President Barack Obama, known Mala Rodriguez lover, celebrated the end of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month with the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, a descendant of the original group. Buena Vista performed in the East Room of the White House, making them the first group from Cuba to perform in the White House in more than 50 years. Almost a year ago, Cuba and the United States announced they would be renewing relations.
“We’re thrilled to have them here,” Obama said, according to The New York Times. “For nearly two decades, this group has been a symbol of the strong bonds between the American and Cuban people – bonds of friendship and culture and, of course, music.”
The Buena Vista Social Club began as a members’ only club in Mariano in the 1940s, and the club is credited with the development of son. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the orchestra was revived by Juan de Marcos Gonzalez and Ry Cooder. It was in this same decade that Obama also became a fan, something he told the group during their meeting. “I was explaining to them that when the documentary about the Buena Vista Social Club came out, I was told it was around 1998, I bought a CD,” he said.
Now that there’s a second documentary of Buena Vista in the works, maybe Obama will have a small cameo in that.