American country music star Tim McGraw will host a four-day music festival in Cuba next year featuring Communist Party-approved local acts and complimentary gifts from Castro regime companies such as the illegally operating Havana Club, Billboard reported on Wednesday.
McGraw announced that he will perform along Cuban acts approved by the Castro regime, including the salsa outfit Los Van Van and the nueva trova (Cuban modern folk) singer Carlos Varela.
The website, in English, clearly targets American travelers, however, not “the Cuban people.” Billboard notes that the event offers “an opportunity for McGraw fans to travel to Cuba along with their idol,” and “make foreigners’ typical Havana dreams come true.”
The site explains that the company organizing the event, Music & Arts Live, has abused a loophole in the U.S. embargo in Cuba that allows for “cultural exchange” travel, making a visit for McGraw’s event “100% legitimate.” It boasts that the hefty price tag on the voyage is all inclusive and travelers will receive complimentary cigars, cultivated on land stolen from both Cuban and U.S. citizens, and bottle of Havana Club, a regime-produced rum that uses the brand name despite it still belonging to the Bacardí family, who sell their original recipe Havana Club elsewhere in the world.
Americans have also grown more aware of abuses against U.S. citizens through campaigns intended to raise awareness of Cuba’s use of stolen American property in Havana, Santiago, and other major cities for tourism.