Cuba

A UTSA quartet that went to Cuba to perform made a connection that went beyond performing. For the students and their professor, Matthew Dunne, music became the universal language.

The students spent a week in Havana, Cienfuegos and Pinar Del Rio, playing concerts in each. Besides their formal appearances, the group also played in several schools. Before performing for students though, the students would perform for them.

"A pretty emotional moment for me was seeing the kids play.”

From Texas Standard:

In the past year, Texas has seen a surge of Cuban immigrants crossing the border, hoping to take part in what’s known as the U.S. “wet foot/dry foot” policy – worried the policy would soon disappear with the government’s normalization of ties with Cuba.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to take a minute to consider how Castro influenced the country in one particular way - its music. To do that, we're joined by NPR contributor Betto Arcos. Betto, thanks so much for joining us.

Nathan Cone / TPR

Two years ago, President Obama began softening U.S. relations with Cuba, and earlier this year, more travel restrictions were eased, allowing educational travel to the island nation which had been cut off from America for six decades. Matt Dunne, a professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, saw an opportunity for him, and his students.

As of Monday, U.S. citizens who travel to Cuba will no longer be limited to bringing back goods worth up to $400 — including $100 worth of tobacco and alcohol. President Obama ordered the changes, which also clear the way for Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals to gain U.S. regulatory approval.

Instead of those special quotas, normal limits on Americans' importation of foreign products for personal use will apply.

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