If President Obama is a dictator-loving socialist, he has a funny way of showing it: his Administration has refused a request to let the New York Philharmonic go to Cuba for some concerts it had planned for the end of the month. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control denied the necessary licenses. This prompted North Dakota Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan to denounce the Cuba embargo on the Senate floor, and Cuba is pissed, but that is not expected to affect Treasury’s decision. The Phil itself seems resigned, and has scheduled some shows at home for the disapproved dates.
The Philharmonic was allowed to visit North Korea last year during the reign of George Bush.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009