The New York Philharmonic Orchestra has had to cancel two concerts planned for Havana, Cuba on Oct. 30 and Nov. 2, due to American travel restrictions, reports CBC.
“This shows that the U.S. government is the only party responsible for the failure of this major cultural project,” said Alejandro Guma, vice-president of the Cuban Institute of Music. “This is a project, by the way, that was not conceived by Cuba, but by the American institution, and we imagine that at this point, the organization must be disappointed.”
U.S. President Barack Obama said he will not lift a trade and travel embargo against Cuba that has been in effect since 1961 unless there are democratic reforms put in place.
While the musicians had been approved for the trip, approximately 150 patrons and sponsors who paid $10,000 each will not be allowed into the country. Without this support, the orchestra will be unable to play.
Representatives of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra say they still hope to play in Cuba at a later date.