is seen below giving a big bear hug to her régisseur-colleague, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, at the premiere of Miami City Ballet‘s staging of Jerome Robbins’s “West Side Story Suite,” February 14, 2014. We can only assume that hugs went around the MCB studio yesterday at the news of the abandonment of the miserable Cuban embargo!
Thank you, Patrick Scott, for bringing this story to our attention.
There are a number of factual errors here. There continues to be extensive agricultural trade in the billions of dolars with Cuba and American exporters. The embargo is not in fact an iron curtain. Those selected for ballet training are auditioned for suitable ability. You can’t just join because you’re interested. Even socialism has its limits.The training is free if you look like you might be a success. In America and elsewhere you pay to have shot at success. Both systems leave a large percentage of interested participants behind. Many nations trade with Cuba. Their trading possibilities are limited primarily by a spectacularly under performing economy and not exclusively by the embargo. This has been true especially since the beginning of the so called Cuban Special Period that began with the collapse of the Soviet Union and Cuba’s lost subsidies. After numerous trips there it is important to clear up the many misconceptions about Cuban civil society and US relations.
Maddow forgot to point out that all these great ballet dancers and baseball heroes were trained at the expense of the entire Cuban people, in other words, their training was financed from the general pool, not privately. Even with an iron-clad embargo and economic sanctions that have prevented any shippers of goods to Cuba from doing business with the USA, unimaginable restrictions on trade of every kind, this nation manages to support and train anyone who chooses to work hard at their chosen art or sport, or whatever else. The only debt these young people have to pay is a couple of years helping to train others after they graduate.