- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) - The difficulties that Cubans are having getting visas to travel to the United States has forced the national orchestra to cancel a planned U.S. tour that included an appearance in Chicago.

In a news release, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced that the February 2019 U.S. tour of the National Symphony of Cuba with vocalist and bassist Esperanza Spalding was scrapped because it has become harder for the performers to obtain visas.

Last month, the United States announced that it was making permanent its withdrawal of 60 percent of its diplomats from Cuba because of mysterious “health attacks” in Havana. With fewer employees, the U.S. Embassy in Havana halted visa processing, forcing Cubans hoping to travel to the United States to seek visas through U.S embassies in other countries.

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