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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Cuban music groups pledge defiance
Shakira
Shakira at 2000's Latin Grammys which are under threat this year
Promoters for Cuban artists in Miami in the US have said they are determined not to let the threat of anti-Castro protests prevent them from bringing their acts to the city.

Organisers for the Latin Grammys moved the show from Miami to LA because Cuban exiles had said they would demonstrate at the event at the involvement of Cuban musicians.

The Latin Grammys were postponed indefinitely from Tuesday following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

But also on Tuesday, arts group the Miami Light Project, announced that it intended to host two Cuban musical groups and a festival involving Cuban artists, in the city.

Attacks on the World Trade Center
Attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have caused widespread disruption

"They're absolutely going through," said Beth Boone, executive director of the Miami Light Project.

"This is our commitment to present artists relevant to the community."

There are almost one million Cuban-Americans living in Florida and most are in Miami. A further 38,600 live in Los Angeles County.

The planned musicals are Los Fakires, which is scheduled for 16 November, and Los Munequitos de Matanzas, due to be staged next April.

The festival, also set to take place in April, will be a repetition of a festival sponsored by the group earlier this year, to which they invited 20 Cuban performers.

The Miami Light Project also sponsored a performance by Cuban musicians Grupo Vocal Desandann in June.

Political

The decision to move the Latin Grammys to LA upset members of the Latin music industry who saw Miami as a natural home for the awards.

But the relocation did not calm the Cuban-American protesters.

Anti-Castro feelings run just as high among the hard-line anti-communist Cuban-American groups in LA.

Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin was to perform at Latin Grammys

And demonstrators had said they planned to disrupt the awards ceremony despite the change in location.

Francisco Garcia Martinez, a spokesman for around 60 Cuban exile groups planning the protests, said no demonstrations were planned for the announced Cuban performances in Miami.

"We can't protest for everybody. We protest only for the big events," said Garcia.

Garcia added that the demonstration at the Grammys would not have been directed at the Cuban musicians but at the Cuban Government.

Cancelled

Elena Freyre of the Cuban-American Defense League said her group welcomed Cuban artists.

She said visiting Cubans were considered a way of keeping "in touch with our roots and culture".

But in Miami, and around Florida, many venues are hesitant to book Cuban artists because of the fear of violence.

And in the wake of the threats to the Latin Grammys many also decided to cancel bookings for Cuban musicians on their events diaries.

A new date for this year's Latin Grammys has not been decided.

See also:

11 Sep 01 | Music
Award shows postponed
12 Sep 01 | Showbiz
US showbusiness shuts down
24 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Santana's Grammy glory
18 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Awards joy for Santana
01 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Latin legend Puente dies
12 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Going 'loco' for Ricky
08 Sep 00 | Entertainment
MTV triumph for Eminem
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