Cuban Vs. Latin In Florida Suit

A battle over what constitutes “Latin” music, fueled by politics surrounding south Florida’s Cuban exile community, is heading to court, with a promoter and venue suing each other over a music festival that was to include musicians from Cuba.

Homestead-Miami Speedway owners filed suit first, against Mia Resorts, accusing the concert promoter of misrepresenting what was to be a Latin music festival by not informing the venue that the artists being booked for the show would be primarily Cuban and not more broadly “Latin American.” The racetrack wants the April 9 concert canceled.

Mia Resorts immediately filed a countersuit, accusing the speedway of conducting a “scorched earth campaign” against the concert that cost the company “millions of dollars.”

In its complaint, Homestead-Miami Speedway claims that if the show goes on with Cuban nationals performing, “there is a real and present danger of civil disobedience regarding musicians and other performers who are Cuban nationals and that the force majeure provision excuses HMS … from performing its obligations.”

Mia Resorts countered with a suit accusing HMS of defamation and breach of contract.

“Eight days after The Speedway first approved the promotional flyer entitled ‘Fuego Cuban Music Festival,’ The Speedway began, without justification, to vacillate on honoring the agreements,” Mia Resorts says in its complaint. “Not satisfied with breaching the Agreements, The Speedway carried out its threat to publish its accusations about Mia Resorts to the media by launching a methodical, invidious public campaign to humiliate Mia Resort.”

The Speedway claims that Mia failed to disclose the involvement of Hugo Cancio and his company, Fuego Entertainment, in booking the concert. Cancio and Fuego reportedly have a history of booking Cuban artists, which often draw the political protest of the Cuban exile community in the region.

Mia said in its complaint that “none of these agreements imply, much less define, ‘Latin Music Festival’ as an exclusive ‘Mexican Music Festival,’ or include any restriction precluding the ‘Latin Music Festival’ from being a Cuban music festival or that the ‘Latin Music Festival’ could not feature artists or performers from the Latin country of Cuba.”

Americrown Service Corp., the speedway’s exclusive catering company, is also named in the Mia Resort suit. Americrown provides catering and other services to the track, and also has a contract with Mia.