Remember the days when bands couldn’t perform in the United States because of Fidel Castro? Well now bands can’t play in America because of the tangerine tyrant, our so-called president, Donald Trump. That’s right, Buenos Aires-based band Rascasuelos was slated to perform in Miami March 22, but had to cancel due to “visa issues.” We contacted the band and asked outright, “Was it because of Trump’s travel ban,” to which a member replied, “You got it.”
The band, composed of seven classically and rock trained musicians, was also slated for a gig at SXSW. Not anymore. “Here in the band, there are many people who have been playing for years in the U.S.,” said Jeremy Hutton, the manager for the band. “This is the first time that we have to canceled a trip due to the migration situation that could jeopardize our career.”
After some thought, he clarified, saying “Rascasuelos were not victims of the ‘Trump Travel Ban’, rather victims of an environment that is not conducive to culture and the arts. It is, after all, a mission of the Right to eradicate creative endeavour since it takes the form of political activism, therefore contravenes their program. In this sense, there are certain parallels between what is occurring now in the US and in Argentina around the turn of the century. Although perhaps not so much economically as politically and culturally. Yet emerging from the crisis in Argentina post 2001 was an explosion of creativity within the Arts . . .it was due to the changing environment for the arts and international travel, accompanied by stricter enforcement of rules at US ports of entry.”
Potatoes, potahtoes. We didn’t have this with Obama.
The band is applying for work visas in the coming months, but still. Cutting arts funding and preventing renowned bands from playing in the United States is doing anything but making America great again. What a travesty.