Any hope Norah Jones and her fans may have had to plead ignorance is long gone now. The concert in communist Cuba will directly fund the same Castro dictatorship that imprisons artists. No amount of whitewashing or insidious claims of “cultural exchange” will change this fact. It is undeniable that any American who travels to Cuba for the Norah Jones concert is putting cash in the pocket of the brutally oppressive and murderous Cuban regime.
American fans want to see Norah Jones in Havana. Their money will go to the Cuban military
Americans hoping to attend two private concerts in Havana next year by Grammy-award singer-songwriter Norah Jones must pay up to $8,000 for the exclusive trip marketed as “a once-in-a-lifetime event.”
What they’re likely not going to be told: Some of that money will flow directly to a Cuban military company under U.S. sanctions.
The trip, limited to a hundred people and sold by New York-based company Dreamcatcher Events LLC, includes four nights at the Hotel Grand Aston in Havana, which is owned by Gaviota, the largest military-owned hotel chain in Cuba which currently controls more than 100 hotels around the country. The Indonesian group Archipelago International manages the hotel in the Cuban capital and several others around the island under the Aston brand.
Gaviota is blacklisted by the U.S. State Department, which keeps a list of entities Americans cannot do business with because they are linked with Cuba’s security and military forces. Many of them are hotels. But the Hotel Grand Aston, inaugurated in March last year, is not explicitly named in the list, which was last updated on Jan. 8, 2021, a State Department spokesperson said.
The spokesperson did not explain why the hotel was not included.
According to the rules set up by the State Department when it first created the list in 2017, since the Hotel Grand Aston is omitted, Americans will not be violating sanctions by booking a stay, even though its owner, Gaviota, does appear on the list.
Americans booking the trip would not know they would be staying at a military-owned hotel by looking at the trip’s website, which does not include such information. The website marketing the trip describes the Grand Aston as “a luxurious gem nestled in the heart of Havana, Cuba, on the Malecon, overlooking the Caribbean, offering an exquisite blend of modern comfort and Cuban charm.”
Dreamcatcher Events LLC did not respond to an email and voicemail seeking comment.
Continue reading HERE.