Reggaeton banned in Cuba (iStock)

Reggaeton banned in Cuba

11th December 2012

Raul Castro’s administration cracks down on Reggaeton music as it is banned from radio and television

Travellers will no longer be able to hear certain genres of music in Cuba. The Castro administration has cracked down on 'vulgar and banal' music with a view to stopping party music, more specifically Reggaeton. Reggaeton is a mix of tropical salsa, electro, American hip hop and Jamaican dancehall reggae.

Having emerged from Panama in the late 1970s, the music craze spread across the Caribbean, the US and soon became a dominant form of popular music among North America's Spanish-speaking populations.

Hits such as Daddy Yankee’s Gasolina and Wisin y Yandel's Rakata have seen the Reggaeton movement take off. However, the music has been described as explicit, vulgar and crudely demeaning to women. Vistel Columbie, the president of the Cuban Institute of Music defamed the genre: “aggressive, with sexually obscene lyrics… deforms the innate sensuality of Cuban women.”

The Cuban Institute of Music has stated that severe levies will be imposed and bans made on musicians whose lyrics are deemed inappropriate, sexually explicit or demeaning to women and they will be struck from official lists. Some recordings have already been removed from Cuban official music catalogues.

Vistel went on to say that: “Neither vulgarity nor mediocrity will be able to tarnish the richness of Cuban music... Obviously, people can listen to what they want privately. But, that freedom doesn’t include the right to reproduce and disseminate that music.”

Although Reggaeton music is hard to defend, it is still a form of mild musical repression and there are questions over where the line should be drawn regarding censorship.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!

 Your Comments (0)



Key Facts

  • Cuba

    Cuba travel guide, including map and photos of Cuba, top Cuba travel experiences, tips for travel in Cuba, plus political past, Havana and music

  • More Experiences


  • Cuba: the new revolution?

    Cuba is on the verge of monumental change – but what do the locals make of it? Stay in the island’s network of homestays to find out

  • How will Cuba change?

    In light of Obama's landmark plans to rebuild relations between the US and Cuba, we ask: should we go now before it changes forever?

  • Baracoa: Cuba's best-kept secret?

    Fertile forests, azure seas, foot-tapping tunes and delicious desserts – don't miss the quirky eastern city of Baracoa, Cuba

  • More Destinations


Departure date:
Open the calendar popup.
Return date:
Open the calendar popup.
Date flexibility:
Spin UpSpin Down

Need some travel planning inspiration?

Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.

Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking. Enjoy!


Wanderlust in your inbox

Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!

I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions