14ymedio, Havana, 22 February 2018 — What started as a rumor was confirmed this week by director Orlando Cruzata. The censorship of the video Música Vital was due to the presence of reggaeton artists Yomil and El Dany. The song they sing along with the duo Buena Fe and Omara Portuondo had already been aired on several television shows when it was removed from national radio and television.
Cruzata denounced on his Facebook page the exclusion of the video directed by Omar Leyva. It was through Facebook that the director of Los Lucas told Israel Rojas, leader of Buena Fe, that they could not continue to broadcast the video “due to the presence of Yomil and El Dany.”
Previously, the authorities of the Cuban Radio and Television Institute had told Cruzata that “it is not in the interest” of that state entity to promote the work of the two singers.
Besides the presence of both reggaeton artists, the video does not seem to have anything else that bothers officialdom. The song is accompanied by tourist images of beaches and mountains, as well as a good measure of aerial views of Havana’s Malecón and the city of Santiago de Cuba.
The scant presence of young artists in general on the official television network, of which this new case is one example, seems not to have been communicated to the Ministry of Tourism, which still the promotes video on its Facebook page, where Música Vital already has 5.9 million views.
From its Facebook page, the Buena Fe duo shared with its fans this Sunday their anger at being “excluded from the musical programming of Cuban television and radio.”
The group defended itself arguing that the lyrics of the song “do not have offensive, disrespectful verses” and that “Omara Portuondo, Buena Fe, Yomil and El Dany and Lía Rodríguez” are “active and totally legal artists. Perhaps we are legal to be invoiced in Cuba, but not to sing?” they ask.
Israel Rojas and the musician Yoel Martinez, also a member of Buena Fe, describe what happened as “sad” and regret “that these things are happening at this point, in the digital age.”
Yomil and El Dany are part of the Ignacio Piñeiro music company and belong to the catalog of the Cuban Institute of Music (ICM). They recorded six albums between 2015 and 2017, all independently, and have started 2018 with new proposals.
The music of both singers is a hit especially among those under 20, who share their songs through mobile applications such as Zapya to get around the absence of the group in the official media.
Their albums Sobredosis and M.U.G., available from multiple online stores, were number one and six respectively on the Billboard charts and Ambidiestro reached number two, behind the popular Colombian singer Shakira.
In 2012, then president of the Cuban Institute of Music, Orlando Vistel Columbié, told the official press in reference to the spread of reggaeton that “neither vulgarity nor mediocrity can dent the richness of Cuban music.”
To avoid this, the official said that work was “coordinated from cultural institutions with all the elements involved in the promotion, dissemination and social use of musical productions.”
Officialdom has launched a war against “the banality” of some musical genres and the current Minister of Culture, Abel Prieto, has said that “much of the victory in the battle is in the audiovisual.”
More recently the authorities have reacted to the popularity if the musical genre trap by some articles in the official press in which they accuse it of presenting women as mere objects of desire.
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