Cuban cultural authorities have declared the musical movement known as Nueva Trova, a folk-music genre melding poetry and progressive politics, to be part of the nation’s cultural heritage, the official newspaper Granma reported Saturday. The decision was announced Friday at the park in the city of Manzanillo where 50 years earlier, at a gathering of “young troubadours,” the movement was sparked by singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez and guitarist and singer Pablo Milanes, who died recently.

Deputy culture minister Fernando Leon said Nueva Trova is being recognized “in order to contribute to the sustainability, viability and visibility of this important cultural expression.” Drawing inspiration from US folk and protest musicians like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Nueva Trova drew on the themes of the Castro revolution and its lyrics were often critical of US policies. Nueva Trova was also related to the politically tinged Nueva Cancion music popular in parts of South America in the 1960s and 1970s. Rodriguez, 76, is now one of the movement’s few original proponents still living. — AFP