Cuban rapper Mariana “La Mariana” Moracén Saiz is ready for the normalization between Cuba and the United States to finally -- finally -- begin.
“Cuba is full of culture,” says the 28-year-old Havana native who fronts the rap-salsa-fusion group Mariana y la Makynaria. “Thank God we can send it out now to the whole world.” To be fair, the whole world save for the United States has been able to freely enjoy the rich tapestry of Cuban musical offerings (there are 17,000 professional musicians on the island) for the last 60 years or so. Freed from the pressures of marketplace formulas, Cuban musicians have in recent decades enjoyed a fair amount of artistic freedom (if not full freedom of speech), and have created all kinds of new styles and approaches. It’s the States that has largely been missing out -- until now.